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Sample safeguarding questions

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For interview

Whether you’re interviewing a new staff member formally, or chatting to a potential volunteer, choose questions that are appropriate to their role.

  • What is your understanding of safeguarding?
  • What have you done in the last 12 months to improve safeguarding in the workplace?
  • Tell us about a time when you have had to challenge the views of someone more senior than yourself in relation to safeguarding concerns. What was the outcome?
  • Safeguarding children is an important part of our work. Can you give us some examples of how you would contribute to making the charity a safer environment for children?
  • What are the main reasons that have led you to want to work for our charity?
  • Give us an example of when you have had a safeguarding concern. What happened?
  • Tell me about a time when a child behaved in a way that caused you concern. How did you deal with that? Who else did you involve?
  • How do you feel when someone has an opinion that differs from your own? How do you behave in that situation?
  • Tell me about a time when you’ve had to handle making sure you treat an adult at risk as an adult, and let them make their own decisions, even whilst you had concerns. What was the outcome?

For references

These are potential questions to use when taking references, that are particularly useful when thinking about safeguarding.

For character references

  • How are you related to the candidate?
  • How long have you known the candidate?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • What are their strengths?
  • Do you have any concerns around this person working with children/young people/adults at risk?

For work related references

  • How does the candidate relate to others?
  • How did the candidate react to stressful situations?
  • Would you hire the candidate?
  • How long have they worked for you and in what capacity?

If this is an employee role, you can also use our wider checklist for references.

For exit interviews

These questions are designed to help people speak up about something they may not have mentioned before, so that you can use exit interviews to improve your overall approach to safeguarding.

  • How would you describe your working relationships with your line manager and other colleagues?
  • What was most and least satisfying about your job? What would you change?
  • Are there any safeguarding issues we should be made aware of?
  • Is there anything we could have done differently that would have influenced you to stay longer?
  • Can you offer any other comments that will enable us to understand why you’re leaving, how we can improve, and what we can do to become a better organisation?
  • Were there any times your work environment was not as comfortable as you would have liked?

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 06 December 2018

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