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Complaints Policy for OnexOne Funds

Safeguarding Policy for OnexOne Funds




  1. Organisation and Activities

  2. Our Commitment

  3. Safeguarding

  4. Training and Awareness

  5. Safer Recruitment

  6. Working Safely

  7. Responding to Concerns

  8. Pastoral Care

  9. Working in Partnership

  10. Adoption of this Policy

  11. Appendices



  1. Organisation and Activities  



OnexOne Funds 

Charity number: 



The Forge, 161 Holme Lacy Road, Hereford, HR2 6DG


0330 043  8363


Lead Director: 

Meg Cooke (

Safeguarding Lead: 

Ryan Sallis 


OnexOne Funds exists to impact lives through generosity, one by one.  Each donation to OnexOne Funds is distributed across four themed funds, each with a portfolio of organisations with a track record of creating meaningful change. Our partners provide relief to those affected by natural or man-made disasters (Emergency Fund), empower individuals through education and employment (Future Fund), help individuals find freedom from violence and abuse (Liberty Fund), and advance the Christian faith in remote, hard to reach or persecuted areas of the world, or through the use of new technologies (Mission Fund). 


  1. Our Commitment 


As trustees of OnexOne Funds, we recognise the need to ensure safeguarding standards both within the organisation and in relation to the registered charitable organisations with whom we establish partnerships. While OnexOne Funds does not work directly with children or adults at risk, our partners frequently do. We recognise the need to ensure a safe and caring environment, to promote good working practice and to ensure our partners are committed to stringent safeguarding standards. 


We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.


We accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which state that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. We also concur with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. Children have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.”


As trustees we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to building constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding where appropriate. 


We undertake to:


  • endorse and follow all national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures, in addition to the international conventions outlined above.

  • provide ongoing safeguarding training for all our volunteers and staff, and regularly review the operational guidelines attached (Appendices).

  • support the Safeguarding Lead in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children and adults at risk.

  • promote awareness and a culture of safeguarding through all of our partnerships.



  1. Safeguarding 


Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and adults at risk, and protect them from harm.


Definition of a child:


  • International - The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as every human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority [adulthood] is attained earlier.

  • England - A child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.

  • Wales and Northern Ireland - A child is a person who is under 18.

  • Scotland - The definition of a child varies according to the legal circumstances. Part 1 of the national guidance for child protection in Scotland explains that a child is generally defined as someone under the age of 18.


Definition of an adult at risk:


  • England - A person aged 18 years or over, who may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

  • Wales - A person who is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs), and as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

  • Scotland - Those aged 16 years and over who are unable to safeguard their own wellbeing, property, rights or other interests and are at risk of harm and because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected.


There are four categories of abuse as defined by the UK Government’s statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018):


  • Sexual Abuse 

  • Physical Abuse 

  • Emotional Abuse 

  • Neglect Abuse 


A non exhaustive list of categories of abuse experienced by adults are:-


  • Self-neglect

  • Modern slavery

  • Domestic abuse

  • Organisational

  • Physical

  • Sexual      

  • Financial or material       

  • Neglect and acts of omission       

  • Emotional or psychological       

  • Cyber bullying       

  • Forced marriage       

  • Mate crime      

  • Radicalisation


It is recognised that there are particular risks of sexual exploitation and abuse in emergency contexts and humanitarian situations.  According to the UN (Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13): 


  • Sexual exploitation is defined as an actual or attempted abuse of someone's position of vulnerability (such as a person depending on you for survival, food rations, school books, transport or other services), differential power or trust, to obtain sexual favours, including but not only, by offering money or other social, economic or political advantages. It includes trafficking and prostitution. 

  • Sexual abuse means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force, or under unequal or coercive conditions. It includes sexual slavery, pornography, child abuse and sexual assault.


[See Appendix II - Definitions and Signs of Abuse]

  1. Training 


OnexOne Funds is committed to ensuring ongoing safeguarding training for all paid and voluntary workers and developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone involved in our work. The purpose of training is to encourage a positive and open culture and to build safeguarding into everything we do. 


During the onboarding process, all OnexOne Funds’ workers will receive induction training on safeguarding and read and sign a copy of this policy. We will provide ongoing safeguarding training on an annual basis. Annual training helps us to demonstrate a standard, commit to learning and development, and remain aware of changes in the international charity sector in which we work.


Where key individuals (such as the Safeguarding Lead) or particular activities (such as partner visits) are concerned, we undertake to provide additional training and resources as appropriate. 


