A guide to safeguarding

Guidance for group members and volunteers on how to approach safeguarding issues.

When it comes to safeguarding, the most important thing to remember is that you do not need to manage or resolve serious safeguarding issues yourself. In fact, you have a legal duty to disclose them to the relevant authorities, who will then manage the situation. Your role is to ensure that any safeguarding issues are noted and raised with the appropriate people.

The following points list the key concerns for group members when considering safeguarding issues:

  • It is your responsibility to understand your Safeguarding Policy 
  • If you have any concerns at all, discuss them with one of your Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSOs). Provide them with as much detail and context as you can, so that they understand the situation and decide how to proceed.
  • Take clear, concise notes of what you have observed, including who you reported the situation to and what advice you were given. Ensure these notes are stored in accordance with your group’s confidentiality policy.
  • In an emergency where someone is being harmed, or at immediate risk, contact the emergency services immediately. If you are present at the time, make yourself safe, make as many other people as you can safe and phone 999. Do not put yourself at risk. Do not cause delay by contacting your DSO first; you can contact them once the emergency services are dealing with the matter.
  • If someone informs you that they or others are at risk, you will need to disclose this to the relevant people. Do not promise to keep this information confidential. 
  • If someone is making a disclosure to you, do not promise to keep this confidential. This is particularly important if you are taking a disclosure from a child. The NSPCC has some excellent guidance on what to do if a child discloses abuse on their website.


Last modified
Friday, February 26, 2021 - 10:49
Key things to do
  • Be familiar with your group's safeguarding policy.
  • Raise any safeguarding concerns you have with the relevant people. Don't assume someone else is dealing with it.
  • Don't put yourself or others at risk.