The Safe Network is an excellent website and series of resources for community and voluntary sector organisations around best practice in keeping children and young people safe.
Jointly managed by the NSPCC, Children England and Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), Safe Network was created as a result of the Government’s Staying Safe action plan and is fast becoming one of my “go-to” resources. The site is pretty comprehensive with hundreds of downloadable policy templates around child protection, bullying, online guidance, recruitment, etc. They also offer free online child protection training to not-for-profit organisations, and the Are they safe? Pack.
Impressively, they are working closely with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), and the Childrens Workforce Development Council (CWDC) among others to try and build common safeguarding standards for voluntary and community organisations. This is reflected in the way they offer specific advice and policies for various demographics such as faith groups, sport groups and supporting LGBT young people.
I’ve been working through the Self-assessment tool which helps organisations check if they meet the Safe Network Standards, a set of national core standards designed to help non-statutory organisations put in place clear safeguarding arrangements for children and young people. You have to register on the site, but can then work through each standard as a checklist to see if it is implemented in your organisation, and there are downloads and templates to use if you need help.
So there you go. Visit the site and bookmark. You will find it very useful if:
- you work in an organisation, whether small, medium or large, local or national, and your activities are primarily aimed at children.
- you provide activities for children and young people in a local voluntary and community organisation.
- you have contact with children and young people but your work is not primarily or solely child care (eg faith group, black, minority and ethnic group, hobby club, unaffiliated sport , cultural or leisure activity).
- you’re a trustee or a funder of an organisation that involves or includes children in any of its activities.
- you’re a parent or carer who needs advice on keeping children safe.