When considering a potential partnership, OnexOne Funds conducts an initial due diligence assessment.  An assessment as to current suitability is made by the trustees and if all due diligence requirements are not able to be met, the trustees will use their discretion to either advise not to enter into the partnership or enter into the partnership on the condition that the partner will engage in capacity building in the area of Safeguarding.  The trustees will ensure there is a date for review of the safeguarding measures implemented by the charity to ensure said capacity building has taken place.  If capacity building has not taken place, the trustees will use their discretion to end the partnership or put the partnership on hold. 


  1. Safer Recruitment 


Safer recruitment is one way in which we embed safeguarding practices into every aspect of our organisation and activities.


We will ensure that all workers, paid or unpaid, are appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safer recruitment. This includes ensuring that:


  • There is a written job description and person specification for the post

  • Those applying have completed an application form and a self declaration form

  • Those shortlisted have been interviewed

  • Safeguarding has been discussed at interview

  • Written references have been obtained, and followed up where appropriate

  • An appropriate disclosure check has been completed if necessary

  • Qualifications where relevant have been verified

  • A suitable training programme is provided for the successful applicant

  • The applicant has completed a probationary period

  • The applicant has been given a copy of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and knows how to report concerns


[See Appendix IV - Safer Recruitment procedure]


  1. Working Safely


OnexOne Funds is committed to promoting a caring environment and operating in a culture of safeguarding. This involves ensuring that workers are supported and equipped to work safely, with guidance on how to conduct our work in accordance with safer working practice.


Therefore, all workers will receive and agree to a general code of conduct, attached to this policy (Appendix V), which demonstrates their commitment to safeguarding and behaviour in line with our organisational aims and values. 


Specific safer working practice guidelines are provided for regular activities, including, site visits, filming, taking photographs and social media use (Appendix VI).


OnexOne Funds does not primarily work in direct contact with children, young people or adults at risk, but our partner organisations do. There may be situations where a worker of OnexOne Funds visits a project or location where a partner works. As such, specific guidelines are in place for these situations, to ensure that we are prepared to work safely in all environments.


[See Appendices V and VI - code of conduct and safer working practice guidelines]


  1. Responding to Concerns 


We are responsible for responding to concerns where a child or where an adult at risk has disclosed concerning information to you OR you have witnessed or had reported to you an incident or complaint involving a child or adult at risk, which may be considered abuse or poor practice.


If you have a concern, there is no need to have proof of harm or abuse before you report – a suspicion is enough. There will be no reprisals or victimisation of anyone who raises a concern about safeguarding or any other form of wrongdoing. 


[See Appendix VII - concern reporting process]


  1. Pastoral Care


The trustees are committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory and voluntary agencies as appropriate, and giving support to all those who have been affected by trauma. 


When visiting or working directly with our partners, OnexOne Funds' volunteers and/or staff may visit and work in areas of natural or man-made disaster, conflict or other stressful situations, in which our partners operate. We acknowledge that facing challenging and stressful circumstances can have a negative impact on an individual, both short-term and long-term. 


We value and protect the physical, emotional and spiritual health of all our volunteers and staff. We therefore commit to providing pre-departure briefing and debriefing resources to help team members to cope with potentially traumatic incidents and environments of high stress. 


  1. Working in Partnership 


Working in partnership is core to the values and mission of OnexOne Funds. We acknowledge our responsibility to ensure that safeguarding principles are incorporated into every partnership. 


The diversity of organisations to which OnexOne Funds provides funding and support, and the settings in which they operate, means there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding children, young people and adults. This can be because of cultural tradition, belief and religious practice or understanding, for example, of what constitutes abuse. 


Our partner organisations vary in size, capacity, operational contexts and organisational structures. This means they may display a range of safeguarding awareness, policies, practices and structures.


We acknowledge that the nature of our organisational aims means that our partners will work directly with children and adults at risk, survivors of abuse and violence, and/or in harmful or dangerous environments. It is all the more important for OnexOne Funds to establish a cultural standard that values and promotes safeguarding of children, young people and adults at risk.


We therefore have clear guidelines in regards to our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership, whether in the UK or not. These expectations are detailed in the Working in Partnership Guidelines (Appendix III). 


In order to establish safeguarding at the heart of our partnerships, we commit to the following steps.


Prior to signing a Memorandum of Understanding to initiate a funding partnership, we will:


  1. Discuss with potential partners the scope of our shared safeguarding expectations. 

  2. Conduct due diligence by assessing and keeping a record of partner organisations’ child protection and/or safeguarding policies, in accordance with the assessment criteria detailed in the Working in Partnership Guidelines (Appendix III).

  3. Ensure that safeguarding values and expectations are included in the written partnership agreement. 


Throughout the partnership we will: 


  1. Undertake to provide capacity building support to our partners wherever possible, to enable them to develop safeguarding awareness and invest in good working practices. This may take the form of shared resources, such as toolkits for self-assessment and training materials. 

  2. Build safeguarding into the regular (and at minimum, annual) communication and reporting between OnexOne Funds and partners.  


