Keeping Children and Adults Safe – Everyone’s Responsibility!
There are many forms of abuse and it is paramount that those working with vulnerable groups create safe environments, know how to recognise the signs of abuse and how to report it. The “go to” standards and guidance for organisations working with children, young people and adults at risk, are Keeping Children Safe: Our Duty to Care and Keeping Adults Safe: A Shared Responsibility.
For 2017, Volunteer Now has updated these two major publications to reflect policy, legislation, societal changes and developments that have an impact on safeguarding. The work has been supported by the Department of Health and the publications endorsed by them as best practice resources.
Keeping Children Safe: Our Duty to Care outlines the standards and provides guidance on keeping children safe when involved in activities through the voluntary and community sector.
Keeping Adults Safe: A Shared Responsibility outlines the standards and provides guidance on keeping adults safe when involved in activities through the voluntary, community and independent sectors.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma and the Commissioner for Older People, Eddie Lynch helped Volunteer Now launch the publications.
The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch welcomed the updated publication and said:
I believe that all older people deserve to feel safe and secure and everyone has a part to play in this. Community and voluntary organisations must make sure that they properly assess those at risk, take swift action when abuse is suspected and seek to continually improve their complaints procedures. Staff and volunteers must be properly trained and developed so that they can feel confident and supported in reporting concerns about incidences of abuse. I welcome the launch of this updated publication which provides standards and guidance for the community and voluntary sector working with adults at risk, including older people.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People added
This very welcome resource outlines the practicalities of the duty we all have to our children and young people, to keep them safe. Keeping children safe, and identifying when that safety may have been compromised, can often feel daunting and overwhelming. However I know from experience, that this guide will assist those working with children and young people to be more confident when navigating child protection processes, ensuring that the child or young person remains at the centre of all considerations.
These free publications are available at www.volunteernow.co.uk/publications/?category=7&type=0&Search.x=26&Search.y=12 They contain clear standards of practice, criteria to meet the standard, supporting information for each criteria as well as resources and templates for organisations to use.
Training is also available to help groups implement best practice. Visit www.volunteernow.co.uk/training-and-standards?all=1
Photo L-R: Wendy Osborne, CEO, Volunteer Now, Koulla Yiasouma, Commissioner for Children and Young People and Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People.
Volunteer Now is the lead organisation for promotion, development and support of volunteering across Northern Ireland. Our work enhances recognition for the contribution volunteers make. We encourage people to volunteer and promote a range of volunteering opportunities. We provide information and support to volunteer involving organisations on volunteering and safeguarding vulnerable groups. Our safeguarding work is funded by Department of Health and the Health and Social Care Board.