This policy seeks to ensure that Childlife undertakes its responsibilities with regard to protection of children and/or vulnerable adults and will respond to concerns appropriately.

The policy establishes a framework to support paid and unpaid staff in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.

All staff (paid or unpaid) have responsibility to follow the guidance on safeguarding through Childlife’s related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures.

We expect all staff (paid or unpaid) to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.

The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the organisation. These include:

  • Whistleblowing – ability to inform on other staff/ practices within the organisation
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures – to address breaches of procedures/ policies
  • Health and Safety policy, including lone working procedures
  • Equal Opportunities policy – ensuring safeguarding procedures are in line with this policy, in particular around discriminatory abuse and ensuring that the safeguarding policy and procedures are not discriminatory
  • Public Trust
  • Data protection (how records are stored and access to those records)
  • Ethical Fundraising
  • Dealing with Vulnerable Adults
  • Responsible Gambling
  • Staff induction
  • Staff training

Childlife commits resources for induction, training of staff (paid and unpaid), effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding via the above policies.

If concerns are raised about Childlife staff

Childlife will investigate and report any concerns or allegations against its staff (paid or unpaid) within the organisation or by a professional from another organisation. These should be reported to the CEO Andrea Rimington.

If the allegation is against the CEO this should be reported to the Chair of Trustees: Annamarie Hassall

All concerns and allegations will be reported to the Trustees.

What we do if concerns are raised with us

If any Childlife staff (paid or unpaid) receives/is given information regarding any safeguarding issue, even if not directly related to Childlife staff (paid or unpaid) this must be reported to the CEO who can seek advice from the relevant Adults or Children’s Safeguarding Team. Childlife will maintain confidentiality at all times, in line with the Data Protection Act (2018) Childlife will protect personal data.  However, it should be noted that information should be shared with authorities if an adult or child is deemed to be at immediate risk of harm or in need of medical attention. Childlife staff (paid or unpaid) should record brief details about what has happened but not probe or conduct a mini investigation.

Acknowledgement and feedback should also be given to the person raising the original concern. Feedback should be given in a way that will not make the situation worse or breach the Data Protection Act (2018) If an investigation is in progress or anticipated the lead agency for this should be consulted prior to giving feedback to the referrer.

What we expect from Partner agencies

  • All agencies we contract to undertake fundraising, filming or engagement on our behalf with the public are required to have a safeguarding policy in place.
  • Safeguarding policies should enable staff (paid and unpaid) to recognise abuse or signs of abuse: provide guidance on how to respond, report and record concerns.
  • It is the responsibility of each agency to ensure that their staff (paid or unpaid) are aware of this policy and their responsibilities for reporting.
  • We require that allegations or concerns should be reported to the CEO at Childlife or nominated contract manager within 24 hours.
  • It is the responsibility of the partner agency to take action to record and report   concerns. This may involve making a referral to Adults or Children’s Safeguarding Teams or actioning their own internal HR processes.

The role of Trustees

Trustees are responsible for identifying and reporting serious incidents.  All incidents will be reported to the trustees who will review and if it is appropriate it will be reported to the Charity Commission.  The Charity Commission’s view of a serious incident is ‘an adverse event, whether actual or alleged, which results in, or risks, significant:

  • harm to a charity’s beneficiaries, staff, volunteers or others who come into contact with the charity through its work
  • loss of a charity’s money or assets
  • damage to a charity’s property
  • harm to a charity’s work or reputation

Reporting serious incidents, including safeguarding

  • The Chair of trustees holds the responsibility for reporting to any outside bodies. In practice this may be delegated to the CEO.
  • The CEO holds responsibility for maintaining records of all concerns raised with them, the decisions reached on each case (including reasons for the decisions) and actions taken.
  • Should a serious incident not be reported, later coming to the attention of the Charity Commission, Childlife will need to explain and evidence the decision.

Incidents that arise while our staff are working remotely

Due to Covid-19 our staff have been working remotely, mainly at home.  Our policy for safeguarding applies whether we are in the Childlife office or elsewhere. Staff are encouraged to speak to the CEO or in the absence of the CEO to contact the Chair of Trustees if they have a concern or feel affected by an incident.

Appendix A – forms of Abuse


Abuse is broadly defined as someone being caused harm or distress through many forms ranging from disrespect or micro-aggression to physical, emotional or mental pain.  Forms of abuse include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Coercive control Sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Discriminatory abuse (on any grounds set out in the Equality Act 2010)
  • Modern day slavery
  • Human trafficking
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Extremism and radicalisation
  • Financial or material control
  • Bullying and cyberbullying
  • Organisational, institutional abuse and commercial exploitation


Policy agreed by – Childlife Board of Trustees 

Last update – August 2020

Next review – August 2021