We believe good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.


[See Appendix III - Working in Partnership Guidelines]


  1. Adoption of this Policy 


The trustees of OnexOne Funds formally accepted this policy, including its appendices, via emails dated 21, 22 and 23 July 2021.


This Policy was reviewed at the Trustee Meeting held on 18th January 2022. 


I confirm that I have received a copy of this policy on [ date ]. I have read and understood the policy and its attached guidelines, and commit to abiding by its terms. 










  1. Roles and Responsibilities 

  2. Definitions and Signs of Abuse 

  3. Working In Partnership 

  4. Safer Recruitment Procedure

  5. Code of Conduct 

  6. Safer Working Practice Guidelines

  7. Raising a Concern

  8. Records Management, Retention and Disposal

  9. Safeguarding Referral Form

  10. Related Policies 

  11. Useful Links 



  1. Roles and Responsibilities 


Safeguarding children and adults at risk is the responsibility of all but there are certain required and designated roles, as specified in legislation and national guidance and to ensure the primacy of safeguarding within organisations. 


While OnexOne Funds does not work directly with children or adults at risk, we take seriously the responsibility to protect people and promote a safe and caring environment. Specific roles and responsibilities within the organisation are as follows; 


  1. Trustees


Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (Department for Education) states:


Like other organisations and agencies who work with children, they [charities] should have appropriate arrangements in place to safeguard and protect children from harm. Many of these organisations and agencies as well as many schools, children’s centres, early years and childcare organisations, will be subject to charity law and regulated either by the Charity Commission or other “principal” regulators. Charity trustees are responsible for ensuring that those benefiting from, or working with, their charity, are not harmed in any way through contact with it.


Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees (Charity Commission) states:


Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities should be a governance priority for all charities. As part of fulfilling your trustee duties, you must take reasonable steps to protect people who come into contact with your charity from harm. This includes people who benefit from your charity’s work, staff, volunteers. It may also include other people who come into contact with your charity through its work.


OnexOne Funds’ trustees are responsible for the adoption and periodic review of this policy and for dealing with any complaints made, as specified in the Complaints Policy. 


  1. Safeguarding Lead


The Safeguarding Lead is an individual whose appointment is confirmed with the agreement of all trustees. The responsibilities of the Safeguarding Lead include:


  • Ensuring that OnexOne Funds’ safeguarding responsibilities are met.

  • Overseeing, implementing and monitoring safeguarding arrangements and training. 

  • Promoting a positive culture of safeguarding across the organisation.

  • Ensuring good communication between trustees and workers.

  • Establishing an effective reporting framework for the trustees.

  • Ensuring that safeguarding is core to strategic and operational planning.

  • Ensuring the adoption, implementation and auditing of this safeguarding policy.

  • Ensuring that funded partners are quality assured for their safeguarding arrangements prior to signing a Memorandum of Understanding and annually throughout the partnership.

  • Promoting a positive culture of safeguarding across our partner organisations, and where appropriate, offering capacity building support to develop their safeguarding practices.

  • Ensure that there is a programme of training and mentoring to support those with responsibility for safeguarding.

  • Working in partnership with other groups including commissioners/ providers, local authorities and police to secure high quality, best practice in Safeguarding Children for children.

  • To ensure that serious incidents relating to safeguarding are reported immediately and managed effectively.

  • Keeping detailed, accurate records, either written or using appropriate secure online software, of all concerns about a child or adult even if there is no need to make an immediate referral.

  • Liaising with the Local Authority and working with other agencies and professionals in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018).


  1. All Workers 


All workers, whether paid or voluntary, are expected to:


  • Understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk, and that they have a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.

  • Understand and apply safer working practices in accordance with this policy and its guidance. 

  • Uphold the general code of conduct. 

  • Consider what is in the best interests of a child or adult at risk, and provide a safe environment.

  • Be alert to changes in the behaviour of a child or an adult at risk, or their family circumstances, and recognise that change can be an indicator of abuse.

  • Know how to respond to a child or adult who discloses abuse or neglect.  

  • Refer any safeguarding concerns to the Safeguarding Lead and where there is an immediate risk, to the police or Children's/Adult Social Care. 

  • Provide the Safeguarding Lead with safeguarding observations and feedback.



 II. Definitions and Signs of Abuse


  1. What is Child Abuse?


Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention. We know that neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse.


An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. It can increasingly happen online.


i) Neglect


The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:


  • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter(including exclusion from home or abandonment) 

  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger 

  • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care- givers) 

  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment 


It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.


ii) Physical abuse


A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.


iii) Sexual abuse


Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.


iv) Emotional abuse


The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.


