Many small children’s charities have low awareness of the forthcoming changes to the system for checking the suitability of people to work with children and vulnerable adults, a survey has found.
The survey of 125 charities by umbrella organisation Children England found that one third had not heard of the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s vetting and barring scheme, which comes into force in October this year. Only half of the charities knew it was related to safer recruitment.
The survey also revealed that four out of ten charities with an annual income of less than £250,000 faced closure due to funding uncertainty.
More than a quarter – 28% – have had to issue redundancy notices in the previous 12 months or anticipated doing so, and the report said many found it difficult to influence local funding decisions.
Almost half reported a negative change in funding over the previous two years.
Children England called for a major campaign to raise awareness of safeguarding along with longer-term funding and greater access to training for smaller organisations. It also recommended closer working between organisations to maximise influence.
Not linked into decision-making
Jordan Thompson, development officer and one of the report’s authors, said the findings showed that many small charities were not effectively linked in to local decision-making.
“Local services are being planned and developed without the vital and unique expertise of these organisations or the voices of the children, young people and families they serve,” he warned.