Making sure guiding’s safe for everyone

An update on our review of historic safeguarding practices

Safeguarding team, Girlguiding
20 March 2018

Safeguarding is at the heart of everything we do

At Girlguiding, the safety and wellbeing of our members is our absolute priority.

We pride ourselves on being a safe and caring environment for all girls. That’s why we work hard to protect girls now, through our safeguarding work and A Safe Space training for volunteers. It’s important to remember we’ve always had this duty to our girls - to make sure that everyone can enjoy guiding in a safe environment.

Being a safe place for girls is true for today, tomorrow and in the past.

About the review

At Girlguiding we always talk about doing our duty, and doing the right thing for our girls. That’s the case for the positive things, but it’s just as important we do this for the more difficult things too. We pride ourselves on being a safe and caring environment for all girls, both today and in the past. So from the review, we want to be proud of the times we’ve done this well, address any times we haven’t, and make sure we remain a safe space for girls.

The review will look at all safeguarding concerns, allegations or disclosures – no matter how long ago they happened.

There’s been no internal trigger to mean we have to do a review at all. Some other organisations have been required to do an investigation by IICSA (the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse) – but this isn’t the case with us. We're committed to safeguarding best practice, and that means ensuring we can be proud of where we have done this well, and look into where we haven't, both now and in the past, to ensure guiding remains a safe space for everyone.

What you need to do

To carry out the historic review, we’ll need any paperwork or electronic records:

  • Relating to safeguarding concern/s you might have dealt with, which you reported at the time to country/region or Girlguiding HQ
  • Where you’ve noted any safeguarding concern associated with either a unit or previous role within Girlguiding, which may include residentials or gang shows
  • That you decided not to report at the time as you weren’t sure, or it wasn’t appropriate to do so
  • Relating to a safeguarding concern, which was not recorded in writing at the time

You may have already sent us this information through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) checklist sent earlier this year, in which case thank you very much. As the checklist was wide in scope, it’s likely that some of the information you’ve sent us will be captured within the scope of the historic review.

If you haven’t sent it or wonder whether some information needs to be shared, you can contact us to chat to us either by email at [email protected] or by telephone on 020 7834 6242 (ext 2036).

Questions you might have

Are you concerned you’ll uncover cases that haven’t been handled properly?

We’re carrying out this review because the safety and wellbeing of all our members has been and always will be a priority. We’ll be assessing any information we get about past cases according to safeguarding practice at the time. If we didn’t get things right at the time, we’ll address this. Throughout, we’ll be providing support to anyone affected.

I have sent safeguarding documents as requested by the GDPR checklist. Will these be included in the review and are you going to contact me?

As part of the review, we’ll be looking at any historic safeguarding information we receive, including information shared as requested by the GDPR checklist. We might need to get in touch with the person who’s shared the information with us if we need to look into anything. But we’ll only get in touch you if we’re taking things further. If we do need to take things further rest assured that we’ll make sure there’s support for anyone affected.

What will happen with each case?

Each case will be dealt with on a case by case basis but if anyone’s affected we’ll make sure that there’s support available.

What do I do if I have something to tell you about something that’s happened in the past?

If you have anything to disclose, please know that we’ll provide help and support to those affected. Please get in touch with us at [email protected].