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Charity Commission launches it's strategy for dealing with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults issues 

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The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has published it's Strategy for dealing with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults’ issues in charities.

The Charity Commission The Charity Commission registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. It offers advice and provides a wide range of services and guidance to help charities run as effectively as possible. It also keeps the online Register of Charities, which provides information about each of the thousands of registered charities in England and Wales.

The new strategy follows on from the publication of the Charity Commission's new Risk Framework and Risk Application Guidance, which set out it's regulatory approach, how it assesses risk, and identify three regulatory areas requiring  a clear strategic response, one of which is safeguarding in charities. The Commission has published it's Strategy on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Issues in Charities which describes it's role and approach in dealing with safeguarding issues in relation to charities. The strategy explains how the Commission:

  • works with the sector and other agencies to prevent safeguarding concerns arising in the first place
  • responds to allegations or reports of abuse of children and vulnerable adults within a charity
  • deals with concerns about someone who is currently acting as a charity trustee, employee, volunteer or contractor and their suitability to hold that position

It sets out a 4 strand approach:

  1. awareness and prevention;
  2. oversight and supervision;
  3. co-operation;
  4. intervention.

Sam Younger, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission said:
“Any abuse of children and vulnerable adults is a criminal offence and therefore a matter for the police. But when it happens in a charity, such abuse also risks undermining public trust and confidence in all charities.
“Trustees of charities which work with children and vulnerable adults have a duty of care to their charity which will include taking the necessary steps to safeguard and take responsibility for those children and vulnerable adults. So it is vital that they develop, implement and monitor effective safeguarding policies and procedures to protect these vulnerable beneficiaries.
“We will intervene in serious cases or where there has been non compliance or abuse. We urge trustees to familiarise themselves with this safeguarding strategy.”

Simon Massey, Head of Safe Network added:
“It’s vital for trustees of charities to ensure that they take the necessary steps to protect their service users from any form of abuse and, if there are concerns they are reported to the relevant organisations to follow up.
“With this Strategy, trustees will be clear that they have primary responsibility for safeguarding in their charity and what this entails.
“The Safe Network can provide additional advice and guidance in relation to safeguarding children and young people – this includes policy and procedural templates and a self-assessment safeguarding standards’ resource.”

Further information

The Charity Commission, full press release 

Strategy for dealing with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults' issues in charities

Next steps 

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Safeguarding information for trustees.

Safer recruitment
Safer recruitment practices for people working with children.

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