Safeguarding and child protection in the voluntary and community sector
This section contains information on safeguarding and child protection, specifically tailored to the voluntary and community youth sector. Find out about:
What is 'safeguarding'?: an introduction to keeping young people safe
Sound Systems: an accrediation scheme for voluntary and community organisations to develop and use safeguarding policies and procedures when working with young people
Safe Systems: a scheme to help small to medium voluntary and community organisations achieve good safeguarding practice - an introductory level of achievement towards Sound Systems
Keeping it Safe: a resource developed by NCVYS providing a young person-centred approach to safety and child protection
Information and resources: links to useful external resources
What is 'safeguarding'?
Safeguarding looks at all types of harm and their prevention rather than just looking at abuse and neglect, as child protection does. Its broader aim is to take a preventative and precautionary approach to planning and procedures that are in place to protect young people and vulnerable adults from any potential harm or damage’ (NCVYS 2010). Also known as the 4 P’s
Safeguarding refers to all aspects of the organisations work no matter the size and is everyone’s responsibility i.e. paid staff, volunteers, employers, external contractors and parents/carers.
In law a child is a child until their 18th birthday and this applies to all domestic legislation. There is no legal definition of a young person and different programs work with ‘young people’ of different age groups, e.g. 11-16, 14-19, or up to 25. There is no official age at which a ‘child’ becomes a ‘young person’. Please note that young people aged between 18 – 25 years who have a registered disability are still covered under the Children Act.
NCVYS continues to develop the Sound Systems Accreditation project, an initiative that supports voluntary and community organisations to develop and use safeguarding policies and procedures when working with young people.
As part of this we developed the first set of safety standards and guidelines that take young people's perspectives as their starting point. Written by the voluntary sector for the voluntary sector, Keeping it Safe: a young person-centred approach to safety and child protection has achieved widespread endorsement and praise. In 2011, NCVYS launched the third edition of this document, which offers even more up-to-date guidance on writing and implementing policies and procedures in all aspects of safeguarding, and current information about national policy.
In August 2013 an extensive two phase review of the whole programme was started. The updated version on legislation and guidance will be available in November 2013 and will be launched at joint conference, Creative Collisions, on Wednesday 6 November 2013. We will be launching a National quality mark in Safeguarding Young People along with details and comprehensive guidance. If you would like to be involved in the review or would like to be part of the steering group please contact Isabelle@ncvys.org.uk.
''Keeping it Safe' remains an impressively comprehensive and practical document, and I am sure it will continue to serve as an invaluable tool for practitioners from across the voluntary and community and beyond, particularly as we prepare for the implementation of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 from autumn 2008.'Parmjit Dhanda MP, the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families Department for Education and Skills
The Sound Systems safeguarding work at NCVYS has three aspects:
Keeping it Safe: a young person-centred approach to safety and child protection: a comprehensive guide including recommended standards in all areas of policy and practice in safeguarding young people, guidelines on how to reach these standards as well as sample forms and templates to help you get there. It also incorporates a workbook which is a useful tool to measure your own organization against the standards, and which you will use to work towards Sound Systems Accreditation;
Training, advice and consultancy: to enable organisations to implement the standards and develop their own policies and procedures;
Sound Systems accreditation: a kitemark developed by NCVYS which can be achieved to demonstrate an organisation’s commitment to safeguarding and child protection.
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