Child protection policies and procedures

A safeguarding policy is a short statement of your organisation’s commitment to keeping children safe. A safeguarding procedure is a detailed description of the practical things your organisation will do to protect children from harm.

What is a child protection policy?

A safeguarding policy usually describes your organisation’s commitment to safeguarding children, the purpose of the policy, and how, in broad terms, your organisation will meet its responsibilities. There are lots of good sample safeguarding policies available on the internet. Which is handy, because it means you don’t need to write your policy from scratch.

But don’t be tempted just to copy another organisation’s policy, and file it away. For a safeguarding policy to mean anything, it needs to have the support of your trustees, staff and volunteers.

For step-by-step information on how to write a child protection policy and procedures, visit the Safe Network website.

What are child protection procedures?

Safeguarding procedures say in detail what will happen in your organisation when there are concerns about a child. Because every organisation works in a different way, it’s better to write your own safeguarding procedure from scratch. The Safe Network recommends using the following as headings in your procedures, and writing your own responses under them.

  • Purpose and aim of the procedures
  • A description of the different categories of abuse
  • How to recognise the signs of abuse
  • How to respond to signs or suspicions of abuse
  • How to respond to allegations of abuse
  • How to respond to a child telling you about abuse: what to do, and what not to do
  • How information will be recorded
  • Confidentiality policy
  • How to deal with other concerns about a child’s welfare

Where to find sample policies and procedures

If you’re writing a safeguarding policy and procedure for the first time, using a sample policy is a good way to get started. There are two things to remember. First, don’t just copy; tailor everything to fit your organisation properly. Second, choose a reliable sample – there are plenty of badly written ones out there!

We recommend the Are They Safe Guide as a one-stop resource. Written by NSPCC specifically for voluntary and community groups, it’s practical and proportionate.

Download the Are They Safe Guide

Need help writing your safeguarding policies and procedures? Contact Voluntary Action Westminster.

We can offer a range of support with developing safeguarding policies and procedures, from commenting on your draft to running a safeguarding workshop for your management committee. Call us on 020 7723 1216 or email for more information.

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