Safeguarding children and young people, the actions taken to promote the welfare of children and young people, and protect them from harm, is everyone’s responsibility. Every group and organisation that has contact with children and families has a role to play, and responsibilities to fulfil.

Children and young people can suffer harm for a variety of reasons. Providing help early is more effective in safeguarding children and young people than reacting later. It is a way of building resilience within families, preventing or reducing the risk of problems escalating. See the METRO GAVS Model Children's Safeguarding Policy within Member Resources for more information on harm.

See below for contact details of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Children Services Advice and Guidance on Early Help and Family and Adolescent Support Service.

If you would like to know more about safeguarding in the Voluntary Sector or how we can help with safeguarding training and/or your safeguarding policy, please email Roy Gopaul.


What To Do If You Are Concerned About a Child

If a child is in immediate danger, you must call the Police on 999 and/or another appropriate emergency service, such as the ambulance.


If you are concerned that a child may be at risk of harm or has suffered harm, you need to contact Greenwich Children Services:

  • If you need advice and guidance: 020 8921 2267
  • If you need to make a referral: 020 8921 3172
  • During an emergency out of office hours: 020 8854 8888

You can use this form to make a referral for Family and Adolescent Support Service or MASH, and email the form here after completion.


Contact for Advice and Guidance on Early Help

Early Help has changed its name to the Family and Adolescent Support Service (FaASS). FaASS provides a range of information, support, and advice to families with children and young people aged between 0-19 or to 25 years old for young people classes a special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). In addition, FaASS can provide information and advice to a range of practitioners, including Voluntary Sector workers about services and assessments.

If you need advice and guidance on Early Help / FaASS, please phone 020 8921 4590 between 1:00pm and 4:00pm).


Reporting Allegations of Abuse/Disclosure Implicating Staff or Volunteer(s)

If you have a concern involving an allegation against a staff member or volunteer, you must also report the matter to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on either 0208 921 3930 or by email.

This leaflet gives more information about the LADO service.


Safeguarding Resources, Model Policy, and Guidance

Working Together to Safeguard Children provides statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. Every organisation, including those within the Voluntary Sector, working with children and young people must adhere to this guidance.

METRO GAVS has developed a model safeguarding policy for children which covers all the key areas for groups and organisations working with children and young people. We recommend that you use this policy as the basis for your group/organisation’s safeguarding policies. You can also obtain useful information and guidance from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

The Greenwich Safeguarding Children Partnership has a website with a range of information for professionals covering a wide range of information about safeguarding, including free training for Voluntary Sector workers within the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The London Safeguarding Children Partnership has news, updates, and resources relating to safeguarding across London.

The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) provides professional advice and support in all areas of safeguarding children and young people throughout the UK. This organisation supports churches and groups across the denominational spectrum, and faith groups.


DBS Checks (Formerly CRB Checks)

Everyone who work with children and young people aged 0-17 years must have a DBS check and obtain a certificate. Depending on the level of contact this can a basic or an enhanced certificate. This Guide to DBS Checks gives an overview of the different types DBS checks. It also tells you how to apply for them. Further information on which DBS check is right for you is available here

See here for the UK Government’s guide on how to complete the DBS application form or phone the DBS helpline on 03000 200 190.

You can apply for a check online here.

If you are a volunteer in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, you can contact Volunteer Centre Greenwich for help with applying for a check.

The cost of a basic DBS check in 2023 is £18.00. An enhanced check costs £38.00. To complete your on-line application you will need:

  • A list of all of your addresses for the last five years and the dates you lived there
  • Your National Insurance number
  • A debit or a credit card
  • Your passport
  • Your driving licence


Regional Outreach Service

The Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) has a Regional Outreach Service for Greater London. The Regional Adviser can help with any question you may have about DBS checks, including supporting you in safeguarding and safer recruitment. You can contact them on 0300 105 3081 or email them here.


Safeguarding Training

If you work or volunteer with children and young people, then you should undertake training to ensure you have the knowledge and skills you need to help keep them safe. This is mandatory. Depending on the level of contact you have you will need to complete either a level 1 or level 2 training.

Safeguarding Children Level 1 is a general introduction to safeguarding and covers the basics and everyday duties. It includes how to report a concern and who to, legislation in the UK, as well as signs of neglect.

Safeguarding Children Level 2 is for staff and volunteers who, within their role, have contact (however small) with children and young people, parents/carers or adults who may pose a risk to children.

You must update your training every two years. The easiest way of doing this is online. This is free for Voluntary Sector workers and volunteers, but will require a code, which you can obtain from METRO GAVS.

You can also access free safeguarding training through the Greenwich Safeguarding Children Partnership or by emailing METRO GAVS’ Children and Young people Development Officer Roy Gopaul.

The NSPCC also provides a range of training at a cost.


Role of Trustees

Trustees have overall responsibility to ensure their organisation fulfils their safeguarding responsibilities. This includes:

  • Protecting people, includes staff, volunteers, and service users
  • Minimising risks of any harm or abuse
  • Ensuring everyone has confidence that their concerns will be dealt with appropriately
  • Ensuring everyone within the organisation understands their role

The Charity Commission has also issued guidance on safeguarding for charities and trustees.