Signs and indicators


Children and young people are reluctant to tell someone when they are being abused, so it is essential that every adult is aware of the possible signs and indicators that a child and young person’s welfare or safety is being threatened. However, there is rarely a clear sign and you may often have to piece together various snippets of information and rely on your instinct that something does not seem quite right. Never allow a child or young person’s disability or cultural difference to explain away concerns.


You may have one piece of information that, when added to that of others, forms a clear picture of abuse. This is often compared to fitting pieces of a jigsaw together. Only when you have a few pieces can you start to see the true picture. Remember, it is not your job to decide whether or not a child or young person is being abused, however it is your responsibility to share your concerns.


  1. Adults and Abuse


OnexOne Funds has a duty to refer concerns they may have about an individual, group or an adult who works with adults who may be vulnerable or at risk of harm.


In the UK, the Care Act 2014 provides this list of categories of abuse that adults may be subjected to: 


  • Physical abuse– including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.

  • Domestic violence– including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so-called ‘honour’ based violence.

  • Sexual abuse– including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.

  • Psychological abuse– including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.

  • Financial or material abuse– including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

  • Modern slavery– encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. 

  • Discriminatory abuse– including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of  race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

  • Organisational abuse– including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home.

  • Neglect and acts of omission– including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating

  • Self-neglect– this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.


The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (UK) also includes physical violence, emotional abuse, controlling or coercive behaviour, and economic abuse.


  1. National Guidance 








  1. International guidance: Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)


There are particular risks of sexual exploitation and abuse in emergency contexts and humanitarian situations. PSEA policies and practices aim to end sexual exploitation and sexual abuse by humanitarian workers. 


According to the UN (Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13): 

  • Sexual exploitation is defined as an actual or attempted abuse of someone's position of vulnerability (such as a person depending on you for survival, food rations, school books, transport or other services), differential power or trust, to obtain sexual favours, including but not only, by offering money or other social, economic or political advantages. It includes trafficking and prostitution. 

  • Sexual abuse means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force, or under unequal or coercive conditions. It includes sexual slavery, pornography, child abuse and sexual assault.


Further resources



  III. Working in Partnership


These guidelines address the need to establish safeguarding expectations as a core element of OnexOne Funds’ funded partnership agreements. 


These expectations help us to promote a culture where best safeguarding practice is genuinely valued and experienced by those within, or impacted by, our organisation and partners.


We value the organisational reputation of OnexOne Funds as a trusted partner, for both our community of givers and our partners. Due diligence within our partnerships enables us to maintain a positive relationship with everyone involved in and connected to OnexOne Funds, and to ensure that any children and adults at risk are protected and cared for. 


Safeguarding Values


In order to protect and pursue safeguarding within the aims of OnexOne Funds and our partners, we set out these values, in alignment with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: 


  • We believe that all children, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances, have the right to be protected, nurtured and free from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation.

  • The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.

  • We commit to a survivor-centred approach when working with survivors of abuse and violence.

  • We act with integrity, transparency and accountability in all areas of our work.

  • Everyone has a responsibility for safeguarding.


This Safeguarding Policy will be appended to a Memorandum of Understanding with all partners. 


Due Diligence


We will conduct due diligence with potential partners before signing a Memorandum of Understanding. We use the criteria set out in the Due Diligence Checklist when conducting assessments of the safeguarding structures of partner organisations. 


They cover the following areas of safeguarding practice: 


  1. Safeguarding

  2. Whistleblowing

  3. Risk management

  4. Code of conduct

  5. Governance and accountability


Proportionality and how due diligence will be applied

Not all of the sub-headings in each policy area will be met as this will depend on the size of the organisation, its role and mandate and the programme it is setting out to deliver. 

Not all partners will be involved in programmes that engage with or deliver to children, young people or adults at risk. We also recognise that the standards may go beyond the policies and processes in place in smaller organisations or organisations operating in different geographies (and therefore under different legal jurisdictions / regulatory frameworks) around the world. 

In those situations a proportionate approach is taken which is in accordance with the level of risk associated with the programme, in order to gain a level of assurance commensurate with those risks. They will also confirm whether adequate controls are in place to mitigate identified risks. 

IV. Safer Recruitment


Our safer recruitment process includes the development of a job description, completion of an application form, an interview, taking up references and a possible disclosure check, as well as the applicant’s agreement to abide by this Safeguarding Policy. 


A potential volunteer’s willingness to engage with the safer recruitment process shows that he or she takes safeguarding seriously. A major benefit of robust safer recruitment practices is that they will deter many who are unsuitable from applying in the first place.


Step 1 - Job description or role profile


Every applicant is given a clear and up-to-date job description or role profile (outlining the role and responsibilities), a person specification (specifying skills, qualities, experience, knowledge and/or qualifications required), as well as details of support and training that will be provided.


