Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector
The VCSE sector has a vital role to play in the work of the Local Safeguarding Children Board. Community based organisations including faith based activities and voluntary agencies, are often the first point of contact for local families, children and young people needing help and support. The VCSE sector therefore, is extremely well-placed to make early assessments of need, make early interventions and undertake preventative work. These organisations will also have an advocacy role, enabling and supporting families and children to access and understand statutory services.
If you work with children and young people in a local community group or organisation you need to make sure that you have the following things in place for staff and volunteers:
DBS (formerly CRB) checks.
Appropriate policies and procedures.
Registered Charities need to have a designated safeguarding trustee.
Community Action Suffolk is the infrastructure organisation in Suffolk working with the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations, to enable them to operate more effectively.
Community Action Suffolk has a wide range of knowledge and experience of delivering safeguarding support, guidance and training to the sector.
Specific safeguarding services CAS offer to its members (membership is FREE) include:
Reviewing and providing guidance on effective safeguarding policies and procedures.
Providing support to organisations and listening and responding to their concerns.
CAS Safeguarding Quality Standards.
A range of safeguarding training courses and workshops including bespoke courses run at times and venues to meet members needs; for more info www.castraining.org.uk
CAS also provides a voice for VCSE organisations and represents their interests to the public sector and other stakeholders through specialist networks; the Suffolk VCSE Safeguarding Network meeting has an inaugural meeting in October 2017.
Christine Abraham, Director of Community Services at CAS, is a representative on the main LSCB board and Jacqui Wilkinson attends the LSCB Planning, Policy, Engagement and Training, Quality and Sufficiency Subgroup. This ensures that the sector not only has a voice but that relevant information gathered at these meetings can be shared through CAS newsletters and networks.
Full details of the range of services CAS provides, can be found on their website www.communityactionsuffolk.org.uk