Cookie Consent by

Safeguarding Support for the Voluntary Sector

Your responsibilities

All organisations who deliver services to children and young people have a duty of care to comply with Working Together (2018), the government inter-agency statutory guidance  to safeguard children.

Groups or organisations providing educational activities to children and young people should also refer to the DfE statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021) (PDF)',

Policies and procedures provide the framework within which an organisation and its staff/volunteers operate. They define what an organisation does and how it does it. Clear policies and procedures support effective decision making, providing guidelines on what staff/volunteers can and cannot do, what decisions they can make and what activities are appropriate.

All organisations working with children and young people and/or their parents and carers should have robust policies and procedures which will help to ensure children are safe, workers know and understand their roles and responsibilities and how to respond appropriately if they have concerns about a child or young person’s safety or welfare.

What is Safeguarding?

“Safeguarding Children and Young People is Everyone’s Business.”

Safeguarding is about managing a safe environment for children and young people to access.  It combines an approach to safety that draws together both reactive and preventative approaches to the management of children’s safety and wellbeing.

Safeguarding is not about restricting activities.  It is about taking a balanced approach to children and young people’s safety and protection.  Any group that provides or organises activities for children and young people should be able to deal with situations when they arise, but also be able to take all reasonable steps to prevent, wherever possible, situations arising in the first place.

A Safeguarding system that is shared and used by everyone involved with the group will promote confidence and trust.  More importantly it will help to act as a deterrent for those individuals who may wish to harm children and young people.

What Does a Safeguarding System Look Like?

Safeguarding goes beyond having a child protection policy in place.  It is about a wider system of preventative measures that collectively help to ensure the safety and well-being of any child/young person during group activities

For safeguarding advice and information for the voluntary sector, professionals (staff or volunteers) can contact Young Lives Bradford team at Community Action Bradford and District on 07422 966 143 or email

Young Lives Bradford (YLB) is a project of Community Action Bradford & District.  We support a network of VCS organisations (approximately 300+ members) who deliver services to children, young people and families in the District.  We provide:

  • advice and information on Safeguarding, (face to face and updates via our newsletter).
  • regular, up-to-date information via our free weekly newsletter (circulation approximately 550), twitter and regular networking events on issues relating to children and young people’s services within Bradford District.  To receive our weekly newsletter visit our sign up page
  • a voice for the voluntary and community sector at all levels of Bradford’s Children’s Trust and the Bradford Safeguarding Children Board through our VCS Reps and our VCS Safeguarding Steering Group

Developing your Child Protection Policy

Child Protection policies and procedures are vital to help ensure concerns about a child/young person are addressed swiftly and in accordance with local guidelines.   All individuals who work with children/young people should know what to do if they are concerned about a child.  It is equally important that parents/carers’ and young people themselves are aware that a group or project addresses concerns about children’s safety and wellbeing.

Having a written policy makes it clear to everyone in your organisation what is expected from them and what are their safeguarding responsibilities.

A Child Protection Policy should be clear and to the point.  It should consist of a series of brief statements about how your group or project aims to protect children from harm and promote their welfare. The policy needs to be accessible to staff/volunteers and children, young people and parents/carers. It is good practice to make this available on public notice boards in your setting.

To help organisations develop their own safeguarding policy Young Lives Bradford has created a safeguarding policy template with instructions on how to complete each section. This policy has been endorsed by Bradford Safeguarding Children Board and can be adapted for use in agencies:

Your safeguarding policy should be read alongside your other policies and procedures for your organisation. It is good practice to review policies and procedures on an annual basis to incorporate any changes to legislation and guidance where appropriate.

Signs of Safety  

Signs of Safety is the main framework Bradford District is using for managing children’s social care cases.  Find out more about Signs of Safety.

Data Protection and Information Sharing - Find out more Data Protection and information sharing

Ensuring agencies and professionals work effectively together is essential when working with children and young people. There are two sets of policies and procedures which underpin multi-agency working, both of which must be consulted when considering how to work with others to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and in developing your organisation’s policies and procedures.

