Are they safe? Safeguarding for leaders of groups in the voluntary and community sector
This guide will help you set up safeguarding measures in your group or organisation. It has been written for leaders of a wide range of voluntary and community groups working with children and young people of all ages.
It can help groups in the early stages of thinking about safeguarding and those who already have direct, practical experience in child protection.
9 steps walk you through developing a safeguarding plan and acting on this plan to put safeguards in place.
An accompanying wall chart allows you note down safe practice you already have in place, and to record your planned actions for each step. Displayed in a prominent place it becomes a visual record of your progress.
Authors: Safe Network (NSPCC and Children England)
Table of contents
Step 1: Check it out
Use the exercises and checklist to see what your group has or hasn't got in place.
Step 2: Who is taking the lead?
Decide who is going to be your "designated person for child protection" and be clear about their role.
Step 3: Getting support
Make sure that everyone understands why it's important to develop safeguards. Use the Safe Network
films to help your trustees or management committee, or parents and children discuss the issues.
Step 4: Writing a child protection policy
Be clear about why your group needs a policy, and make sure you include what needs to be in it.
Step 5: Writing procedures
Create your basic safeguarding procedures.
Step 6: A code of behaviour for everyone
Write a code of behaviour for your group, so that everyone knows what is expected of them.
Step 7: Employing the right people
Make sure you do what you can to have the best people working for you, and that they are safe to work with children.
Step 8: Get informed – important topics about keeping children safe
Make sure that you know about the issues in this section. Your knowledge will help to keep children safe.
Step 9: Making it all work
What needs to be done to make sure your group's safeguards work? This final step will bring your safeguarding arrangements alive and help you to know that they are effective.
Please cite as: NSPCC (2017) Are they safe?: a guide to safeguarding in England for leaders of groups in the voluntary and community sector working with children and young people aged 0–18. London: NSPCC.
Safe Network standards
Research and resources
Multi-faith safeguarding hub
Safeguarding deaf and disabled children
Writing a safeguarding policy
Get expert training and consultancy
Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU)
Advice on child protection and safeguarding, draft policies, training, resources and toolkits for sports clubs and organisations.
Our Current Awareness Service for Practice, Policy And Research delivers free weekly email alerts to keep you up-to-date with all the latest safeguarding and child protection news.
How safe are our children? conference 2017
How safe are our children? is the NSPCC’s annual flagship conference for everyone working in child protection.
Follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with all the latest news in child protection.
We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.
New in the Library
A free weekly email listing all of the new child protection publications added to our library collection.
Helping you keep children safe
Read our guide for professionals on what we do and the ways we can work with you to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect.
Impact and evidence hub
Find out how we evaluate and research the impact we’re making in protecting children, get tips and tools for researchers and access resources.
Get expert training and consultancy
Sharing knowledge to keep children safe
Read our guide to NSPCC Knowledge and Information Services to find out how we can help you with child protection queries, support your research, and help you learn and develop.