ICYE UK Safeguarding Policy


Date for review: 11/4/24

Reference:  ICYE UK – ICYE Safeguarding Policy

  1. Introduction and Aim

This policy should be read alongside the ICYE GLOBAL POLICY ON SAFEGUARDING OF CHILDREN which is the overarching policy of the ICYE Federation. This contains additional policies on corporal punishment, children in orphanages and guidelines for safeguarding in communications and ICYE-UK supports all these policies. We will also adopt the case management reporting forms and system in the ICYE Federation policy and we have a code of conduct for staff and co-workers and trustees and one for volunteers on placement. All these documents are available on request or through our website at https://icye.org.uk/about/ 

Safeguarding is the responsibility that an organisation has to ensure that: 

  • their employees and volunteers, partners, vendors, operations and programmes do no harm to children, young people or vulnerable adults (together referred to as ‘vulnerable people’ under this policy); 
  • they do not expose them to the risk of discrimination, neglect, harm and abuse; and 
  • that any concerns the organisation has about the safety of vulnerable people within the communities in which they work, are dealt with and reported to the appropriate authorities. 
  • It is also the responsibility that the organisation has for protecting its employees and volunteers when they are vulnerable, for example, when ill or at risk of harm or abuse.

Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE-UK) has a strong commitment to keeping all staff and volunteers safe (including interns, UK volunteers, and participants of our programmes).  ICYE-UK has a zero tolerance approach to misconduct. In the interests of the safety of all staff, participants and volunteers, ICYE UK acknowledges that it has a duty to report to medical or legal authorities any information shared (within reason) when it is deemed that a person/person(s) are at immediate risk of harm to themselves or others.  ICYE-UK works alongside our partners who have their own safeguarding policy and procedures. As this is the volunteers’ place of work  we work in line with these organisations and their policies to support the best outcome.

We have policies and procedures in place so that staff, volunteers, participants and trustees can work to prevent abuse and know what to do in the event of abuse.

The following ICYE-UK Policies support our approach to safeguarding:

  • Safety and Security arrangements for Volunteers taking part in voluntary programmes overseas with ICYE UK.
  • Grievance procedure for exchanges
  • ICYE Federation Policy on Sexual Harassment
  • Global code of conduct
  • Whistleblowing
  • GDPR

The Statement, Policies and Procedures have been drawn up in order to enable ICYE-UK to

  • Promote good practice and ensure people are aware of the importance of safeguarding and the processes in place to prevent or report it
  • To ensure that any allegations of abuse or suspicions are dealt with appropriately 
  • To ensure the person reporting the abuse is supported 
  • and in a case where the person experiencing abuse is a member of staff, volunteer, member or direct beneficiary of ICYE-UK, to ensure they are supported and to stop that abuse occurring

The policies apply to all staff, trustees, volunteers, interns, agency staff, programme participants and anyone working on behalf of ICYE-UK. ICYE-UK places volunteers with organisations who have their own safeguarding procedures in place to protect their beneficiaries. ICYE UK will not work with a partner (UK host organisation or ICYE organisation abroad) which cannot reassure us their processes are robust and that our volunteers will be informed and, in their own turn, protected. ICYE-UK will work closely with our partners where incidencies of safeguarding occur, ensuring our safeguarding policy is followed in all cases.

  1. What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the responsibility that an organisation has to ensure that their employees and volunteers, partners, vendors, operations and programmes do no harm to children, young people or vulnerable adults (together referred to as ‘vulnerable people’ under this policy.

Any of the following could be a sign that someone is being harmed or abused.


