In the wake of several safeguarding scandals, Emma spoke about shifting definitions and new responsibilities.
Emma explained how the Charity Commission’s recently “expanded definition” of safeguarding differs from that of the education, health and social care sectors. She noted commission now goes beyond even DfID in what it considers the duty of care of charities to be, covering “all beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and contractors; as well as those who otherwise come into contact with the charity through the work of partners and grant recipients.”
Emma highlighted that many charities may find that their existing governance and risk management procedures are no longer up to the standard of the regulators. “Quite what they should look like and how they should operate in practice has not ultimately been settled by the sector, its regulators or its donors”, she explained. “As the Charity Commission, DfID and the House of Commons International Development Committee have all said publicly: we are on a journey and still have some way to go. However, in the meantime charities are effectively being held to account against standards that have not yet been finalised.”
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