ACF and FSC launch new safeguarding framework for foundations

The Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) and the Funder Safeguarding Collaborative (FSC) have launched a new safeguarding framework for foundations, revising the one first developed by ACF in 2018. The revised framework incorporates new regulatory guidance from across the UK and research conducted by FSC with foundations to identify positive funder safeguarding practices. 

Charity regulators across the UK have established safeguarding as a governance and operational priority. As charities in their own right, foundations must prioritise safeguarding within their own internal practices even where they have limited contact with children and vulnerable adults. By integrating safeguarding in their overall approach to funding, foundations can also play a critical role in promoting practices and organisational cultures which keep people safe.

The revised framework takes account of the changed context of the last 12 months, including increased digital delivery and virtual services, and poses a series of questions to prompt reflection and discussion, and to help foundations decide what is appropriate and proportionate for their organisation. Regulatory obligations are signposted throughout, and a guide to useful safeguarding resources is included at the end of the framework.

Commenting on the new framework, Karen Walker Simpson, Director at the FSC, said:

“We know that there is a genuine commitment amongst trusts and foundations to promoting practices and organisational cultures that keep people safe. The framework captures the learning and best practice that already exists within the sector and is a simple, accessible tool to help foundations think through their approach”

Dr. Judith Turbyne, Senior Manager: Policy and Improvement for the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), said:

“Keeping vulnerable beneficiaries safe is a key responsibility for charity trustees.  Equally important is ensuring that the structure and culture of the charity as a whole is geared to keep all those who work, volunteer or engage with the charity safe. In Scotland we are working to find ways of creating a culture of best practice in this area across the charity sector. This contribution by the Association of Charitable Foundations is extremely welcome as an accessible tool that should allow foundations to look at their policies and practices and improve them where necessary.”

Punam Mc Gookin, Head of Charity Services, at the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland said:

"Safeguarding is a key issue for all charities whether working at home or abroad. Charity trustees are responsible for ensuring those benefiting from, or working with, their charity are not harmed in any way through contact with it. This is particularly important where beneficiaries are vulnerable persons or children in the community. We have published a range of resources to promote good practice and to support the sector. We welcome the framework produced by the Association of Charitable Foundations as a tool to assist foundations to integrate safeguarding into their approach to funding and thereby help promote cultures and practices which keep people safe."


Click here to download the framework.

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