The government has launched a new online portal today to help charities manage safeguarding concerns and allegations.
The portal, hosted on the official government website gov.uk, offers step-by-step guidance on what charities should do if they have concerns about safeguarding and helps them identify the right people to contact about their concerns.
It will also point users towards helpful resources and allow them to print a record of the actions they have taken about their concerns, but it will not store any information that is entered into it.
Baroness Barran, the Minister for Civil Society, said: “It is absolutely right that charities have access to the best advice and guidance for dealing with any safeguarding concerns.
“Charities must be safe spaces for everyone, be that those who use their important services, volunteers or employees.”
Matt Hyde, chief executive of the Scouts, was part of a team of charity sector leaders, police and safeguarding experts that helped the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to develop the tool.
“Reporting safeguarding concerns and allegations is an essential step in keeping children, young people and vulnerable adults safe from harm, but often people don’t know what to report and to whom,” he said.
Six organisations have been awarded a share of £1.2m funding from the DCMS and the National Lottery Community Fund to help promote the portal.
Voluntary Organisations Network North East was awarded £115,000 to deliver training and develop local safeguarding networks in partnership with four local infrastructure organisations, and Action with Communities in Rural England was given £104,950 to use its network of 38 county-based members to share safeguarding resources with rural villages and community halls.
Voluntary Action Leeds secured £94,000 to work with five infrastructure organisations in West Yorkshire and York, focusing particularly on volunteer-led groups and those working with BAME and new migrant communities, the Social Care Institute for Excellence was given £100,000 to support small faith-based organisations and user-led organisations supporting people with disabilities, and the Federation of London Youth Clubs was given £76,641 to directly train and support youth workers, volunteers and trustees in grass-roots community youth organisations across London.
The local infrastructure body Navca received £104,700 to share resources with its members through communication materials, peer-to-peer learning and awareness-raising events.
As part of the project, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, along with other bodies, developed a series of free factsheets, practical tools, podcasts and videos to promote a good safeguarding culture in charities, which were launched in October.