NYA is pleased to launch a new report, Keeping Young People in Sight: Designated Safeguarding Leads in the Youth Sector. The report builds on a series of reports published by the NYA on young people’s known and emerging needs through the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.  The new report specifically looks at the widening role of Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) and additional infrastructure support that is needed to ensure DSLs can safeguard effectively.  The NYA in collaboration with the National Youth Safeguarding Forum, the NSPCC, UK Youth and London Youth commissioned research than underpins this report on the role of Designated Safeguarding Leads within a youth work setting.

Abbee McLatchie, Director of Youth Work at NYA commented,

“Safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults is the most important duty of any youth worker, therefore it is imperative that the support, training and governance DSLs receive is improved, which in turn will enable youth workers to ensure the provision of a safe environment for young people.  With only 54% of DSLs interviewed reporting they have a nationally accredited qualification specifically about safeguarding, it is essential that safeguarding priorities are harmonised across government, local authorities and the youth sector to ensure DSLs receive the training and support they need.”

The NYA has also produced a Designated Safeguarding Leads in the Youth Sector Summary Document which provides the following recommendations based on the new report:

  1. A call for a national review of safeguarding support services across to youth sector to harmonise safeguarding provision with statutory services, including education and mental health, and the transition to adult services
  2. Ensure children and young people are involved in all elements of safeguarding structures and services in order to best meet their needs
  3. The development of DSLs as an explicit part of a youth workforce development strategy that increases capacity in safeguarding practice over the long term

Keeping Young People in Sight

DSL in the Youth Sector Summary

With special thanks to Tom Burke who conducted the research and authored the report and Clair Cooke, freelance safeguarding consultant, who supported the collection of views from National Safeguarding Youth Forum members; and all who took part in the survey, interviews and workshops.

‘Keeping Young People in Sight: Designated Safeguarding Leads in the Youth Sector’ has been funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the National Lottery Community Fund and Youth Futures Foundation.

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