Safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults is the most important duty of any youth worker or volunteer. In response to reduced funding and resources within the sector, the national workforce has changed. In turn, this has placed greater reliance upon volunteer youth workers. The diminishing infrastructure support available to youth workers and volunteers, and the organisations they work with, means there is inconsistent training, continuing professional development (CPD) and resources available across England. Meanwhile, the complexities of young people’s needs and risks have increased.
NYA conducted a review of 1,000 Safeguarding courses across England, and only 3% had content relevant for Youth Work settings. Following this review, we had a Summer of Dialogue (June-August 2020), where we worked in partnership with the Youth Safeguarding Forum and the NSPCC, across the youth sector to understand and identify Safeguarding needs.
NYA is delighted to launch a Safeguarding and Risk Management Hub, an online platform sharing free resources, tools and CPD materials specifically for the youth sector and will be supported by social work staff who have youth sector expertise. We recognise there is a need for clarity and investment to support organisations and individual youth workers to develop consistent support structures of safeguarding and risk management in order to help ensure young people have access to safe services, support and care. The Safeguarding and Risk Management Hub has been funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the National Lottery Community Fund and Youth Futures Foundation.
Abbee McLatchie, Director of Youth Work at NYA commented,
“With an estimated two million young people with emerging needs triggered or caused by the wider impacts of the pandemic and associated lockdowns, it is crucial that the youth sector, youth workers and volunteers have resources and tools to safely deliver youth work. The NYA Safeguarding and Risk Management Hub is a pivotal resource centre, aimed specifically at the needs of the youth sector. We would like to recognise and express our thanks to the Safeguarding Steering Group who have helped to inform and drive forwards the Safeguarding and Risk Management Hub and will continue to provide a roadmap for further development.”
The Safeguarding and Risk Management Hub will continue to be developed, including additional resources and an interactive forum to ensure youth organisations, youth workers and volunteers are fully supported.
Find out more about the Safeguarding and Risk Management Hub here