Step 2 - Application form


A standard application form is used to ensure that everybody provides the same information, making it more difficult to hide relevant details, and assisting with shortlisting (if undertaken).


The form asks for the applicant’s full name, previous names or aliases, their date of birth, current address, employment history and contact details of two referees. Applicants must also provide a statement containing the reason for applying for the position, personal qualities and experience relevant to the post (which should reflect the criteria in the job description or role profile and the person specification).


The form is a source of information about previous work experience and gaps in employment that may be significant. It also states that OnexOne Funds reserves the right to make any character enquiries considered necessary, for example from a previous employer or voluntary organisation.


Step 3 - Self-declaration form


A self-declaration form, which includes consent to a disclosure check, should also be completed by the applicant. It requests details of any police warnings, reprimands, cautions, convictions, bind-overs or other causes for concern such as investigations made by the police, children’s social care, adult social care or relevant regulatory bodies. This information is likely to be revealed in a disclosure check anyway later on, so the applicant’s willingness to declare it beforehand gives an indication of their honesty. It also means the process can be halted at an early stage if they are unsuitable.


Step 4 - References


This part of the process gathers information about the applicant, which can provide useful insights into their experience, attitudes, motivation and character. It is best practice to take up references for all shortlisted applicants before interview so that the information supplied can be addressed and, if necessary, form part of the recruitment decision.


At least two references should be obtained in most cases. For a paid position, ideally at least one reference should be from the applicant’s current or previous employer (if he or she is not currently working). The reference should be requested using our standard template so that the same information is gathered about all applicants. The job description or role profile and person specification should also accompany the reference request. The referee will be asked if they are aware of anything that might give rise to concern, and about the applicant’s attitude towards safeguarding. Any information given should be compared with information provided by the applicant.


Step 5 - Interview


The interview should generally be conducted by at least two people with leadership or management responsibilities within OnexOne Funds, one of whom will directly supervise the person who is appointed. There may, however, be some circumstances where a single interviewer might be appropriate.


The application form is a good place to start at an interview. Interview questions should relate specifically to the tasks of the position and be broadly reflected in the criteria from the person specification. Additional questions about an applicant may be asked, such as his/her experience, details that they have given on the application form, or information provided by a referee, provided it is relevant to the position applied for.


It is important to remember that the interview is an opportunity to get the best from people rather than to catch them out. It is also a good opportunity to ask specific questions about the applicant’s attitudes towards and understanding of safeguarding.


Step 6 - Decision


A decision as to whether or not to appoint an applicant should be based on all the information gathered, including experience, ability, suitability and motivation for wanting to work with children, young people or adults at risk. It should not be based on external factors such as the urgency of need or the immediate availability of the applicant. An assessment of each applicant interviewed may then be made, enabling leaders or managers to arrive at a decision to appoint the applicant who gave greatest confidence in their ability.


If there are legitimate concerns about an applicant, it is best not to appoint. This minimises the risk of placing people at risk of significant harm. When the decision has been made about offering the position, any offer made should be conditional upon receipt of satisfactory references and checks.


Step 7 - Disclosure check


Once a decision has been made, a disclosure check may be carried out on the successful applicant. This decision will be made on a case by case basis, depending on the nature of the role. If visiting a partner organisation’s premises or project, a disclosure check will be undertaken.


The check will reveal any information held on central police databases such as cautions and convictions and their inclusion on government lists that bar an individual from working with children, young people or adults at risk.


OnexOne Funds operates a procedure for dealing with concerns resulting from information revealed by the check (a blemished disclosure). This involves completing a risk assessment for applicants with blemished disclosures where the offences do not automatically bar them from working with children, young people or adults at risk.


If an applicant has lived outside of the UK for more than six months at any time in the last three years, they will also be required to provide a criminal records check from each country, obtained no more than 30 days before their departure. Guidance relating to overseas criminal records checks is available from GOV.UK.

Step 8 - Induction

Induction will involve reading and signing this policy along with the Code of Conduct. It will also involve basic safeguarding training.


Managing safer recruitment 


OnexOne Funds’ safer recruitment process is managed using a secure google spreadsheet. This ensures that all necessary steps are taken, an audit history is maintained, and decisions are communicated clearly. The process may be initiated by the Director or Trustees. 



  V. Code of Conduct 


This code of conduct sets out the basic standards of behaviour expected of all OnexOne Funds workers. As a volunteer, or a member of staff, you are an ambassador of OnexOne Funds’ vision. As such your conduct should be consistent with our organisational objective of impacting lives through generosity.


We want and expect all to serve with excellence, lead with passion and interact with honour. As a result of your desire to serve with us, we expect certain behavioural standards.


