Your group may already be doing many things to help keep children safe. But could you do more? Find out how to do a safeguarding assessment of your organisation.
We’ve provided a few assessment exercises that you can follow to help you assess your organisation’s safeguarding measures.
1. Think it through
For some groups, children may not be the main focus of the activity. For example, the main focus might be arts, music, drama, worship, or managing an illness or disability. Your group may be for adults, which also provides activities for children, like a summer school or hobby club. It’s helpful to think through these things:
- what contact your group has with children
- what you’re doing right – good practice
- what you’re not doing right – gaps and risks.
Use these points as headings and write down your ideas.
2. Mapping your contact with children
Think about the main activities or services that your group provides for children, and the other ways in which it comes into contact with them.
It might be helpful to draw a diagram showing the different ways that children have contact with your group. Write down what they are (for example, face-to-face, every day, once a week, occasionally or rarely, via email or internet) and the different activities they relate to.
Also think about the children’s:
- ethnic background.
Using our guide, you can make sure your safeguarding policies and procedures are developed to meet the needs of your group.
3. What you do well
Voluntary and community groups are usually very committed to protecting children. There are likely to be many things that you already do that keep them safe. They may not be obviously linked to child protection or written down formally, but if you have an example of good practice, use it and share it. Think about the strengths of your group. Your headings could cover:
- the way children are cared for and valued
- understanding of children’s specific needs (eg age, ability, etc)
- communication with all children and asking them what they think
- the contact/involvement of the local community
- the staff’s commitment and attitude to children
- the way the group is managed
- existing policies and procedures
- staff training
- how staff are recruited.
You could add more as you think of them. As you continue your child protection and safeguarding assessment and develop new policies and procedures, remember to include all the good things you do. Make sure you take account of children for whom English is not a first language or who use Braille or sign language.
4. General safeguarding assessment checklist
Use our all round safeguarding assessment checklist to identify the main safeguards to put in place. You may have other essential measures that are specific to your group or activity. Add them in the spaces opposite. Think about the safeguarding issues that might come up because of the types of children you have contact with, or the types of activities they are involved in.
- disabled children
- activities involving changing clothes, for example dance costumes
- one-to-one contact
- competitive activities where there is an opportunity for favoritism.
5. A checklist for children
Kidscheck (pdf) is a simple checklist for children to assess the safeguarding measures in the organisation they are involved in.
The resource was developed by a group of children and young people. It is designed to help children assess how well their club or activity group is doing with safeguarding issues.
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