When voluntary groups or charitable organisations are responsible for children and/or vulnerable groups, there are particular steps to take and issues to consider. Only then can you properly assess the risks and ensure you have the correct standards in place.

Top tips to reduce risk

To help you ensure your organisation is taking the right steps to keep children and vulnerable people safe and secure, we’ve compiled the following checklist & added a safeguarding guide. How does your organisation stack up?

  • Are your organisation’s staff or volunteers suitable to work with children? Your recruitment process should include reference checks and legal checks such as the DBS.
  • Does your organisation have a child protection policy and code of conduct, as well as clear procedures regarding concerns about abuse? These should be visible for inspection on request.
  • Has your organisation appointed a welfare officer responsible for procedures and dealing with concerns?
  • Do you have procedures which address rules regarding anti bullying?
  • Do you have a Health & Safety policy? And is this effectively communicated throughout the organisation?
  • Does your organisation have clear guidelines for administering medicine or intimate care needs?
  • Are there procedures in place when the workers take children on outings, and are proper risk assessments carried out in advance?
  • Are there procedures in place when dealing with children on a one-to-one basis?
  • Are there appropriate ratios of staff to children?

Other considerations

As well as the checklist above, there are a number of other things to keep a lookout for to help ensure your organisation provides a safe, happy environment for those who need it most:

  • Inappropriate practices – rough play, no parents allowed to be present, inappropriate punishments
  • Lack of preparation for activities
  • Unsafe, poorly maintained equipment
  • Inexperienced play leaders, no reference/legal checks
  • Unhappy children or vulnerable groups which cannot be explained
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of written procedures for health and safety and recruitment processes, and reference checks
  • Inappropriate ratios of staff to children according to the activity and location etc.