Safeguarding for Trustees

  • Published: 30th April 2020
Safer Culture North East has provided safeguarding guidelines for Trustees.

Who is this factsheet for?

This factsheet is for Trustees of organisations who are supporting Staff and Volunteers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Links to more information is available at the end of this document.

Key Messages

  • Safeguarding means keeping people – children and adults – safe from abuse.
  • Anyone can be at risk of abuse.
  • We all have a duty of care to keep people safe from harm.
  • Types of abuse and harm include physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, neglect, radicalisation, discriminatory, financial.

Ensuring Best practice during uncertain times

Understanding your responsibilities as a trustee

  • Your organisation should have a safeguarding policy and trustees are responsible for making sure it is regularly updated
  • When your policy is updated this should be communicated to all trustees, staff and volunteers
  • Trustees should be keeping regularly updated with information regarding COVID-19 and the impact it has on their organisations current processes
  • Ensure other trustees, staff and volunteers know how to report a safeguarding concern and contact the local authority safeguarding team
  • Your safeguarding policy should be reviewed when the support or service you offer changes
  • Trustees should continuously look at ways to improve the safeguarding culture within their organisation

Having a safeguarding policy

The policy should include:

  • A Safeguarding Statement which is a commitment to staff, volunteers and services users ensuring their safety
  • The policy should state possible risks and definitions of abuse, harm and neglect
  • It should also identify roles for appropriate DBS check and how to process a request, this process had changed during COVID-19 to ensure applications can still be processed
  • There should be a risk assessment process in place identifying risk to staff, volunteers and services users with regards to safeguarding and how these risks can be mitigated
  • There should be a named designated safeguarding contact and additional contacts when the safeguarding lead is not available
  • The policy should detail how everyone within the organisation can recognise, respond to, report and record a safeguarding concern
  • There should be information about safeguarding training available and this should be reviewed regularly to ensure it is current and relevant
  • The policy should include a procedure for working with other organisations
  • The policy should include a process for review on an annual basis or when there are changes to services or support

How to adapt your policy due to COVID-19

  • You should consider how you will be doing things differently and how this effects your current policy
  • You should review your current safeguarding process
  • There are temporary changes to ID checking guidelines being made as a result of COVID-19
  • ID documents can be viewed over video link and scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS being submitted.
  • Make sure new volunteers are aware of your safeguarding policy
  • Provide Safeguarding online training to new volunteers
  • Consider processes to ensure safety of volunteers and staff during this time
  • Inform other trustees, staff and volunteers of any changes to policy

Additional advice and guidance

  • If you are a new volunteer see our safeguarding factsheet for volunteers
  • If you are a new volunteer-led or community aid group see our safeguarding factsheet for community groups
  • If your services have changed to provide online support see our safeguarding factsheet for online services

Where to get more information