For regional arrangements agreed across West Yorkshire refer to the West Yorkshire Consortium Procedures Manual and for local arrangements agreed for Bradford  refer to our learning and resources page.

These policies and procedures are frequently updated to ensure they meet emerging requirements and challenges. Young Lives Bradford will pick up latest developments in Safeguarding procedures and disseminate these via their weekly newsletter. To receive these visit our sign-up page and follow Young Lives Bradford on twitter @YLBradford.

It is also advisable that groups register for updates to the West Yorkshire Procedures manual to receive details of any changes to the policies and procedures.

Other useful communications for Safeguarding updates: 

Free and low cost Safeguarding training is available in the District from the following agencies:

The Working Together to Safeguard Children – The Bradford Partnership

Partnership training is free to members, which includes the voluntary and community sector. Visit the training section of this website to access details of the free face to face training and the excellent range of free e-learning resources. We recommend that groups make use of the e-learning either by encouraging staff and volunteers to access the training individually, or groups could consider facilitating a group learning session using the e-learning.

Community Action Bradford & District (CABAD)

Community Action provide low cost training for the voluntary and community sector, here are the Safeguarding courses we currently run:

  • Basic Safeguarding training (available for in-house delivery on request contact
  • Designated Safeguarding Officer (one day face to face training on request)
  • Safeguarding for Trustees (3 hour face to face training)

To find out when our courses are running take a look at our training calendar.

For enquiries about CABAD training email or call 07419 133797.

Our CABAD training team also provide a range of low cost training for the voluntary sector including First Aid and Health and Safety which may be of interest to groups working with children and young people. To receive regular training updates sign up to the mailing list.

Bradford Council

Bradford Council Workforce Development Unit provide a range of training including Safeguarding for professionals which can be accessed by voluntary and community sector organisations

Bradford Council has a duty under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 to ensure organisations they commission have adequate Safeguarding procedures in place. To demonstrate this groups applying for funding from Bradford Council will be asked to complete the provider audit tool. It is likely NHS commissioners will also be using the tool for commissioned groups.

Young Lives Bradford is encouraging all VCS organisations to use this tool as a check list for self-improvement and revision of their own safeguarding arrangements.

Disclosure and barring checks is the name for what was previously known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks.

A DBS check should be included as part of your recruitment process. It helps your organisation to determine whether a person is a suitable candidate for a particular role by providing information about their criminal history.  

DBS Eligibility checker

DBS have an eligibility tool which can be used to find out which roles or activities could be eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check.

The eligibility tool is not intended to act as legal advice and doesn’t cover every role. Before you submit an application for a DBS check you should also read the guidance provided by DBS. For further eligibility advice after using the tool and reading the guidance contact DBS.

Update Service

To reduce the need for multiple DBS checks, once a DBS check has been applied for individuals can sign up to the DBS update service.  This gives individuals a unique reference number which they can give to employers to check their certificate online to check if anything has changed since the original DBS check was done,  Registration with the update service must done within 30 calendar days of the date of issue printed on the DBS certificate.  Any new information or convictions after the date of the DBS check will be registered online with the certificate. Find out more about the  DBS update service.

Where to get DBS checks done locally

The local umbrella body for DBS checks in the Bradford District is:

Keighley Volunteer Centre, 8 -10 North Street, Keighley, BD21 3SE
Telephone: 01535 609506   Email:

Alternatively, search for companies that can do Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on behalf of your organisation here:  Find a DBS umbrella company.

Bradford Local Offer

The Bradford Local Offer website provides information parents or carers about what activities and support is available in the local area to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Bradford Families Information Service

The Bradford Families Information Service provides Information, advice and support for families. The website pulls together local information on parenting, activities for children and families, advice on child-care support and children’s centres, bullying, health, bereavement, alcohol and drug misuse, housing and more.

Bradford Schools online

The Bradford Schools online website provides information and resources for educational settings in the District.

DIVA Bradford

Diva Bradford is an online directory of VCS organisations and groups who deliver services across Bradford and District. This may be useful for people looking for additional support services for children, young people and families they may be working with.

Contact: or 01535 612500.