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.