Where a serious safeguarding allegation is raised against an adult working with children, the position is clear in terms of what action an organisation must take in terms of reporting, recording and handling that allegation. However, it is much less clear where a concern does not reach the threshold of an allegation. Creating a culture in which all concerns about adults are shared responsibly and with the right person, and recorded and dealt with appropriately, is critical. Ensuring that all staff and volunteers who work with children are suitable to do so is one of the most important aspects of an organisation’s safeguarding duties. The early identification and appropriate management of safeguarding concerns about adults is an essential part of this. Where such a concern reaches the threshold of an allegation, clear guidance exists on how organisations should report, record and handle that allegation. However, the position is much less clear where a concern falls below that threshold. 

Adele Eastman and Katie Rigg draw on academic research and serious case reviews to explore how, if implemented correctly, this approach to safeguarding should encourage a more open and transparent culture; enable organisations to identify concerning behaviour early; minimise the risk of abuse; and ensure that adults working in an organisation are clear about professional boundaries and act with these boundaries, and in accordance with the ethos and values of the organisation.

All staff and volunteers working at NACCC accredited centres have an enhanced disclosure and receive mandatory safeguarding training. Elizabeth Coe, NACCC’s Chief Executive has urged all accredited centres to be aware of this guidance.

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