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You should have a professional relationship with the person or people in charge of safeguarding at your organisation.
Safeguarding in your organisation may not be managed by a single individual – it could also be covered by a team. It might only be part of their job, so you must find out who’s responsible. This must be a priority when you start a new job. When a new designated safeguarding lead is recruited, speak to them as soon as you can, to establish a relationship between them and the communications and marketing team.
You should discuss:
It’s also useful to speak to the charity’s leadership or trustees about forming a better link between safeguarding and marketing and communications. This shows safeguarding is being taken seriously and gives both teams space for discussion.
You don’t have to have an encyclopedic knowledge of them, but you should be familiar with your safeguarding policies and procedures.
These should be readily available to you as an employee (and to the public, which we cover in the next section). If it proves difficult to access them, this should be cause for concern and should be discussed with the safeguarding lead immediately.
When you look at the policies, think about these questions.
The Charity Commission states that your safeguarding policies should be publicly available. At NCVO we say that best practice is for the policies to be on your website. If your safeguarding policies aren’t on your website, you must think about why they’re not online yet and if there is a good reason for them not to be.
If your policies are already online, think about what is being shown on your website.
In addition to your website, there might be information on your safeguarding policy in other booklets or leaflets that your charity produces. The same questions apply to these.
If your charity provides NHS or adult social care services, it must, by law, follow the Accessible Information Standard (AIS).
Does your communications and marketing calendar include safeguarding? Safeguarding could be part of internal communications such as staff newsletters or employee engagement activities such as away days.
Proactively talking to external audiences about safeguarding can encourage others to engage with the issue. This means your charity will gain a reputation for strong safeguarding measures.
Consider ways you could engage people by:
If you’re externally showing that your charity has strong policies and best practice, staff will feel proud of working for it. Similar activities could also work within an internal communications campaign – encouraging staff across your charity to think more about safeguarding.
Safeguarding is so fundamental to effective running of charities, that any significant failure in this area is likely to attract damaging media attention.
Apply the ‘front-page test’. If something safeguarding related was to go wrong, what is the worst possible story about it that could appear on the front page of a newspaper? You must be prepared to deal with the worst-case scenario. If you don’t have a crisis communications plan in place, either for general or safeguarding-specific issues, you should consider creating one.
Things to include in a plan
Our guide for CEOs includes specific guidance on managing reputational risks and dealing with public concerns.
Last reviewed: 06 December 2018Help us improve this content
Resources and guides to help your organisation do safeguarding well
Understand the basics of safeguarding and why it's important
Find out what safeguarding means for your organisation
What the Charity Commission expects you to do, and the main areas of activity to focus on
Find out more about your legal and regulatory responsibilities in safeguarding
Get advice on the safeguarding challenges of working outside the UK
Get regular updates on NCVO's help, support and services