As a OnexOne Funds volunteer you are expected to:


  • Be on time and honour commitment to others

  • Treat everyone with respect and dignity 

  • Behave in a responsible manner and in accordance with our aims and values

  • Follow OnexOne Funds’ policies and procedures and attend required training


As a OnexOne Funds volunteer you are expected to not:


  • Engage in any criminal activity or illegal drug misuse or alcohol abuse

  • Become involved in situations where you may be put in a compromising situation including certain lone working situations, social media contact, sharing personal details or inappropriate contact with children or adults at risk

  • Perform a role in which you are unsuitable or barred from

  • Engage in activities which leads to a breach of trust between OnexOne Funds and the worker

  • Disclose confidential information


For the protection and support of everyone, we expect you to report any concerns that you may have about another worker’s behaviour to your immediate leader/manager, or in the case of a safeguarding concern, the Safeguarding Lead. If your leader/manager is the source of the concern, it should be shared with the Safeguarding Lead. 


If you are working with children, young people or adults at risk, we expect you to have a good working knowledge of our Safeguarding Policy, Online Safety Policy and associated practice guidance, and to adhere to the conduct outlined in those documents.



  VI. Safer Working Practice Guidelines


We are developing guidance which will support workers to carry out the aims of OnexOne Funds safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false or unfounded accusations.


These guidelines will be reviewed periodically along with the Safeguarding Policy, and may be revised to accommodate changes in the scope of OnexOne Funds’ regular activities.


The following areas have been identified as priorities for guidance development, based on OnexOne Funds’ areas of work:


  • General guidelines (all activities)

  • Story-telling, filming and taking photographs

  • Social media and online communication

  • Partner Visits


General Guidelines


Anyone working or volunteering for OnexOne Funds in any capacity has to go through the ‘safer recruitment process’ and be subject to a DBS check if they wish to work with children, young people or adults at risk. 


All volunteers will receive safeguarding training and are subject to further training depending on their role and responsibilities. All volunteers working with children, young people or adults at risk should be familiar with the OnexOne Funds’ Safeguarding Policy and procedures.


Story-telling, Filming and Taking Photographs


Communicating information through films, photographs and written story-telling is a core part of the mission of OnexOne Funds. We understand that media is relational; stories can bridge divides and add value to relationships, offering hope and stirring action. 


When told badly, stories can also misrepresent, stigmatise and exploit the individuals being photographed, filmed or described, causing unintentional harm. Humanitarian and international development story-telling can mobilise fundraising support, but it can also reinforce negative messaging that victims are helpless, voiceless and without agency. 


In particular, because of the areas and settings in which our Partners work, we recognise that some of the stories OnexOne Funds seeks to tell will relate to children, adults at risk or victims of violence. Stories about Partners’ work may include sensitive information or contain accounts of trauma. 


These guidelines ensure that our story-telling activities are based on respect, transparency and trust. We adopt the following principles of ethical story-telling: 


  • The choice to tell a story should always be in the best interests of the person or community being depicted.

  • The choice of image and text should be respectful of the privacy and dignity of the person or community being depicted.

  • The choice of image and text should be representative of the issue.

  • The gathering and distribution of a story should be based on prior consent, transparency and accuracy.


  1. Indirect story-gathering: collecting, editing and distributing media from Partners


The communication of stories is part of the ongoing Partnership process with all of OnexOne Funds’ Partners. We use stories to connect our community of donors to the work of Partner organisations, through our website, email newsletters and social media platforms. 


We will ensure that workers and volunteers who have a role receiving communications from Partners and creating communications for our donor audience read and understand the principles of ethical story-telling that inform these guidelines. Ethical story-telling may form part of their training under the safer recruitment procedures outlined above. 


When distributing photographs, videos or stories in any form, we undertake to:  


  • Ensure that real names or real locations are not used when communicating sensitive information, e.g. sexual abuse, or if there is any risk of harm, retribution or distress to the victim.

  • Not distribute media in a manner in which it would be made accessible to those who could harm the child or subject.

  • Only distribute stories for which we have received permission from the Partner organisation and for which they have gained consent from the subject for our distribution.

  • Respect the boundaries set by the Partner organisation on how much detail is appropriate to share.

  • Not edit photographs to the extent that they represent something other than the original intent.

  • Be sensitive to the tone of reporting, avoiding stereotyping or sensationalising narratives.

  • Provide sufficient context for stories and images, honouring the complexity of the situation or issue.


When using open source or stock images, we undertake to abide by the principles of accuracy, dignity and respect, and provide informative and accurate captions.


  1. Direct story-gathering: interviewing, observing, filming and photography 


When OnexOne Funds workers are directly involved in filming and taking photographs, we undertake to: 

  • Ensure the prior consent of the person being interviewed, filmed or photographed using the media consent form.

  • Gather consent from the parent or guardian when interviewing, filming or photographing a child.

