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What does the role include?

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If your organisation works with children or adults at risk, the Charity Commission expects your organisation to have a safeguarding lead. This is generally the individual who would respond to concerns about a child or adult at risk and ensure referral to statutory services.

If your organisation works with children, it must follow the Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance. This requires you to have both a board level lead and an operationally focussed designated safeguarding lead.

A wider range of charities have also found it useful to have a designated safeguarding lead. What you require will depend ion the size and complexity of your organisation, the types of activities you deliver and your level of contact with people at risk of harm.

Responsibilities of the designated safeguarding lead

As the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) you act as the main source of support, advice and expertise for safeguarding in your organisation. The details of how you carry out your role will have some differences when your organisation primarily works with adults at risk or children, but the overall responsibilities will be the same.

  • Advise and support the senior team in developing and establishing your organisation’s approach to safeguarding.
  • Play a lead role in maintaining and reviewing your organisation’s plan for safeguarding.
  • Coordinate the distribution of policies, procedures and safeguarding resources throughout your organisation.
  • Advise on training needs and development, providing training where appropriate.
  • Provide safeguarding advice and support to staff and volunteers.
  • Manage safeguarding concerns, allegations or incidents reported to your organisation.
  • Manage referrals to key safeguarding agencies (eg social services or police) of any incidents or allegations of abuse and harm.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 06 December 2018

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