Our team has been busy across a variety of sectors – both managing issues as they have become public, and helping organisations first understand then prepare to meet the required levels of transparency demanded by regulators. Our team comprises former senior government officials and consultants, bringing an astute understanding of the policy requirements and actions required to remedy issues, whether current or historical.
A UK national charity, which had witnessed significant growth over the past two years due to various mergers and acquisitions, sought to review its safeguarding policies, procedures and practices, and ensure that they were in line with current law and best practice.
DRD undertook an extensive documentation and policy review across the charity and its affiliate organisations, including their governance frameworks, safeguarding policies and procedures alongside vetting and referencing guidelines – all within one month – to pinpoint where documents could be updated to reflect current law, or improved to ensure better and safer services. To inform our paper review, we also met with around 40 clients of the charity’s services, and over 70 members of staff from a representative cross-section of the group to understand how the charity’s policies worked in practice, and whether the clients, volunteers and staff members felt safe and listened to.
We produced a number of recommendations for best practice and laid out an action plan and timeline for when these should be implemented and institutionalised across the charity and its affiliates. As the charity continues to grow, both nationally and internationally, it will utilise this review to inform best practice moving forward.
A global charity became aware of a significant historic situation of abuse and corruption at a single facility which had gone undetected for over a decade, despite a clear use of best practice standards and reporting procedures. The client sought to address the situation immediately and be transparent in its communications with internal and external stakeholders about its recovery activities, but recognised that in doing so, the victims may be at risk of stigma or shame, there could be a risk to its licence to operate in other countries, and that its reputation might be damaged. It also sought to learn from the situation and develop systems and protocols which would prevent it happening again.
DRD Partnership was called in to help prepare for the likelihood of the situation becoming known publicly, both locally and internationally. Taking a strategic approach, each risk was assessed and scenario-based strategies devised. These focused on how the handling of each instance could preserve the organisation’s global reputation, while providing the transparency needed to ensure confidence in the charity’s activities and preserve the safety of the victims; we also helped to support the actions of the relevant authorities as they initiated legal proceedings. Coaching, training and mentoring were provided for the leadership, operational and communications teams. Real-time exercises were run to gauge the efficacy of the planning processes. The aim was to ensure that all internal personnel were aware of their responsibilities, but remained focused on the protection of the rights of the children who drew attention to their plight in the first place.
The various workstreams were deployed and the operations in the country proceeded unhindered. Local government authorities supported the decisions of the charity and no services in any other jurisdiction were interrupted or curtailed. Fundraising was maintained across the organisation and its work with the UN and global stakeholders on safeguarding and child protection proceeded undeterred.