Safeguarding is an important issue and the Dream Forward Foundation takes seriously our responsibility for the health, safety, and wellbeing of our staff, Trustees, and expert partners. We also believe it is important to verify that appropriate policies and procedures are in place and actively managed by organizations that apply to us, in advance of applications being considered for funding by our Trustees.
As a responsible grant-maker that supports a multitude of charities each year, we believe we have a role to play in supporting good practice and legal compliance for safeguarding across the voluntary sector. While we ask applicants to formally verify that they have safeguarding policies in place, we are not a regulator nor can we provide advice on safeguarding procedures and policies as this is a specialist area of expertise.
For our staff and Trustees:
■ staff training for personal safety while at work and especially when conducting visits and traveling on Foundation business
■ processes in place to ensure staff safety and well-being when traveling for work, especially when late travel or overnight stays are required
■ our staff cannot be left unaccompanied at any time with children, young people or vulnerable adults when visiting applicants or grantees and will politely decline to do so if asked – we expect to be accompanied at all times on visits
■ safe recruitment, selection, and vetting for individuals working with the Foundation
■ our safeguarding policy is reviewed on an annual basis by the Trustees and also as needed following such things as revised legislation
For our applicants and grant holders:
We constantly strive to strike a balance between requesting sufficient information to be a responsible and thoughtful grant-maker with not over-burdening applicants with unnecessary demands. We believe, however, that we have a responsibility to ensure eligible applicants can verify they have safeguarding practices in place that are in line with current legislation and include training, policies, and procedures that are proportionate and relevant to each organization’s activities, agreed by the trustees or governing body and reviewed on a regular basis.
Given the breadth of charitable organizations that apply to the Foundation, we do not assume that all approaches to safeguarding will be the same; however, we do expect that they are up-to-date, actively monitored, and explicitly relevant to the charity’s work and the beneficiary groups being supported. This common-sense approach means the safeguarding processes we might expect of a charity working directly with vulnerable young people may be different from those we expect of an organization providing factual telephone-based support.
We would generally expect safeguarding policies and procedures to include:
■ a statement outlining an organization’s commitment to safeguarding and protecting children and adults at risk
■ specific safeguarding and protection procedures to address the risk areas inherent in a charity’s work and in relation to the beneficiaries of your organization
■ clarity on who is responsible for safeguarding
■ a clear process for staff to report concerns, disclosures and for whistleblowing
■ clarity on what happens if someone does not uphold the charity’s policy or procedures
■ a regular (usually annual) review of the policy and procedures to ensure they remain up to date with risks, good practice, and changes in legislation
If we receive an allegation in good faith or identify an issue ourselves through our interaction with an organization, and we believe that children, young people, or vulnerable adults may be at risk, we will contact the appropriate leadership of the organization or, if necessary, may alert the relevant authorities.