Voluntary and community groups play an important role in providing services and activities for children, young people and adults. In UK law, someone is a child until they are 18 years old. It is essential that the services and activities your group offers are as safe as they can be, and to ensure this, there is a need to have safeguards in place.
Having safeguards in place will help your group protect children, young people and adults from harm and abuse as well as help staff and volunteers know what to do if they are worried or concerned about a child or adult.
Wales Safeguarding Procedures
The new Wales Safeguarding Procedures launched this week provide guidance to practitioners involved in safeguarding on how things should be done. The attached FAQ document provides more background information on the procedures and how to access them.
Safeguarding Duties for Trustees
Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities should be a governance priority for all charities. The following is a link to guidance which will support trustees to put systems in place that will protect all who come in contact with their organisation.
Welsh Government made an announcement recently saying that emergency legislation will ‘ease’ rules on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
This will not remove checks altogether, but allow a check from one organization to be used at another. This is intended to allow a greater number of people to volunteer more easily and to allow them to be more simply utilised in areas of greatest need.
WCVA has written a briefing paper, highlighting what the voluntary sector needs to know about DBS checks as the COVID-19 crisis progresses.
The paper covers:
- The procedure behind basic checks
- Suggesting wording for a disclosure form
- Guidance when your new volunteers already have a DBS certificate
- How to view DBS certificates via videoconferencing software
- Formal and informal portable DBS checks
- Reminders for when first applying for a new check
- Guidance on adult first checks
- Some useful links
Suzanne Mollison, WCVA Safeguarding Officer, said: ‘The community response to meeting the needs of those who are most at risk during the coronavirus epidemic has been impressive, and even overwhelming. It is so important that everyone keeps up to date with the latest guidance, from all reputable sources, about keeping themselves, and those around them, safe. Things are changing rapidly around us, but our response should be measured, and where possible, calm. We may feel under demand to deliver at speed but should plan as if building for the long term.
‘DBS checks are a vitally important tool to prevent all manner of harm and abuse as new volunteers and services come online. Like all tools we should use them wisely, and within the broader context of good safeguarding practice. The circumstances may place those at risk under greater threat than previously known and this should never be overlooked.’
Read the full briefing paper here.
WCVA publishes a daily briefing on the voluntary sector’s response to the coronavirus crisis. You can sign up for it here.
Protecting Older People in Wales from Crime and Scams
Older people in Wales should continue to be vigilant to protect themselves from crime and scams during the Covid-19 pandemic as they can be a particular target for criminals.
That’s the message from an action group1 of organisations working together to ensure that older people are safeguarded and protected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Criminals are exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown measures to steal from and defraud older people throughout Wales, using sophisticated techniques to get individuals to part with money, share personal information or buy goods or services that do not exist.
Non-statutory guide for practitioners
The Welsh Government has produced this non-statutory guide to remind practitioners working across agencies of their responsibilities to safeguard children and to support them in responding to concerns about children at risk.
This guide links to and should be used with the national Wales Safeguarding Procedures . You can download the procedures onto your mobile phone. Links for downloading the App are at the bottom of the landing page on the website at the link above. Once you have downloaded the App you do not need to have a Wi-Fi connection to view them.
The Stop it Now public awareness campaign is aimed at tackling the increased viewing and sharing of illegal images of children.
The campaign website offers a wide range of resources and information to help people stop viewing and sharing sexual images, and to support the families and friends of people who access sexual images of children.
The following links have been provided by Conwy Youth Service to help with internet safety.
Internet safety settings:
Facebook family safety centre – https://www.facebook.com/safety
Information around cyber bullying – http://www.bullying.co.uk/cyberbullying
Google family safety page – http://www.google.co.uk/goodtoknow/familysafety/
Skype Security page – www.skype.com/en/security
North Wales Safeguarding Board
North Wales Safeguarding Children Board
North Wales Safeguarding Adult Board
The Board has the overall responsibility for challenging relevant agencies in the area so that:
The objectives of a Safeguarding Adults Board are: