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Safeguarding: Do we all need the same things to be safe?

Working in the creative, heritage and cultural sectors we might find ourselves working with a range of ages and abilities.

The nature of the work that we deliver sometimes means that we don't always have a clear picture of the needs or the backgrounds of the people that we interact with.

Additionally the artforms and the subjects that we explore can sometimes be a trigger for participants to share information or concerns.

For some organisations there is the added challenge that we only briefly interact with people and may not know their details and names if we need to share a concern.

The focus for sector organisations and practitioners is to ensure that safeguarding is part of their everyday practice and for it to have relevance to them and to the people that they serve. For example should you combine your Adult and Children Policies and Procedures when they are guided by different principles and reporting structures?

Whilst it is very important to know how to identify and respond to abuse and concerns through robust reporting structures, it is also important to understand that people may need different support and approaches to their safeguarding.

For safeguarding to be effective it should follow key guidance and be applied to your own specific set of circumstances.

The activities we deliver, the spaces that we occupy and the people that we connect with create a unique environment and whilst we may share similar challenges to others in the sectors, no two set of circumstances are ever the same.

How do we ensure that safeguarding is at the heart of what we do?

Organisations and individuals can support safeguarding by reading and implementing guidance given by

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018

  • The Care Act 2014

  • Sector guidance: Both Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund indicate that grantees have in place policies and practice around children and young people and adults at risk.

On a delivery level organisations and individuals can consider

  • How they train and support for staff, volunteers and trustees

  • Policy and procedures: Who, what, how and why?

  • How they embed safeguarding and promote best practice in everyday delivery.

  • How other policy and practice links with safeguarding practice.

  • The types of activities that they deliver

  • The groups that they work with

  • The risk and challenges that they face

  • How they develop a culture in which people feel able to share their concerns

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