Safeguarding relates to the actions taken to promote the welfare and well-being of children, and young people to protect them from harm, abuse and neglect. The trustees of an organisation have the primary responsibility for safeguarding beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, and must take all the necessary steps to ensure that their organisation is operating in a safe and secure environment. This includes: staff and volunteers receiving appropriate training and support to prevent safeguarding issues arising, or to spot signs of abuse; robust procedures for reporting abuse in a timely and objective manner, and clear accountability structures, including a named contact for any safeguarding issues.
The Brain Murtagh Charitable Trust (BMCT) takes the safeguarding of children and young adults at risk seriously and we expect organisations applying for our funding to have a safeguarding policy which is both up-to-date and relevant to their beneficiaries. When applying for a grant you may be asked for a copy of your organisation’s safeguarding policy if your application is selected.
The definition of a ‘child’ is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.
The fact, for example, that a child may have become 16 years of age, be living independently, in further education, in the armed forces, in hospital, or in a Young Offender’s Institution does not change their status, their entitlement to services, or their protection under the Children Act 1989.
The definition of an ‘adult at risk’ is any person aged 18 years and over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental health issues, learning or physical disability, sensory impairment, age or illness and who is, or may be, unable to take care of him/herself or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.
If you are unsure whether your organisation supports adults at risk, please speak to your local Council for Voluntary Service organisation or a similar infrastructure body in your area to seek advice.
When we review a safeguarding policy, we are looking for assurance of an organisation’s commitment to protecting their beneficiaries, staff and volunteers from any abuse. Scrutiny applies as strictly to our oversea projects as well as UK ones.
We appreciate that each organisation has differing levels of information in their safeguarding documents and that some policies may be superseded by their local authority safeguarding procedures and those overseas. Therefor we may raise queries with you if some elements we expect to see are not included in your policy, so please be aware that one of our trustees may get in contact to ask for further information.
We encourage best practice amongst our beneficiaries and if your organisation is awarded a grant, we may occasionally set some specific conditions on improving your safeguarding policies and procedures as a condition of the grant. If this happens you will be provided with appropriate advice by one of our trustees.
England and Wales