A Guest Post from Barnet Council’s Safeguarding Adults Board
All voluntary, community and faith sector [‘VCFS’] organisations who work with adults at risk have safeguarding duties to protect children and adults with care and support need from abuse and neglect. These duties arise where there is reasonable cause to suspect that an adult is at risk of abuse or neglect and may be unable, because of illness, impairment or disability to protect themselves. A national Guidance framework provides further support on making decisions to carry out Safeguarding Adults enquiries. In addition, those working or volunteering within charitable organisations should be aware of additional duties and expectations and resources to support effective safeguarding practices, namely:
- Government Portal to support charities with safeguarding referrals
- NCVO safeguarding Resources
- Social Care Institute for Excellence Guidance about charities and safeguarding
As Barnet Safeguarding Adults Board, we want to support local voluntary, community and faith sector organisations to safeguard adults at risk and promote wellbeing. We are proud of the active engagement from partners across the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector at our Board meetings and within the work carried out. You can review our current strategic plan and annual reports of the work completed on our Website.
We have created a checklist as a way of helping VCFS partners reflect on how to meet the safeguarding responsibilities and build into your organisational structures cultures that strive for best practice. Completing this self-evaluation is optional, but we hope you will find it useful.
Download the Checklist >>> VCFS safeguarding checklist for Adults 2022 Barnet Council
After you have completed the checklist, we can support you by:
- Providing personal feedback on your checklist, identifying your strengths and areas for further development
- Directing you to other resources online or local voluntary organisations who may be able to help you
- Hosting a learning event for everyone who completed the checklist to share ideas and discuss challenges
- Using the information from the checklists to guide the training and support we give to all VCFS organisations in Barnet.
Here is some advice for getting the most out of the checklist:
- Be honest and open about how you are doing, so we can help you improve
- Talk to others in your organisation to test out what they think – for example, do they know where to find your safeguarding policy?
What good might look like – this is some examples and links to help you think about what your organisation should be doing. Every organisation is different so these may not all apply to you or you may do things another way. Not all of your legal duties will be covered in this checklist so be sure to still look at the Charity Commission’s Guidance about the safeguarding responsibilities of organisations
- Your self-evaluation and evidence – write about what your organisation is currently doing in this area. Giving a few examples of how you do this and evidence (e.g. linking to a copy of your policy) will help you and us to understand better.
- RAG – rate your organisation’s current work as:
- Green: this is an area of strength, where you have several examples of how you are meeting the standard, but you may still have a couple of points to improve
- Amber: your work in this area is ok but you know you want to improve
- Red: you are not meeting the standard and you need to work on this as a priority, so you meet your safeguarding duties
- Actions – what you are going to do over the next year to improve. Try to keep these clear and possible (e.g., not ‘all our staff will be safeguarding experts’, but instead ‘we will give introductory safeguarding training to all our staff and volunteers who work with adults with care and support needs). Feel free to ask for help, advice or support from us here.
If you have any questions or want help with the checklist, please contact us at SafeguardingAdultsBoard@Barnet.gov.uk
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