On 5th July CaSE Insurance gathered at the Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB) offices with a number of Charity sector high-fliers for a seminar on Safeguarding. With talks from David Pearson, Founder Director of the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS); Val Floy, COO at The Children’s Society; and, Claire Whittle and Emma Dowden-Teale from BWB, this was a superb opportunity to learn from some of the Charity sector’s most experienced in Safeguarding and Welfare.
Val Floy introduced us to the fantastic work of the Children’s Society and provided the first key takeaway of the day, distinguishing between Child Protection and Safeguarding. Val explained that the former involves recognising abuse and neglect and taking action, whereas the latter, Safeguarding, looks at prevention and keeping the vulnerable safe from a wider variety of potential harm.
Takeaway 1: Safeguarding is proactive and preventative, as well as reactive.
David Pearson joined us and explained the brilliant services that CCPAS provide and their ten standards to assist organisations to operate safely and in a manner that complies with relevant UK law and good practice. David also spoke passionately about safeguarding, charities’ responsibilities and, interestingly, how the CCPAS themselves approach risk management. He described how the CCPAS Board follow their own advice, take their annual risk assessments seriously and have a Board Committee with professional safeguarding experience who identify and review high risk activities.
David continued by quoting the Charity Commission and then reminded us that abuse is not based on intention, but on harm caused and thus a failure in safeguarding – a failure to take actions to prevent harm – can constitute abuse.
Takeaway 2: Failure to take steps to prevent harm constitutes abuse.
Val continued to delve into the ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ Guide provided by the Government in March 2015 and revealed some key messages in this document. Firstly, the Charity Commission may view a failure to protect children as misconduct or mismanagement. Val continues to explain the three areas of safeguarding requirements in organisations as ‘leadership and accountability’, ‘the organisation and its beneficiaries’ and ‘people and risk’.
David and Val both provided fantastic insight into the first of these areas – leadership and accountability – which has formed the third takeaway from our CaSE Insurance Safeguarding Seminar: Working Together 2015 stipulates that organisations working with children should have a senior, board-level (trustee) lead taking responsibility for safeguarding arrangements.
Takeaway 3: Your organisation should have a board/trustee level lead on safeguarding.
This is a vital message with serious ramifications for many organisations if they are dealing with safeguarding and are not appropriately structured at a senior level. All organisations working with children, young people under 18 years of age and vulnerable adults should review their board and ensure that they are meeting this key responsibility featured in the ‘Working Together 2015’ Guide.