Abuse in charities
You've probably found this blog post because you're concerned about abuse in the charity context. Whilst it's sad that you should even have to consider such things, it's reassuring that the issue is at least on your radar.
We've all seen the news stories regarding allegations of historical abuse made against people in positions of authority from TV celebrities to sports coaches - almost anywhere that attracts groups of young people or children. Unfortunately, even charities and community groups aren't immune.
You don't have to look too far back to a time when youth clubs, scout groups, sports teams and the like would grab, with both hands, any offers of help. However, as we've now discovered, these and other groups can be seen by offenders as potentially good places to hide and operate.
We'd always recommend that your safeguarding procedures are up to scratch as a bare minimum and that you include existing workers in DBS checks regardless of how long they've been doing the work.
However, abuse isn't just limited to children's work of course - it includes anyone who could be in a vulnerable position.
So, beyond having robust policies and procedures in place to look after those in your care, what else can you do to protect yourselves as a charity?
When arranging your charity's insurance in today's environment it's important and necessary to consider Abuse Cover as part of your portfolio. This helps you to defend any such claims made against the organisation or its trustees - both with the legal costs and reputationally.
Caution needs to be exercised though! There are two types of abuse cover available and unknowingly switching between the two could leave you quite seriously exposed...
One covers you for claims made during the current policy term, regardless of when the incident occured; the other covers you for incidents occurring during the policy term regardless of when the claim is made in the future. Moving between the two could potentially leave you with an unprotected period of time in your history.
It's wise to check your Policy Wording and, if you're concerned or unsure about anything, make sure you take advice from someone who knows the difference and fully understands the implications of switching BEFORE you switch.