The voluntary and community sector (VCS) includes charities, community and voluntary groups as well as social enterprise organisations. In Torbay, there is a multitude of organisations, from small local groups to large national organisations that help to enrich the lives of communities in a variety of ways. Their contributions include delivering services, advocating on behalf of a group or cause, encouraging self-help, advancing religious faith and practice, facilitating economic development and providing financial support to other organisations. Most larger, local non-affiliated organisations have developed their own safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that they meet the requirements of Funding Agencies.
National children and young people’s organisations, including organisations such as St John Ambulance, Barnardo’s and Church of England all have organisational specific safeguarding policies that local groups / churches are expected to adhere to, provide structured policies and safeguarding guidance designed to ensure the safety of children and young people within these settings.
There are a whole range of tools available to the VCS to support safeguarding practice for those organisations who are not affiliated to a National Association.
The most widely recognised governing body is Safe Network which has been developed specifically for small community and voluntary groups and social enterprises.
The Safe Network resources include the website that is continually updated to meet the changing demands from the VCS for an accessible, easy to use system that keeps children and young people safe. It is also supported by the Children England South West Regional Manager and a network of Local Champions.