Minimum Safeguarding Standards for Partners
Laudes Foundation has developed the Minimum Safeguarding Standards for partners, to understand and act on their responsibility to manage safeguarding risks and demonstrate compliance.
The Minimum Safeguarding Standards require partners to have the following measures in place:
- A written safeguarding policy in place that adheres to the Laudes Foundation requirements (Policy)
- An internal communications and training strategy raising awareness on safeguarding measures for stakeholders (People)
- A clear and accessible procedure for reporting and managing safeguarding concerns, whistle blowing and serious incidents (Procedure)
- A framework for accountability whereby the organisation regularly monitors and reviews safeguarding measures (Accountability)
The Minimum Safeguarding Standards leave the development of the specific policy to the partner and there is flexibility in developing the safeguarding measures in any presentable form. The partner is encouraged to customize the safeguarding measures to the local legislation and circumstances.
1. A written safeguarding policy (policy)
The partner maintains a policy that describes how it is committed to preventing, and responding appropriately to, harm to children and adults at risk 1. Such a policy needs to cover the following topics as a minimum:
- A definition of a child and a general recognition that all children should be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.
- A definition of an adult at risk and a general recognition that all adults at risk should be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.
- A zero-tolerance approach towards harm, including abuse, exploitation and neglect of children and adults at risk which is openly communicated.
- A publicly available articulation of the policy stating its applicability and scope.
- A clear statement on scope of the policy, and who is covered including staff, board members, consultants and other representatives connected to the organisation.
- A statement in the policy on the obligation of all staff and representatives to report all concerns to the focal point.
- The commitment to report any violations of local laws to the relevant authorities.
- The policy is approved and signed off be Senior Management/board of Trustees
1 Persons over the age of 18 who, for any reason (for example their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, physical, mental or other disability, social, civic or health status, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic disadvantages, indigenous status, or migration status, may be more likely to be adversely affected by a Laudes Foundation funded project impacts, and/or more limited than others in their ability to take advantage of a project’s benefits), are or may be unable to protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation
2. Communications, awareness and training (People)
The partner places clear responsibilities and expectations on its staff and associates and supports them to understand and act as appropriate.
- There are written guidelines for appropriate and inappropriate behaviour of adults towards children and adults at risk – a code of conduct or analogous publicly available articulation of the policy.
- A staff awareness and training plan which ensures that the written policy is adhered to and a culture is created in which any safeguarding concerns can be safely shared.
- A commitment to safer recruitment and a formal selection procedure to facilitate this, i.e. job descriptions including safeguarding responsibilities are mentioned, to refrain from the engagement of any staff, on a voluntary basis or otherwise, that may pose any risks to children and adults at risk.
3. Reporting (Procedures)
The partner creates safe environments through implementing safeguarding procedures that are applied across the partner.
- A risk assessment indicating the key safeguarding risks, accompanied with a set of measures aimed at risk minimisation.
- A clear and accessible formal reporting procedure, expressing the requirement for staff to immediately report any concerns regarding safeguarding through an incident reporting form.
- A reporting procedure for anyone who wishes to make a confidential or an anonymous report of safeguarding concerns.
- A commitment to report serious incidents (a crime under local law, such as incidents of sexual abuse, exploitation, domestic violence or child abuse) to the appropriate authorities and to Laudes Foundation through an Incident Reporting Form, stating arrangements for immediate actions taken to safeguard the victim and to prevent further escalation of the incidents.
- The appointment of at least one senior staff member who will deal with all safeguarding matters within the organisation and who shall be the recipient of any concerns raised and who supervises yearly reviews of safeguarding measures. The name of this staff member should be shared with Laudes Foundation.
The partner regularly monitors and reviews its safeguarding measures.
- The policy indicates the date of approval and next review date. An internal system is set up to trigger review the existing policy and procedures annually.
- Methods for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the safeguarding framework are in place, i.e. reporting template(s) includes section for safeguarding, updates to risk register, central confidential data base of reported concerns.
- Internal mechanisms are in place for reporting on safeguarding activity in the organisation – reports to senior management and board members.
- Employment agreements should, to the extent permitted under local law, allow for the dismissal, suspension or transfer of employees who do not adhere to the code of conduct and/or safeguarding policy of the organisation.
Please also see our Safeguarding Policy