It has been hard to avoid the recent press coverage over the last couple of weeks in connection with the recent Oxfam scandal and the impact that this is now having to public confidence in the charity sector.
As a result, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) are urging all Charity Trustees to be aware of their duty to safeguard individuals connected with the organisation from harm, harassment, bullying or abuse.
Charity Trustees should consider the relevance of safeguarding as soon as possible and ensure that, where relevant, there is a current Safeguarding Policy in place that is followed.
Owing to the Oxfam case, it is likely that charities working with vulnerable beneficiaries, volunteers or staff, will now come under further scrutiny from OSCR and may be asked to exhibit a copy of their Safeguarding Policy for review.
Where a problem does arise, whether in relation to safeguarding or not, Charity Trustees are reminded that they should consider to what extent this should be reported to OSCR in terms of their Notifiable Events regime (for more information on Notifiable Events please see the Fact Sheet on the Charities and Community Page of our website).
Please find a link to OSCR’s article which sets out the key actions that they consider Charity Trustees should be taking now. We would suggest that you address each of these action points at your next meeting, having these duly minuted and taking these forward as necessary:
If you require assistance, such as the preparation of a Safeguarding Policy specifically for your charity, help with any of the action points, or any further advice, we are of course on hand to help, please contact Sarah Rennie or Colin Liddell.