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Use this page to understand why you might want to have a designated safeguarding lead. It also sets out other key roles you need people to play to create a safer organisation.
Safeguarding is most successful when everyone knows their rights. You should make it clear to all staff, volunteers, people you work with or those who make donations that you intend to keep them safe. They must know they have a right to ask questions and know who to tell if they think something is not right.
Everyone needs to play their part in keeping children and adults at risk safe. To do safeguarding well, you must make sure people take on the right roles and responsibilities.
Having a designated safeguarding lead in the organisation is the absolute minimum you need to do safeguarding well. This person should attend training to help them carry out their role. A designated safeguarding lead is responsible for managing referrals to social services, reporting when problems are discovered and keeping internal records up to date.
In a small organisation, a designated safeguarding lead will usually be a trustee or management committee member. Even though this person may have multiple responsibilities in your organisation, their role as a designated safeguarding lead should be taken seriously and not seen as an ‘add-on’ to their other work. Depending on what your organisation does, you may have different leads for safeguarding adults and children. In a larger organisation, they may be a staff member.
The designated safeguarding lead must connect with the local authority to keep up-to-date with the separate processes for children and adults at risk. If your organisation works with children regularly and follows the ‘Working together to safeguard children’ guidelines, there are additional responsibilities. The same is true if you work regularly with adults at risk.
One trustee takes the lead, but all trustees need to have an awareness of safeguarding and lead by example. This means showing commitment to upholding your code of conduct and making safeguarding part of all the planning your organisation does.
Trustees should model best practice in relation to:
Trustee of an organisation that works with children? Learn more about specific safeguarding measures you should take on NSPCC Learning.
You should make sure you know about the help available outside your organisation. It’s useful to become a member of a safeguarding network that’s connected to your location or the type of work you do. You will always have local authority contacts who have a responsibility to help. There are also national helplines to turn to.
Last reviewed: 18 June 2021Help us improve this content
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