Safeguarding and Welfare Policy
Introduction and Background
Global Dialogue does not work directly with children and vulnerable adults, however it is committed to proactively safeguarding and promoting the welfare of its ultimate beneficiaries and staff and to taking reasonable steps to ensure those who come into contact with Global Dialogue do not, as a result, come to any harm.
This policy relates to Global Dialogue’s commitments to safeguarding (as defined by the Charity Commission) and protecting its beneficiaries. Where any suspected wrongdoing is in relation to staff, the procedure set out in Global Dialogue’s Whistleblowing or Grievances Policy should be followed, as appropriate. A list of these policies is set out in the ‘other relevant policies’ section below.
Over recent years there has been increasing recognition of the way in which vulnerable people can be at risk of harm from organisations and institutions that are supposed to help them, either as a result of abuse and exploitation by individuals in positions of trust, or via programme activities in general.
As a consequence, there has been a significant increase in the efforts made by agencies to ensure that no harm comes to beneficiaries or target communities from contact with their staff and associates or as a result of any of the organisation’s activities.
This duty of care extends beyond statutory safeguarding requirements. Global Dialogue does not engage in any activity with children or vulnerable adults that is regulated by domestic safeguarding legislation, but it does take seriously its obligations to operate in a way that ensures, so far as is possible, that its work does no harm to anyone with whom it engages.
Given these values and in light of widely recognised risks, Global Dialogue has developed this policy to promote protection for all those people it comes into contact with, as well as staff and volunteers within Global Dialogue itself and the partner organisations with which it has relationships.
Should it come into contact with vulnerable groups (including children), Global Dialogue takes responsibility to ensure it is doing all it can to protect such groups from all forms of harm, including abuse, neglect and exploitation and to ensure appropriate action is taken if such harm occurs.
It is clear that vulnerable persons can be harmed, or put at risk of harm, by organisations and institutions, and that abuse of vulnerable groups (including children) can happen in all types of organisations. Such harm may result from unintentional acts or deliberate actions.
Unintentional acts may lead to harm due to a lack of ‘due diligence’ or competence or through organisational negligence, such as inadequate care and supervision, lack of policies, procedures and guidance to inform programming and practice, or lack of staff compliance with legal requirements. Deliberate actions may be taken by people with intent to abuse vulnerable people.
Global Dialogue maintains a risk register, which is reviewed by Trustees on a quarterly basis, that identifies risks to the charity and sets out how they will be managed and mitigated.
Scope of this Policy
For Global Dialogue staff and contractors:
Compliance with this policy is mandatory for all Global Dialogue staff. For the purposes of this policy ‘staff’ is defined as anyone who works for, or is engaged by Global Dialogue, either in a paid or unpaid, full time or part time capacity. This includes directly employed staff, contractors, agency staff, consultants, volunteers, interns and equivalents.
For board members and trustees
As board members and trustees must act at all times in the best interests of Global Dialogue and its ultimate beneficiaries, they are also expected to comply with this policy. This expectation is made clear to trustees through Global Dialogue’s policies.
For partner organisations
This policy also applies to other organisations with whom Global Dialogue works. Global Dialogue expects that the principles and approaches already shared with partner organisations mean that they will fully support the values and commitments set out in this policy. Global Dialogue recognises that some will already have protection policies and associated measures in place. Where this is the case they should have no difficulty in also complying with the standards set out in this policy.
Global Dialogue will ensure that each partner has appointed a member of staff who will be responsible for promptly reporting to the Global Dialogue Designated Safeguarding Officer (or, in the event that they are unavailable, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer or other appropriate person) any safeguarding concerns that arise in, or are relevant to the context of the partnership.
Statement of Commitments
Global Dialogue commits to taking all reasonable measures to ensure vulnerable groups (including children) impacted by projects and programmes delivered and/or supported by Global Dialogue are protected as far as possible from harm, including exploitation, neglect and abuse of all kinds.
Global Dialogue Commits to:
- Developing a zero tolerance ‘safety culture’ within Global Dialogue that creates and maintains protective environments.
- Placing safeguarding at the heart of recruitment practices by reserving the right to carry out the highest level of DBS or other criminal record checks to which we are entitled where relevant, requesting two written references, considering gaps in work history, reserving the right to check qualifications and certifications and, where appropriate, confirming a person’s right to work in the UK.
- Ensuring Global Dialogue staff and board members are fully cognisant of protection issues and adhere to Global Dialogue’s code of conduct.
- Increasing understanding and raising the awareness of staff and trustees of risks relating to safeguarding within the organisation and in connection with its activities.
- Taking appropriate and proportionate action if the policy is not complied with.
- Developing criteria so that staff understand what constitutes non-compliance.
- Maintaining adequate insurance in relation to the charity’s activities and the people involved, to the extent that it is reasonably available.
