Earlier, the Oxfam report was published, with more than 70 recommendations. The independent chair is Jim Gamble, the former head of CEOP, and current independent chair of a couple of local safeguarding children’s boards.
This review came about following allegations made against a former worker. Those allegations and the issues in Haiti have been dealt with in a separate review.
This report delves into the workings of Oxfam GB and the changes that are needed in order to best safeguard the vulnerable people that Oxfam work with.
Oxfam is an exceptionally noble charity. They’ve been around a long time. But the issues that have arisen are really significant.
One of the issues raised was the documenting of safeguarding incidents. When the review panel wanted to know what safeguarding incidents or issues there had been in the past, they were directed to a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was incomplete. It didn’t have full information within it, and it certainly didn’t record outcomes of investigations, or what actually happened as a result of conversations, who was talking to who, things like that.
If this had happened in a school, where record-keeping requirements are stringent, Ofsted would be down on you like a ton of bricks.
But organisations outside of the education sector must also follow incident reporting and recording requirements, within Working Together to Safeguard Children. Small and large organizations like out of school clubs, and Saturday groups that do fun things with children, previously haven’t needed a process for recording safeguarding incidents. They now need to under Working Together to Safeguard Children, which is a global initiative.
The report also discovered under-18s working in Oxfam shops, without supervision from an appropriately safeguarding trained adult. Something which many smaller organisations have probably also overlooked – they’re providing education or support for younger people, but they don’t have anybody within the organization who is safeguarding trained or a safeguarding lead.
If you are aware of organizations working with children and young people, who don’t have robust reporting processes and procedures in place, or don’t have team members trained in safeguarding, please do send them to the Safeguarding Association website and ask them to get in touch with me so I can help them.
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