ACF launches new framework on safeguarding for foundations

ACF has launched a new framework to help foundations think through their approach to safeguarding.

Regulators across the UK have asked charity trustees to review how they assess and address safeguarding risks. In response, ACF has developed this framework based on extensive engagement with members to help foundations think about safeguarding as part of their overall approach to funding. It poses a series of questions to prompt discussion within trusts and foundations aimed to help them decide what is appropriate and proportionate for their organisation.

Recognising that foundations are charities in their own right and have their own responsibilities to keep people safe, the framework also gives consideration to foundations’ internal practices.

On launching the framework, Carol Mack, Chief Executive of ACF, said:

As both funders and as charities themselves, foundations have an important role to play in recognising risk and vulnerability as an integral part of their decision-making and monitoring processes in the service of those organisations and individuals they support. Many of our members have helped with the development of this framework, and we hope foundations will find it useful as they refresh or look again at their approach to safeguarding.

Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy, Planning and Communications at the Charity Commission for England and Wales, said:

The public, rightly, expect charities to be places where they can feel safe. The Commission wants to see all charities recognising this and living up to their responsibilities in this area so I welcome this important contribution from the Association of Charitable Foundations. I hope it will go a long way in helping foundations understand their role in keeping people safe, both as charities themselves and with regard to the charities they fund.” 

Dr. Judith Turbyne, Head of Engagement for the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), said:

The safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults 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.

Download the framework here.


Please contact Max Rutherford with any questions or comments.

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