Information for third sector (voluntary, community, faith) and provider organisations
Third Sector (voluntary, community, faith) organisations and provider organisations make a huge contribution to supporting and enriching the lives of adults, children and young people in Herefordshire.
This section provides information for professionals and volunteers working in and with the sector to support working with adults, children and young people. It will help keep you up to date with developments in safeguarding practice and will provide information across a range of issues and how to respond to them. A key part of this section sets out safeguarding policies and procedures that support effective multi-agency working.
Policies and procedures provide the framework within which an organisation and its staff / volunteers operate. They define what an organisation does and how it does it. Clear policies and procedures support effective decision making, providing guidelines on what staff and volunteers can and cannot do, what decisions they can make and what activities are appropriate.
All organisations working with adults, children and young people and / or their parents and carers should have robust policies and procedures to ensure that they are safe, workers know and understand their roles and responsibilities and how to respond appropriately if they have concerns about a person’s safety or welfare.
Note - Some of the information below specifically refers to children and young people, but may also be useful for organisations and providers working with adults.
The NSPCC has developed guidance and a wall chart entitled ‘Are They Safe?’ specifically for voluntary and community groups. These set out expectations and responsibilities for settings and help to identify areas where improvement may be required.
NSPCC safeguarding standards and guidance for safeguarding children, young people and adults aged 0-25 in the voluntary and community sector.
NSPCC child protection resource pack to help assess and meet the learning needs of staff and volunteers within organisations.
If you run a voluntary, faith or community group you need to make sure that the people that work for you (either paid or voluntary) have been recruited using correct recruitment and vetting procedures. By following the correct procedures you will be preventing unsuitable people from working with children and young people in your organisation.
This means that you need to do thorough checks on all applicants as part of the recruitment process and references are always taken up prior to employment and registration – this includes the appointment of senior managers, committee members and volunteers.
There may be individuals that you already know in your community that would like to volunteer their time to your organisation. You may feel that because you know them that they would not wish to hurt a child, but sadly this may not be the case. It is important that you follow the same rigorous recruitment process for people that you know as you would when employing the services of any other member of staff.
Organisations must ensure they have in place safe recruitment policies and procedures, including Disclosure and Barring Service checks for all relevant staff, including agency staff, students and volunteers working with children.
A safer recruitment process for both paid and volunteer roles should include:
- Specific time set aside for planning the process and structure of the recruitment process
- People within the organisation who are involved in the recruitment and selection of staff should have attended safer recruitment training or attended an equivalent course
- Clear job role and person specifications, setting down the boundaries and expectations of the role including a statement of responsibility and requirements for safeguarding
- Your commitment to safeguarding should be included in any job advert
- It is essential to ensure that no individual takes up employment or voluntary work with children or young people until identity, references and relevant DBS checks have been completed
- Face to face interviews are always conducted
- The use of application forms, not CVs
- Clear messages about your organisations commitment to safeguarding should be sent to candidates from the outset.
Disclosure and barring checks are the name for what was known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check.
What are they?
A DBS check should be included as part of your recruitment process. It helps your organisation to determine whether a person is a suitable candidate for a particular role by providing information about their criminal history.
There are two levels of check:
(i) Standard checks reveal information relating to spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings from the Police National Computer (PNC).
(ii) Enhanced checks reveal the same information as Standard Checks but also check against information held by local police forces (for instance, relevant on-going investigations). When specified, an Enhanced Check can also be used to check against lists of people prohibited from working with children and vulnerable adults. These are known as ‘barred lists’.
DBS checks are free for volunteers. The DBS defines a ‘volunteer’ as a person who is “engaged in an activity which involves spending time unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative.”
Who should have a DBS check?
Anyone who works with children and young people regularly should have a Disclosure and barring check (DBS). Regular activity means:
- Unsupervised activities: teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children, or providing advice / guidance on well-being, or driving a vehicle only for children.
- Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact, for example schools, children's homes, childcare premises (but not work by supervised volunteers).Work under (1) or (2) is Regulated Activity only if done regularly. In this context, ‘regular’ means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on 4 or more days in a 30-day period (or in some cases, overnight).
- Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional, even if done once.
- Registered childminding; and foster-carers.
How do I get a DBS check?
Individuals cannot request a DBS check for themselves, the request for a DBS check must come from the organisation recruiting the individual.
A DBS check should be requested as part of an organisation’s pre-recruitment checks following an offer of employment, including volunteering roles and applications for specific licences.
For further information on DBS checks please see:
Hvoss provide information, guidance and support to voluntary community organisations and groups in Herefordshire. They offer a range of support services to ensure that charities, community groups, village hall committees, sports and leisure clubs and social enterprises can thrive and continue to make a huge contribution to life in the county. For more information visit their website http://www.hvoss.org.uk/
Commissioners and providers across the health and social care sectors play a critical part in safeguarding adults, both on the front line and at a strategic level, as partners on safeguarding adults boards.
This resource is intended to support the joined up development of Making Safeguarding Personal across providers and commissioners in health and social care and signposts to sources of advice on fundamental principles for safeguarding adults which underpin Making Safeguarding Personal.
What might ‘good’ look like for health and social care commissioners and providers?
The housing sector plays a critical part in safeguarding adults, both on the front line and at a strategic level, as partners on safeguarding adults boards. It aims to support housing commissioners and providers to make safeguarding personal.
This resource is part of a suite of resources to support safeguarding adults boards and partners to develop and promote Making Safeguarding Personal. These resources describe what ‘good’ might look like in Making Safeguarding Personal and promote ownership of this agenda within and across all organisations.
Making Safeguarding Personal: What might 'good' look like for those working in the housing sector?