  • Include subjects as active participants, working with them as an equal partner and enabling them to communicate their own story in the way they want it to be told.

  • Ensure that no individual OnexOne representative is left alone with a child in the story-gathering process; there should always be more than one adult present.

  • Ensure that victims are not re-traumatised, by working closely with the relevant Partner organisation if story-gathering involves sensitive information or relates to traumatic experience.

  • Use creativity to tell the story well, without embellishing or inflating. 

  • Avoid stereotyping and sensationalising the issue at stake.

  • Avoid gathering excessive or unnecessary information.

  • Store media containing personal data securely in line with our Data Protection Policy. 


Further Resources:



Social Media and Online Communication


Detailed guidelines for online activity and the management of social media is outlined in our Online Safety Policy.


Partner Visits


When a volunteer or employee of OnexOne Funds visits a Partner organisation for any period of time, whether in the UK or elsewhere, they should continue to follow the Safeguarding principles in this Policy, bearing in mind that they are ambassadors of OnexOne’s vision and values.


This guidance has been drafted to help ensure that best practice for safeguarding is maintained in all possible settings. 


When planning a visit to a Partner organisation: 

  • The decision to undertake a visit should be mutually agreed between OnexOne Funds and the relevant Partner.

  • A Risk Assessment should be done by the Safeguarding Lead.  

  • The Safeguarding Lead should receive and distribute a copy of the Partner’s safeguarding policy to all OnexOne Funds workers involved in the visit.

  • The Safeguarding Lead should ensure that DBS or other background checks are carried out on OnexOne workers, as required by the Partner.

  • All workers involved in the visit should re-familiarise themselves with OnexOne Funds’ Safeguarding Policy and read and understand the safeguarding policy of the Partner.


It is likely that the Partner organisation’s work involves children, young people or adults at risk in some capacity. While on the visit, we expect OnexOne representatives to:

  • Abide by the safeguarding policy of the Partner organisation in addition to OnexOne Funds’ policies. 



  VII. Raising a Concern 


Step 1 - If you have a concern of safeguarding poor practice or possible abuse and neglect of a child or adult at risk you should notify the Safeguarding Lead. (Complete the safeguarding referral form as soon as practicable). 


Step 2- If there is an immediate threat of harm to the child or adult emergency services should be called immediately. (The safeguarding lead should be notified as soon as practicable).


Step 3- If you feel that the Safeguarding Lead has not handled the concern appropriately, escalate the concern to the Local Authority Designated Officer.  


Where an adult or child disclose information regarding possible abuse or neglect of them or another.


  • Listen carefully. Avoid expressing your own views on the matter. A reaction of shock or disbelief could cause them to 'shut down', retract or stop talking. 

  • Let them know they've done the right thing. Reassurance can make a big impact to them as they may have been keeping the abuse secret 

  • Tell them it's not their fault. Abuse is never the individual’s fault and they need to know this. 

  • Say you believe them. They could keep abuse secret in fear they won't be believed. They've told you because they want help and trust you'll be the person to believe them and help them. 

  • Don't talk to the alleged abuser. Confronting the alleged abuser about what the individual told you could make the situation worse. 

  • Explain what you'll do next. If age appropriate, explain to the child you'll need to report the abuse to someone who will be able to help. If an adult and they have not given consent a person’s right to confidentiality is not absolute and may be overridden where there is evidence that sharing information is necessary to support an investigation or where there is a risk to others 

  • Don't delay reporting the abuse. The sooner the abuse is reported after the disclosure the better. Report as soon as possible so details are fresh in your mind and action can be taken quickly. 

  • Write down everything said and what was done and sign and date the notes. The  report should be used where possible and, in any case, a referral must be made to PPS  within 24 hours of the incident taking place.

  • Seek medical advice if necessary.

  • Do not investigate the concern yourself.


What to do if there is a concern/ allegation against a staff member.


Should a concern arise regarding an employee, volunteer, or organisation partnered with OnexOne Funds in relation to their conduct with a child or adult at risk, this should be managed as per the safeguarding process and  via the safeguarding coordinator who will take steps to ensure the safety of the child or adult at risk. 


The safeguarding coordinator will then:


  • Review the allegation and determine a safeguarding concern in consultation with the Safeguarding Lead. 

  • Refer the allegation to the relevant Designated Officer from the Local Authority and or the Police.  

  • Notify the Director regarding the activation of the internal disciplinary process as per Disciplinary Policy. 

  • Refer as appropriate to Disclosure and Barring Service.


  VIII. Records Management, Retention and Disposal


In compliance with the Inquiries Act 2005, it is necessary to retain all information that may be relevant to a past or future safeguarding case. This includes;


  • Allegations/Concerns: Any information that relates to allegations of abuse or any information that relates to a concern around a risk of potential harm to a child or adult at risk e.g. referral forms, details of how safeguarding procedure was carried out and who by and other records surrounding the allegation/concern.

