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Safeguarding Guidance: Charity Commission Update November 2021

Photo of Lourens Du Plessis Lourens du Plessis
1 min

Safeguarding is a key topic of interest for the Charity Commission, and rightly so: trust in charities is easily damaged (or enhanced) through how seriously charities take their responsibilities to protect their beneficiaries, volunteers and staff.

The Commission has recently published their guidance for trustees in a concise way, outlining trustees’ responsibilities to identify and manage risks, have suitable policies and practices in place, ensure the required checks are carried out on staff and volunteers, and how to respond to any incidents in the right way. This new overview guidance also signposts to useful resources, such as more detailed guidance, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and policies.

The main update to the detailed guidance is a new section on online risks. The Commission considers in the guidance the specific risks related to this area, and the steps needed to protect people from harm. The issues are summarised under ‘Content’ (who controls what is posted online by the charity?), ‘Contact’ (how do people engage with one another online?), and ‘Conduct’ (how does the charity monitor what people do, say and share on its channels?)

This new guidance will be particularly useful for churches and charities who are still running services, or are planning on launching new activities, either online or in hybrid ways.

Summary Guidance

Detailed Guidance for Trustees

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Written by

Lourens du Plessis

Lourens leads the Accounts Examination Services Team who guide and strengthen churches and Christian charities with their governance and finances. He joined Stewardship in 2020 and brings with him a wealth of experience in both the charity and commercial sectors.

Before joining Stewardship he worked for an international church developing governance and financial stewardship for various ministries. Prior to that Lourens had a senior role at a Big Four firm in the City, advising international investment banks. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has a postgraduate degree in Theology.

Lourens grew up in South Africa, but has spent the majority of his working life in London.  He is a member of the International Presbyterian Church in Ealing. He is also a trustee of a number of other churches and charities, including a new pregnancy counselling centre, and he’s involved in initiatives to help Christians better integrate their faith and work.

Lourens supports causes which encourage bringing the gospel to people in his neighbourhood and to the ends of the earth, and particularly supporting persecuted Christians around the world.