- Carrying out appropriate due diligence on partners, which may include ensuring they have appropriate controls and safeguarding measures in place; meet any applicable international standards in carrying out their activities; and integrating safeguarding and onward reporting requirements in Global Dialogue’s partnership of funding-related agreements, taking account of the Charity Commission’s relevant guidance.
- Making sure people protection considerations are integrated into all aspects of the organisation.
- Ensuring all staff and trustees are aware of their responsibilities to report concerns and of steps to take/who to go to in order to report such concerns.
- Ensuring that safeguarding concerns are addressed promptly and through the appropriate channels.
- Reporting safeguarding incidents, allegations or concerns to external authorities and regulators, as appropriate, and in accordance with best practice. Global Dialogue will fully risk assess such reporting to ensure that making a report is not likely to cause further harm to the individual(s) to whom harm has (actually, allegedly or potentially) already been caused.
Embedding Organisational Commitment
In order to make its policy commitments a practical reality, Global Dialogue will instigate or strengthen a range of measures that focus on making sure this policy and associated procedures are in place, that people are supported to understand and work within the provisions of the policy, that it is fully and effectively integrated into all of our activities, and that it is subject to monitoring and review.
Global Dialogue staff and trustees will receive regular training/briefing on their responsibilities and obligations under this policy and it will form part of the induction for new staff and trustees.
Staff (and trustees) will be expected to acknowledge and accept their responsibilities under this policy. Breaches of this policy by staff will be treated seriously and will be treated as a potential cause for disciplinary action or termination of the relationship by other means. Breaches by trustees may result in the termination of their trusteeship.
Reporting and Responding to Concerns
Global Dialogue staff are required to immediately report any concerns or suspicions of possible/actual harm to a beneficiary (or other person connected to the charity), including abuse, exploitation and neglect and policy non-compliance, or risk of such, resulting from action or inaction by anyone covered by this policy. This includes any suspected, alleged or actual historical abuse. In the first instance any concerns should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
The person making the report should otherwise keep the matter strictly confidential and not seek to investigate the incident or suspicion.
The Safeguarding Lead Trustee, who sits on Global Dialogue’s board of trustees, will have oversight of safeguarding and welfare arrangements and will receive reports of any safeguarding and welfare incidents that arise. The Safeguarding Lead Trustee will have a regular slot at meetings of the board of trustees to ensure that trustees are appropriately apprised of matters that arise.
The name of the Designated Safeguarding Officer and Safeguarding Lead Trustee can be found in the ‘Contact Information’ section at the end of this policy.
We are committed to reporting all relevant incidents to the Charity Commission for England and Wales via a serious incident report. We will also report incidents to other regulatory bodies and government departments or funding bodies, where appropriate. Where there is evidence that criminal activity may have taken place, or concerns have been raised in relation to a child or vulnerable adults, we will report to the relevant police and/or safeguarding authorities as appropriate (for example to the relevant Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or Adult Safeguarding Board), taking appropriate account of the Charity Commission’s guidance in this respect.
Decisions to report external authorities will be fully risk assessed and anonymisation/pseudonymisation considered when necessary. Reporting will not be avoided on the basis that it may harm Global Dialogue’s reputation or give rise to litigation and any concerns in relation to data protection will not act as a barrier to reporting, although they will be carefully considered to ensure that the disclosure is made within the legal framework for so doing.
Global Dialogue will develop strategies and tools to ensure effective implementation of this policy and to enable the Designated Safeguarding Officer, Board and others to monitor its performance.
Existing systems for risk management, due diligence, monitoring and evaluation, audit and review, and other organisational performance mechanisms will be adapted to include indicators and processes by which implementation of the safeguarding policy can be measured and these processes will be periodically reviewed to ensure that they remain effective and up-to-date in respect of best practice.
Global Dialogue will implement and keep updated a Whistleblowing and a Grievances Policy aimed at encouraging a culture of openness and accountability wherein staff and members of the public are, respectively, confident that they can raise any matter of genuine concern without fear of reprisal in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously and that matters will be investigated appropriately and managed on a need-to-know basis, with appropriate remedial action taken.
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice regularly. This policy will be reviewed by the board of trustees at least annually, when there is a change in UK law and/or best practice or when an incident occurs that highlights a need for change – whichever occurs first.
Other Relevant Policies
The following policies of Global Dialogue may also be relevant to safeguarding matters:
- Whistleblowing policy
- HR recruitment policy
- Disciplinary policy/procedures
- Code of conduct
- Data protection policy
- Health and Safety policy
- Equal Opportunities and Diversity
- Bullying and Harassment
Global Dialogue’s Designated Safeguarding Officer is Esther Hughes. The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer is Charlotte Lepper.
Global Dialogue’s Safeguarding Lead Trustee is Muna Wehbe.
These individuals have access to the email inbox for reporting concerns, which is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are not comfortable with submitting your report via email to that address, please call +44 7494 152 877 and ask to speak with the relevant person.
Publishing this Policy
Global Dialogue will ensure that this policy is at all times publicly accessible on its website.
This policy will be reviewed every year.