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Safeguarding Training for Volunteers: Tailoring the Approach

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Volunteering is a noble endeavour that contributes significantly to the health and wellbeing of communities. However, the safety and protection of those we serve, especially vulnerable populations, is paramount. To ensure this, volunteers are often required to complete mandatory safeguard training. But how do we tailor this training to meet the diverse needs of volunteers while maintaining a high standard of safeguarding?

Understanding the Diversity of Volunteer Roles

Volunteers come from various backgrounds and engage in a multitude of roles. From youth mentors to elderly care assistants, each position demands a unique set of skills and knowledge. Therefore, safeguarding training cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution – it’s essential to tailor the training to the specific context in which the volunteer will be working.

Customising Training Modules

  • Role-Specific Scenarios: Incorporate scenarios that are relevant to the specific roles of volunteers. This approach helps in making the training relatable and practical.
  • Cultural Competency: Understanding cultural sensitivities is crucial. Training should include modules that educate volunteers on how to navigate cultural differences respectfully.
  • Communication Skills: Effective communication is key in any volunteer role. Training should emphasise not only on what to communicate but also on how to communicate, especially when dealing with sensitive issues.

Integrating Technology in Training

With the advent of digital tools, training can now be more interactive and accessible. Online platforms offer flexibility for volunteers, who often juggle multiple responsibilities. These platforms can be used to:

  • Conduct virtual workshops.
  • Provide resources like videos and quizzes for self-learning.
  • Facilitate forums for discussion and experience sharing among volunteers.

Continuous Learning and Support

Safeguarding is not a one-time training but an ongoing process – continual education and support for volunteers are crucial. This can be achieved through:

  • Regular Refresher Courses: To update volunteers on new policies and practices.
  • Support Groups: Creating a network for volunteers to share experiences and learn from each other.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Implementing systems where volunteers can provide feedback on the training process and suggest improvements.

Final Thoughts

Tailoring safeguarding training for volunteers is not just a regulatory requirement; it’s a moral imperative. By customising the training to fit the diverse roles of volunteers and leveraging technology, we can create an effective and engaging learning environment. Most importantly, continuous learning and support mechanisms ensure that volunteers are well-equipped to handle the responsibilities entrusted to them, making our communities safer and more inclusive.

Willian Tenney
the authorWillian Tenney