Charity Commission urges charities to prioritise safeguarding - Thorne Widgery

The Charity Commission has reminded charities that safeguarding should be a priority for all organisations – not just those working with high-risk individuals.

The warning follows a report which found that the number of safeguarding concerns raised over the course of 2016/17 increased dramatically compared to the previous year.

In total, the Charity Commission opened 302 regulatory compliance cases which featured safeguarding concerns over the year, compared to just 163 in 2015/16.

Likewise, disclosures with other agencies that have safeguarding responsibilities have increased by 30 per cent.

Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement, said: “We know that it is vital that trustees set a culture within their charity that prioritises safeguarding, so that the risk of safeguarding incidents is minimised, and so that it is safe for those affected to come forward and report incidents and concerns with the assurance they will be handled sensitively and properly.

“As our safeguarding strategy makes clear, everybody has the right to be safe, no matter who they are or what their circumstances are, and the public rightly expects charities to be safe and trusted places.”

The Charity Commission used the new figures as a launch pad to introduce its updated regulatory and risk framework.

The updated document, found here, sets out the Commission’s approach to safeguarding infringements.

For more information on safeguarding issues, the regulator’s strategy for dealing with safeguarding issues in charities can be found here.