  • Bruises, cuts, burns, scalds 
  • Unlikely reasons for injuries 


  • Tearful or defensive 
  • Self-harm 
  • Noticeable changes in behaviour 


  • Inappropriate behaviours towards others 
  • Reluctance to be with a certain person 


  • Lack of money 
  • New items and/or friendships 
  • Bank activity unexplained: 


  • Poor weight, hygiene and clothing 
  • Malnutrition or constant hunger 
  • Hoarding 


  • Unusual secretive behaviour 
  • Change of emotional stare- withdrawn or volatile
  1. ICYE Code of Conduct

Every member of staff, volunteer, board member or trainer working with ICYE should sign a code of conduct. Volunteers should sign this before they start their placement and others should sign on an annual basis.

The aim of the Code of Conduct is to commit every ICYE-UK staff, board member and co-worker (mentors, coordinators, volunteers working for the NC, including returnees) to:

• Comply with the ICYE Safeguarding Policy and adhere to our principles both

at work and outside work

• Be responsible for observing and spreading awareness of the Code of Conduct in the work environment

Act according to the best interest of the vulnerable person

• Contribute to creating a safe, nurturing and empowering environment for all vulnerable persons where they feel valued, respected and safe

• Meaningfully engage vulnerable people in their own protection

• Respond appropriately and immediately to any concerns, allegations and incidents

and to notify the ICYE-UK Safeguarding Person/ Officer without delay

• Consider safeguarding measures in all phases of the volunteering exchange (e.g.

trainings, placements, workcamps)

• Support host families and host organisations in ensuring that disciplinary measures

for children are free of violence, abuse and humiliation

  1. What Staff, Trustees or Volunteers should do if abuse is alleged 

 If you come across a child or adult who is at risk of harm or abuse remember to: 

  • Stay safe 
  • See it 
  • Recognise it 
  • Refer it 

If a vulnerable person alerts you to harm or abuse, you should:

  • Listen carefully to the vulnerable person
  • Let them know they’ve done the right thing
  • Tell them it’s not their fault
  • Say you will take them seriously
  • Don’t communicate with the abuser
  • Explain what you’ll do next
  • Don’t delay reporting the abuse

If the vulnerable person discloses information about an abusive situation or says they want to tell you something which is a ‘secret’ or ‘confidential’:

  • Make it clear that if you think what they have told you means they could come to harm, you will have to inform the relevant authorities and explain the reason for this
  • Be absolutely clear that you cannot promise confidentiality
  • If the vulnerable person queries confidentiality, explain our procedures in an appropriate way
  • If the vulnerable person continues with the disclosure you will need to document:
    • the date, time, and place of abuse
    • the individual(s) present
    • record accurate factual notes on what the vulnerable person disclosed (If possible, write down verbatim what the they said as these notes may be used in court at a later date)
    • use a body map where possible and if required.
  1. Duty to Refer

If a staff member, trustee or volunteer is concerned that a vulnerable person is being harmed through abuse or neglect they must in the first instance speak to the Designated Safeguarding Officer, the Chair of Trustees.

In the event that they are not available, they should try to speak to the Office Manager. Normally the designated safeguarding officer or office manager will then deal with the next stages and any referral or further investigation. In the rare cases that they are not available, for someone under 18 the ICYE-UK staff, volunteer or trustee should contact the Children, Young People and Families Duty and Assessment team at Camden council or seek advice from Child Protection Advisors in the Safeguarding and Quality Service in the local authority in which the child is a resident. For an adult, the referral is to either Adult Social Care Services at camden council or the Police.

Parental Consultation for Children under 18

Where practicable, the Designated Safeguarding Officer will discuss concerns with the family and agreement sought for a referral unless this may, either by delay or the behavioural response it prompts, place the child at risk of harm. A decision by any staff member, trustee or volunteer not to seek parental permission before making a referral to Duty and Assessment Team must be recorded and the reasons given. Where a parent has agreed to a referral, this must be recorded and confirmed in the referral to Duty and Assessment Team. Generally, referrals will not be treated as anonymous, so the parent will ultimately become aware of the identity of the referrer.

Where the parent refuses to give permission for the referral, further advice should, unless this would cause undue delay, be sought and the outcome fully recorded.

