voluntary sector

Raising Standards of Safeguarding Practice Across the Voluntary Sector

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:40

Thursday 20 June 2019

etc. Venues Manchester, Central Manchester

This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to explore ways to meet the challenge of effectively safeguarding the welfare of those who come into contact with voluntary sector organisations, including vulnerable people, staff and volunteers. The Charity Commission, along with other sector leaders, will provide key policy developments while case studies will share outstanding examples of safeguarding practice.


This Forum is specifically designed for the Voluntary Sector. Typical job titles will include:

  • Chairs
  • Trustees
  • Chief Executives
  • Corporate Governance Managers
  • Heads of External Relations
  • Policy Officers
  • Directors of Governance
  • Compliance and Risk Managers
  • Heads of Volunteering
  • Volunteer Coordinators
  • Heads of Human Resources
  • Recruitment Managers
Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Kate Waring, Head of Risk Assessment Unit, Charity Commission 
  • Stephen Twigg MP, Chair, International Development Select Committee
  • Peter Taylor, Head of the Safeguarding Unit, Department for International Development (DfID)
  • Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, Manchester City Council
  • Senior Representative, NCVO
  • Judith Davey, Chief Executive Officer, The Advocacy Project 
  • Deb Drinkwater, Safeguarding Development Worker, Salford CVS
  • Isabelle King, Chair, National Safeguarding Youth Forum
  • Abbey Clephane-Wilson, Safeguarding Officer, The Diocese of Manchester
  • Tom Burke, Freelance Consultant
View the agenda and additional speakers

In the wake of numerous allegations of misconduct and sexual abuse across the voluntary sector, the demand for more rigorous safeguarding practices for all charities has increased. Despite the Charity Commission receiving 2,114 serious incident reports relating to safeguarding between February and September 2018, the final report of their Safeguarding Taskforce, published in October 2018, highlighted concerns that significant under-reporting is still taking place.

This follows the International Development Committee’s latest report into sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector which states that charities have shown ‘complacency verging on complicity’ when responding to sexual abuse. The Charity Commission have made clear that any behaviours that put beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and members of the public at risk have no place within charities. The Commission issued an alert in December 2017 reminding charities of the importance of safeguarding, and the regulator’s updated Safeguarding Strategy (2017) clearly identifies safeguarding as a ‘key governance priority’ for all charities.

However, in a recent survey conducted by Cass Business School, only 42% of respondents reported that their Board had sufficient safeguarding skills. Safeguarding issues make up an increasing proportion of the Charity Commissions’ regulatory compliance case work; according to their annual report Tackling Abuse and Mismanagement, safeguarding concerns featured in 302 regulatory compliance cases in the 2016-17 period which is an 85% increase from the previous year. In addition, over half of the serious incidents reported by charities related to safeguarding.

Alongside the Charity Commission’s increased regulatory interventions on safeguarding, the Department for International Development (DFID) has committed to implementing new safeguarding standards for the organisations it works with, demonstrating the emphasis that is being placed on addressing safeguarding challenges within the voluntary sector. Building on this, in October 2018 the government announced a £2 million fund for investment in projects to raise awareness of safeguarding and improve incident handling. In March 2019, a further £1.2 million was announced by the Government and National Lottery Community Fund to develop new training to enhance charities’ knowledge around safeguarding requirements. The NCVO will lead a partnership of organisations to develop this.

In light of this increased scrutiny by government, regulators and the public, it is vital that charities have robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place. As well as maintaining their reputation, charities have a duty to protect beneficiaries. Therefore organisations across the sector must ensure that they are upholding their safeguarding responsibilities and developing an organisational culture that prioritises safeguarding.

Daniel Ingram, Director (Learning), Association of Volunteer Managers

Daniel describes his mission in life as helping people reach their full potential. He began working in the third sector in 2008. 

However, his love of volunteering began while studying Social Work at The University of Manchester. As part of Student Action, the students’ union’s community volunteering society, he supported projects involving vulnerable children, the homeless and elderly. Daniel continues to volunteer by coaching junior cricket. 

He leads the Association of Volunteer Managers’ learning services and worked closely with NCVO and the Charity Retail Association on the response to safeguarding concerns in charity shops raised in 2018.  

Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, Manchester City Council

Councillor Bev Craig is the Executive Member for Adults, Health and Well-being on Manchester City Council. First elected in 2011 as Councillor for Burnage, she has held a variety of roles on the Council. As Executive Member she is Deputy Chair of Manchester Health and Care Commissioning and sits on the Manchester Local Care Organisation Partnership Board overseeing health and social care integration in the city. She sits on the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Executive Board. Outside of council duties Bev has a breadth of professional experience across the public and voluntary and community sectors. 

Kate Waring, Head of Risk Assessment Unit, Charity Commission

Kate Waring is the Head of Risk Assessment Unit at the Charity Commission. Her responsibilities including leading the Commission’s work on serious incident reporting. Kate was the joint lead of the Commission’s safeguarding taskforce established in February 2018 after the public spotlight on Oxfam and subsequent increased reporting of safeguarding issues. Kate has previously managed teams in the Commission covering a wide range of activities, including permissions work and proactive compliance casework.

Stephen Twigg MP, Chair, International Development Select Committee

Stephen Twigg MP was elected as Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Liverpool, West Derby in 2010. Since June 2015, he has served as the Chair of the International Development Select Committee. The purpose of this committee is to scrutinise the work and spending of the Department for International Development. In July 2018, the Committee published its Report on Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector and continue to give this issue high priority, tracking progress with a view to ensuring real improvement is made.