  • Risk Assessments: Any information concerning risk assessments, contracts or agreements made with those who may pose a risk, communication with probation officers. 

  • Recruitment: Any information that relates to the recruitment, support or training of workers with OnexOne Funds, including any records from the Disclosure and Barring Service. 

  • Governance/Leadership: Any information that relates to the safeguarding leadership (including Trustees) and development/adoption of the safeguarding practices and policy.


What types of records to keep and how long to keep them for:


Allegations/Concerns/Risk Assessments

Record Keeping


Records regarding an allegation or concern of abuse for a child or adult at risk including; referral forms, contracts, risk assessments and procedures carried out.

It is essential that a record of safeguarding concerns or disclosures, and records of how they were handled and followed up should be kept.

70 years after the last contact with the individual(s) concerned.

Records regarding an allegation or concern of abuse involving a worker including; action taken, decisions made and eventual outcome.

It is essential that a record of safeguarding concerns or disclosures, and records of how they were handled and followed up should be kept.

75 years after employment ceases.

Activities for Children and Young People

Record Keeping


Records of any activities involving children, such as; partner visits, off-site trips. Information should include attendance, risk or safety assessments etc.

It is necessary to keep these records, while protecting personal data.

50 years after the activity ceases.



Record Keeping


Workers (who work with children, young people or adults at risk) personnel records, where there was no safeguarding allegations or investigations.

This information can include job descriptions, references, training documentation etc.

20 years after the worker's death.

Workers (who work with children, young people or adults at risk) personnel records, where there was a safeguarding allegation or investigation - regardless of the outcome.

This information can include job descriptions, references, training documentation etc and all documents surrounding the allegation.

50 years after the worker’s death.

Personnel records relating to workers who do not work with children, young people or adults at risk.

This information can include job descriptions, references, training documentation etc.

6 years after employment/volunteering ceases.

Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) disclosures obtained as part of the safer recruitment process.

A DBS certificate is not allowed to be retained for longer than 6 months, it is permissible to keep a record of the date of the check; the name of the person; the type of certificate requested and its reference number; the position for which the certificate was requested; and the actions taken. This should be stored in the individual’s personal file.

DBS certificate - 6 months after issue.


For further information on remaining within General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) guidelines please see our Data Protection policy.




IX. Safeguarding Referral Form


Risk / Concern Category

(High, Medium, Low, No) 

How would you classify this concern?


Safeguarding lead assessment


Final assessment if different


Date of Referral




Person Referring (you)


Contact Details (your)


Date of Incident


Name(s) of Child, Children or Adult(s) 


Child or Adult?


Date(s) of Birth








Contact Details

(parents if refers to a child)


Person(s) alleged to have caused harm or risk of harm






Relationship to victim(s)


Contact details


Details of incident or concern

Please give an outline of the concern.


Type of concern. 

Neglect, Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Bullying, Financial, Grooming, Mental Health


Action Taken


Does the child or adult know that you have made this referral? Has the adult consented to the reporting of this concern.





Risk Level

Criteria and Examples 

Immediate Action 



Serious harm or risk of harm to a child or adult at risk, likely or actual criminal activity and clear abuse of a child or adult at risk perpetrated by an adult or someone in a position of trust. Meeting one of the abuse categories and risk of reputational harm to the organisation. Will require the involvement of statutory agencies. Any matter of a sexual nature would be classified high. Matters referred by the police will almost certainly be high.

As the concern pathway details above to contact Police. Notify Safeguarding Coordinator. Notify Head of Safeguarding. Implement  Response Plan



Potential serious matters that relates directly to the abuse categories and may include bullying type behaviour. Has the potential to become criminal. Likely to have reputational damage and include media interest. Risk of significant harm.

Consider statutory agencies. Notify Safeguarding Coordinator. Consider Police.



Low level mildly abusive type behaviour or bullying that may be one off or accidental or non- malicious. Little risk of harm or actual harm. Still requires safeguarding or other involvement but lacks seriousness to involve external agencies.

Process as detailed above.



Minor concern that presents no risk of harm to anyone. Quickly dismissed or dealt with. Mistaken concern.

Share decision back and instruct on minor actions or no action.


X. Related Policies


  • Online safety policy

  • Whistleblowing policy

  • Data protection policy

  • Complaints policy


XI. Useful Links and Contact 




Ann Craft Trust 


Thirty One Eight 


Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub 




Charity Commission and Department for International Development



999 Emergency telephone number

101 Non-emergency telephone number

The National Domestic Violence hotline

0808 20000 247


0800 1111

Modern Slavery Helpline


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