Safeguarding

If an applicant/grantee has any safeguarding concerns about a volunteer or representative of the Foundation, they should contact the Staff Safeguarding Lead. The Staff Safeguarding Lead is Philip Howard, Head of Grants (email: philiphoward@clothworkers.co.uk; telephone: 020 7397 0105). 

The Clothworkers’ Foundation is a registered charity (Charity number: 274100) which aims to improve the lives of people and communities (particularly those facing disadvantage), primarily through grants to charitable and not-for-profit organisations. The Foundation was set up by the Clothworkers’ Company which remains its corporate trustee. Although the Foundation, its staff and volunteer visitors have infrequent contact with the service users of the organisations it supports, there are occasions when staff or volunteer visitors may visit applicants or grantees and meet service users including children, young people and/or vulnerable adults.

The Foundation is committed to equality and safeguarding children, young people, and vulnerable adults and the below guidance is designed to prevent risk and to provide advice on how to proceed if risk is identified. The document also sets out the safeguarding responsibilities of all employees, trustees and volunteers when assessing applications, visiting and meeting with applicants and grantees.

Policy Statement

The Association of Charitable Foundations recognises safeguarding as the responsibility to protect beneficiaries and others who come into contact with your organisation, which aligns to the approach taken by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Furthermore, The Clothworkers’ Foundation recognises that all three UK charity regulators have emphasised that trustees have a legal duty to act with care and diligence, which means taking issues such as safeguarding seriously and implementing the policies and procedures necessary to enact this.

The Foundation awards grants to organisations delivering services across the UK and to a lesser extent, internationally. Legislation and guidance for safeguarding differs across the UK but the principles of good safeguarding practice are the same.

The Foundation believes:

  • All children and adults have the right to be safe from harm and must be able to live free from fear of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • All disclosures of abuse or neglect should be taken seriously.
  • All Foundation staff, trustees and volunteers should be familiar with this safeguarding policy and receive an appropriate level of training.

The policy should be clearly communicated to staff and volunteers, accessible to those who interact with the Foundation and reviewed on an annual basis. The board and staff should be familiar with the safeguarding policy. The policy is intended to be a reflection of a lived safeguarding culture within the Foundation.

Definitions

Child - A child is any person under the age of eighteen years.

Vulnerable adult – A vulnerable adult is a person with care or support needs.

Abuse – Abuse is any action by another person that causes significant harm to a child or vulnerable adult. It can be physical, sexual, psychological abuse or through exploitation, or financial and material abuse. Neglect and acts of omission are also examples of abuse. 

Grantee/applicant – An organisation whose application is being assessed by The Foundation or who has received a grant from The Foundation.

Volunteers – Foundation volunteers are those who visit or meet with applicants or grantees on behalf of the Foundation. They will usually be Members of The Clothworkers’ Company.

Staff Safeguarding Lead – The member of staff who acts as first point of contact for safeguarding concerns leads the review of the Foundation’s safeguarding procedures.

Safeguarding Trustee – The Trustee with overall responsibility for safeguarding procedures at the Foundation.

Assessing Applications

It is the responsibility of each organisation working with children or vulnerable adults to ensure that they keep an up to date safeguarding policy and encourage a culture of active safeguarding.  Any organisation which receives a grant from The Foundation is required to sign our Terms and Conditions. One of these conditions states, ‘You must have a written policy and set of procedures to safeguard children and vulnerable people, and agree to make such relevant documents available to us on request.’ The Foundation may also request to see an applicant’s safeguarding policy as part of due diligence carried out during the assessment of an application.

Recruitment and Training of Staff and Volunteers

Staff, volunteers and trustees will be made aware of this safeguarding policy. Furthermore, all Foundation staff go through a recruitment process which includes an interview and request for references. Volunteers visiting organisations on behalf of the Foundation complete an application form, undergo induction training and receive a visitor guidance pack before carrying out any visits. Staff and volunteers will be provided with an appropriate level of safeguarding training, depending on their role and likelihood of contact with vulnerable adults and children. Refresher training will be provided to staff and volunteers as appropriate.

Staff and volunteers will be made aware of the Foundation’s Staff Safeguarding Lead and their contact details.

The Foundation's Safeguarding Leads

The Head of Grants (or, in his absence, the Senior Grants Officer) is the Staff Safeguarding Lead at the Clothworkers’ Foundation. The Safeguarding Trustee is Lucy Rawson. The roles of the Staff Safeguarding Lead and the Safeguarding Trustee are to:

  • Oversee safeguarding activity in the organisation
  • Be proactive on safeguarding for vulnerable adults and children, identifying and minimising possible risks to prevent abuse and neglect where possible
  • Ensure all staff receive safeguarding training appropriate to their role
  • Support and advise staff who are dealing with safeguarding concerns
  • Ensure the Foundation’s safeguarding policy for is updated regularly
  • Monitor safeguarding activities within the organisation and provide data that can help improve future services
  • Provide clear information for volunteers and representatives of the Foundation on keeping themselves safe and raising safeguarding concerns
  • Keep abreast of changes and developments in safeguarding across the UK

Sageguarding Responsibilities of Employees, Volunteers, Managers

All staff, trustees and volunteers have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with the safeguarding policy and visitor guidance when visiting or meeting with applicants or grantees. This includes knowledge of the reporting procedure for concerns and who the current Staff Safeguarding Lead is. They must take all disclosures of abuse or neglect seriously, and follow the established reporting procedure as soon as is safe.

A representative of The Foundation should never be left alone with, and must never request to be left alone with, a child or vulnerable adult when visiting or meeting an applicant or grantee.

In addition to the roles and responsibilities for all staff, senior management must:

  • Ensure staff are trained and supported to enable them to identify and respond to concerns about abuse, neglect and substandard practice
  • Ensure the Foundation’s safeguarding lead understands when it is appropriate to raise a safeguarding concern with the local authority
  • Work with HR to deal with allegations or concerns relating to any staff member

Responding to Safeguarding Concerns

Reporting Procedures:

The Foundation recognises that members of staff, trustees, volunteers and other representatives of The Foundation have a role to play in safeguarding vulnerable adults, children and young people, and preventing their abuse and neglect.  All complaints, allegations or suspicions must be taken seriously and a record kept of safeguarding incidents. The appendix to this document provides information on how to spot signs of abuse and neglect.

If there is a safeguarding concern at an applicant/grantee organisation, it is important that a written record of the information is made as soon as possible which should include the name of the complainant, the individual who has allegedly been abused, when and where the incident took place, who was present, and the account of what happened. It is important that no promises of confidentiality are given to the complainant. It should then be reported to The Foundation’s Staff Safeguarding Lead. The MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) for the Local Authority in which the charity is based should also be contacted by the volunteer (contact details are available on Local Authority website). If a MASH form is completed a copy should be sent to the Staff Safeguarding Lead.

If an applicant/grantee has any safeguarding concerns about a volunteer or representative of the Foundation, they should contact the Staff Safeguarding Lead.

The Clothworkers' Foundation Safeguarding Policy was reviewed and approved in June 2019.

 

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