Quick Exit

Voluntary & Community Sector

Like all organisations and agencies who work with children and young people, voluntary, charity, social enterprise, faith-based organisations should have appropriate arrangements in place to safeguard and protect children from harm.

Working together to safeguard children 2023: statutory guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk) sets out those arrangements.

Every VCSE (Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise), faith-based organisation and private sector organisation or agency should have policies in place to safeguard and protect children from harm. These should be followed and systems should be in place to ensure compliance in this. Individual practitioners, whether paid or volunteer, should be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and protecting children from harm, how they should respond to child protection concerns and how to make a referral to local authority children’s social care or the police if necessary. (WTSC 2018 pg 74)

The NSPCC has produced Safeguarding and child protection standards for the voluntary and community sector (2019). The Standards help organisations take responsibility for keeping children and young people safe, minimise risk and comply with legislation and national guidance.

There are 6 standards:

Standard 1       Recruitment, induction and supervision

Standard 2       Protecting children and young people

Standard 3       Preventing and responding to bullying

Standard 4       Running safe activities and events

Standard 5       Recoding and storing information

Standard 6       Sharing information and working with other agencies.

The Standards are also designed to be used alongside the NSPCC’s useful self-assessment tool.

Groups and organisations that have not yet put safeguarding measures in place, or who need to review their existing measures, should first refer to the Introductory guide to safeguarding and child protection for the voluntary and community sector.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations also offers advice on how to become a safer organisation.


Many organisations and agencies will be subject to charity law and regulated either by the Charity Commission and/ or other “principal” regulators.  The Charity Commission for England and Wales provides guidance on charity compliance which should be followed.

Strategy for dealing with safeguarding issues in charities

Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees

Training Opportunities

For links to training and development opportunities visit our training and development page