If, having taken full account of the parent’s wishes, it is still considered that there is a need for a referral:

  • The reason for proceeding without parental agreement must be recorded
  • The Duty and Assessment Team should be told that the parent has withheld her/his permission
  • The parent should be contacted to inform her/him that after considering their wishes a referral has been made
  1. Responsibilities of ICYE-UK:
  • ICYE-UK will ensure that all staff, trustees, volunteers, interns, agency staff, programme participants and anyone working on behalf of ICYE-UK are familiar with our relevant policy and procedures and the policy and procedures in their place of work.
  • ICYE-UK will endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to preventing abuse and welfare of adults
  • ICYE-UK will ensure that the designated named person understands his/her responsibility to refer incidents to the relevant agencies (including, when relevant, Charity Commission and governmental or inter-governmental funders).

The Designated Safeguarding Officer in ICYE-UK is the Chair, this person should be contacted for support and advice on implementing the policy.

If the complaint is specifically about the Chair – reports should be directed to info@icye.org.uk whereby the Office Manager, will inform the Board of Trustees confidentially, in the absence of the Chair, as to the complaint and a designated Trustee will then be assigned from the remainder of the Board to manage the process as per this policy. 

ICYE-UK will check it is implementing its safeguarding policy by producing evidence on the policy, people, procedures, accountability as shown in the table below.

StandardPotential Evidence of Standard Being Met
1.Pol-1.1 The organisation has a clear safeguarding policy that seeks to prevent harm to children, young people and vulnerable adults∙ A copy of the policy, approved by the trustees ∙ For programme or recruitment partners, that ICYE-UK volunteers are informed about the policy
icy1.2 Policies are publicised to staff, beneficiaries and wider communities∙ Policy or summary translated into local languages∙ Examples of ways the policy has been promoted, including to children, young people or other community members as necessary
22.1 The organisation places clear responsibilities and expectations on its staff and associates and supports them to understand and act in line with these∙ Clear responsibilities for a Designated Safeguarding Officer at appropriate level
Pe-2.2 Key staff and trustees are designated at different levels with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.∙ The chair and office manager have clear roles, regular training and all the necessary referral information. ∙ Contract  for ICYE-UK long-term volunteer include details of safeguarding contacts and volunteers sign the code of conduct
Op-2.3 There are written guidelines for appropriate and inappropriate behaviour∙ A written code of conduct; evidence of this being shared to staff and volunteers
le2.4 There are appropriate learning opportunities to develop and maintain the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge to keep vulnerable people safe. ∙ A copy of training plans, course attendance records and course evaluations. ∙ Evidence of induction for ICYE-UK volunteers to relevant safeguarding issues
33.1 Organisation carries out local mapping exercises which provide information on the legal, social welfare and child protection arrangementsVolunteers are informed about local contacts, the safeguarding policy of the organisation in which they are placed and local support agencies
Pro-3.2 Safeguarding risks and mitigation strategies are incorporated into existing risk assessment processes at all levels∙ Risk assessments include appropriate and relevant risks ∙ Evidence of mitigation strategies implemented ∙ Risk assessments shared with BoT of ICYE-UK
ced-3.3 Safeguarding issues are integrated into volunteers’ programme design, delivery and evaluation∙ Evidence of safeguarding issues in project proposals, plans, assessments, etc
ures3.4 There are procedures for responding to safeguarding concerns as these arise∙ A copy of a concern/allegation managementEvidence of ICYE Board of Trustees being informed of any reported incidents
4 Acco-4.1 Implementation of safeguarding policies and procedures is monitored∙ Copies of report to Board of Trustees, etc ∙ Copies of minutes of meetings to review practice
Untab-4.2 Learning from issues captured and informed future policy and procedure reviews∙ Incident reports produced
ility4.3 Policies and procedures reviewed at least every three years∙ Evidence of review in annual plans / strategies