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As part of the recruitment process, all of our volunteers have to undergo safeguarding training. One of the first things to understand about safeguarding training is that it is not limited to young people only. Safeguarding training is implemented in order to ensure the welfare of many different types of individuals, particularly young people, but also vulnerable adults to protect them from any potential harm.
This would include protection from any form of abuse and mistreatment and creating a safe environment in which they are able to develop in a healthy and safe space. Safeguarding looks to minimise the physical and mental risks that young people can be exposed to by those that work with them.
It is imperative that all volunteers that work with and would like to work with young people or vulnerable adults receive sufficient safeguarding training. It is also a legal requirement and all organisations must have a safeguarding policy in place. Here are a few reasons why safeguarding training is important for our volunteers.
One of the important aspects of safeguarding training for volunteers is that it helps you to identify and be aware of specific signs of abuse, neglect and vulnerability amongst the young people you are working with. This allows you to actively monitor the young people you are in contact with and to be consciously aware of their wellbeing. Safeguarding also allows you to be aware of any potential psychological and physical risks regarding the work you are doing with the young people you are responsible for.
Safeguarding training equips you with the right tools you need to conduct yourself professionally with the young people you will be working with. It teaches you how to approach and deal with situations that may arise concerning the young people in your care and how best to ensure a conducive, safe and healthy environment for them. Safeguarding training also helps to ensure your own safety and how to conduct yourself in sensitive situations that may arise when working with young people or vulnerable adults.
Safeguarding training helps you to know what your role is and how to best fulfil it when working together with young people. It sets out clear-cut boundaries that are helpful in understanding what is required of you in terms of your skills, experience and time commitment. The training also provides well-defined procedures and rules to adhere to according to the organisation you are working for. You learn how to report particular incidents and how to safeguard sensitive information pertaining to the young people you will be working with as well as the organisation. Safeguarding training also helps you to keep a sense of perspective and proportion between benefits and risks involved with the volunteer role you will be taking on. Through the safeguarding training, you are able to determine whether you are able to commit to what is required of you.
It is important as a volunteer that you are sufficiently trained in order to reassure the parents of the young people you will be working with. Parents need to know that their children are in good hands when dealing with organisations who work with their children and the staff and volunteers who are a part of that organisation. This is why organisations run DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks. DBS checks not only provide some reassurance for parents but they also help to protect organisations and young people. It creates transparency for all parties involved and helps organisations and parents know more about the volunteers. It is an essential safety precaution.
Safeguarding training allows for effective channels of communication to be formed and developed. As a volunteer, you need to be able to communicate well, not only with the organisation you work for but also with the young people in your care. This creates a trusting and safe environment for them to be able to relay their needs and wellbeing to you.
Safeguarding training also provides an opportunity for you as a volunteer to get to know more about the organisation you are applying to work for and the more intricate details of how the organisation operates. It gives you an insight into their procedures and approaches that are set in place in dealing with the young people you will be working with.
Overall, safeguarding training is there to help ensure the safety and protection of the individuals, particularly young people that are exposed to working with volunteers and other individuals who oversee their care in whichever form. It is set in place in order to help equip you as a volunteer and help with preparing you for your role when dealing with young people or vulnerable adults. This will allow you to do your best as a volunteer and it will create an efficient, safe and healthy working environment.
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.