Peter Taylor, Head of the Safeguarding Unit, Department for International Development (DfID)

Over the past 25 years Peter has worked in international development in various NGO, consultancy, research and government roles in the UK and overseas. He has worked with DFID since 2001, with roles in the UK and overseas focused on humanitarian, human development, programme delivery, World Bank, EU and preventing sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Daniel Ingram, Director (Learning), Association of Volunteer Managers (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Safeguarding Across the Voluntary Sector – The Northern Approach

  • Outlining the importance of the voluntary sector across Manchester and Greater Manchester, and the role VCS organisations play in delivering vital services
  • Examining the wider voluntary sector landscape, and the recent increasing focus on the effectiveness of safeguarding practices
  • Discussing the impact this focus has had on how local charities deliver services, and developments made to ensure safeguarding is at the forefront of efforts

Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, Manchester City Council (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Promoting Safeguarding as a Key Governance Priority

  • Setting out the supervisory and monitoring role of the Commission and its approach in its updated safeguarding strategy
  • Outlining the key duties and responsibilities of charities and their trustees on safeguarding
  • Sharing lessons from the safeguarding incidents reported to the Commission
  • Providing an overview of the suite of measures adopted by the Charity Commission following allegations of misconduct and safeguarding failures across the voluntary sector
  • Highlighting the importance of reporting serious incidents at the earliest possible stage with full and frank disclosure and how the Commission assesses risk before intervening when safeguarding concerns arise

Kate Waring, Head of Risk Assessment Unit, Charity Commission (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Equipping Trustees with the Necessary Skills and Awareness to Uphold Safeguarding

  • Understanding the legal duties of trustees to manage safeguarding risks, allegations and incidents
  • Learning about the potential personal and organisational liabilities associated with becoming the trustee of a charity
  • Exploring how your charity can build the confidence of its trustees to discharge their duties effectively
  • Recruiting and retaining trustees with the adequate skills and knowledge to proactively promote safeguarding and create a safe organisational culture

Senior Representative, NCVO (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Implementing Safeguarding Practices When Dealing with Data and Information Sharing

  • Sharing methods for consulting care, community and faith groups to understand local knowledge around ensuring safeguarding
  • Outlining the principles of co-production, and how to instil these into safeguarding practices, particularly in relation to voice, rights, choice and empowerment
  • Driving improvements through a group of evaluators with lived experience of mental health difficulties who interview local service users and offer feedback to CCGs
  • Discussing practice steps that can be taken to increase individuals’ agency, and how this should inform communications strategies, marketing material and practice
  • Effectively embedding safeguarding into governance via a dashboard system for complaints and whistleblowing, and conducting surveys on how comfortable people feel expressing concerns

Judith Davey, Chief Executive Officer, The Advocacy Project (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Delivering Quality Safeguarding Training for Volunteers

  • Offering regular training opportunities for key safeguarding areas, including Basic Adult Safeguarding and Child Protection and Safeguarding Awareness courses
  • Detailing the key components of these courses, including signs to look out for among vulnerable groups, and when to make a referral to an organisation that can offer more specialist support such as the Bridge Partnership
  • Ensuring that volunteers working with adults understand their statutory duties under the 2014 Care Act, and successfully supporting them to prevent abuse, harm and neglect towards service users
  • Sharing resources that can be adapted to improve safeguarding policies and practices across the sector including an evidence record template and action plan template

Deb Drinkwater, Safeguarding Development Worker, Salford CVS (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Through Local Networks

Abbey Clephane-Wilson, Safeguarding Officer, The Diocese of Manchester (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Looking to the Future of Safeguarding Across the Aid Sector

  • Reflecting on the findings and recommendations of the IDC report on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Aid Sector
  • Considering the changes in practice and improvements that have been made since the inquiry and report release, and the impact of the rise in reports of misconduct
  • Highlighting the role of DfID in ensuring every project and programme has a built-in safeguarding policy, and how to ensure this is adequately resourced
  • Working with the Charity Commission to develop effective structures and systems for incident reporting, accessible to every single person in the sector, and delivering a clear action plan for following up on reports

Stephen Twigg MP, Chair, International Development Select Committee (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Raising the Standards of Safeguarding Across the International Development Sector

  • Why DFID remains focused on sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment, and what approach is being taken to help drive up standards
  • Who we are working with in, and beyond, the voluntary sector
  • Progress made in the past year
  • Challenges and opportunities for the year ahead

Peter Taylor, Head of the Safeguarding Unit, Department for International Development (DfID) (CONFIRMED) 


Case Study: Ensuring Effective Safeguarding Practices in Volunteer Recruitment and Management

  • Lessons learnt from a global volunteering programme and how to proactively reduce safeguarding risks and protect staff, volunteers and beneficiaries from harm
  • Implementing comprehensive recruitment procedures such as providing clear role descriptors and conducting interviews that explore a candidates’ commitment to safeguarding
  • Assessment of volunteers which assist in deterring those with an intent to cause harm and which identify support needs and assets
  • Ensuring that safeguarding measures are proportionate to the risks, context and resources available
  • How work with volunteers fits within a whole organisation approach to safeguarding

Tom Burke, Freelance Consultant (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Workshop: Developing a Safeguarding Policy that Supports a Safe Culture for Everyone

  •  Identifying key components in developing a safe culture within your organisation
  • Outlining the key stages involved in developing a safeguarding policy: Safer recruitment; determining how someone might raise or respond to a concern; clarifying roles and responsibilities; identifying safeguarding behaviours; and safer working practice
  • Highlighting best practice in monitoring and reviewing safeguarding policies including how to incorporate lessons learned from safeguarding incidents
  • Embedding safeguarding across all activities to ensure policies result in effective practice and better outcomes

Isabelle King, Chair, National Safeguarding Youth Forum (CONFIRMED)


Chair’s Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

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