The Berkshire West CCGs recently conducted a safeguarding audit of a number of voluntary organisations grant-funded through the Partnership Development Fund.
“The response of the voluntary and community sector (VCS) has been both encouraging and engaging, reaching 377 people in the sample audit who had responded to their agency’s questionnaire. This is excellent and all the VCS agencies selected responded with the exception of one late submission. All agencies produced their own action plan of issues to address. There was no immediate risk that required action. The audit demonstrated that there was a good base line in the VCS for training; over 50% of the audit sample confirmed staff had been trained in the last 12 months. In addition it, demonstrated staff knowledge was good around where to refer and how to seek assistance. The audit evidenced that the overall training compliance was within the guidance period (3 yearly). This is a credit to the sector in supporting their volunteers, many of whom build a relationship with the VCO manager and this showed people were empowered and worked in a culture that promoted enabled them to seek advice. Training data and evidence overall achieved a good level of compliance, establishing training was being accessed and recorded and knowledge that the requirement for refresher was 3 yearly. This provided assurance that the voluntary sector in the audit sample was making or knew how to make referrals.
A notable strength in the findings is that supervision and support in the voluntary sector is evidenced and well received by front line volunteers, who should be recognised, as this has been an area highlighted previously and offers learning for statutory services.
The audit showed that there was a challenge and inconsistency across agencies where some trustees were having training and others indicated this was ‘not appropriate for them’. Most trustees knew their lead officers, which was encouraging, and mitigated some level of risk. However the finding has led to a best practice recommendation for awareness-raising and training for trustees.”
A further recommendation is to strengthen the access and connection for front line with the multi -agency procedures. This forms part of the recommendations and is required to bridge any gap between the Voluntary and Community Sector and the Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB).
A new website will soon be available so you can access the procedures for safeguarding adults in Berkshire.