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What is safeguarding?

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Creating a safe and welcoming environment, where everyone is respected and valued, is at the heart of safeguarding.

It’s about making sure your organisation is run in a way that actively prevents harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect. It’s also about being ready to respond safely and well if there is a problem.

Everyone in the organisation has a role to play in safeguarding. It should become part of your day to day activities.

Every organisation that delivers charitable activities has a duty to safeguard volunteers, staff members, participants and donors.

Want to convince someone safeguarding matters? Share our video of these reasons to do safeguarding well.

Safeguarding for everyone

To do safeguarding well you need to develop habits, practices, rules and procedures which keep people safe whilst they are taking part in your activities.

You also need to know how to recognise and report abuse or harm affecting people your organisation has contact with, wherever that abuse has occurred, so that you can help them speak up and take action.

Even if you don’t interact with people directly, you still need to think about your safeguarding responsibilities and how you respond to them.

Differences between safeguarding children and adults

How you meet your safeguarding duties must be proportional to the level of risk involved. The time and effort you will need to spend on meeting that duty increases when you work with children or adults at risk.

Read our definition of an 'adult at risk' on our page understanding the risks.

It’s important to understand that both children and adults at risk need safeguarding, but that there are different approaches to take.

Need to help people understand why you need more than one approach to safeguarding? Share our video about treating children and adults differently.

Further resources to get you started

Last reviewed: 18 June 2021

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 18 June 2021

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