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Head of Safeguarding and Professional Standards

Young Lives vs Cancer
London / Bristol / Home / Hybrid
£50,630- £54,281 FTE
Closing date
16 Jun 2024

Job Details

Head of Safeguarding and Professional Standards

Today, 12 children and young people will be diagnosed with cancer. We’ll stop at nothing to make sure they get the right care and support at the right time.  

  • Salary: London £43,425 pro rata, (£54,281 FTE); Out of London: £40,504 pro rata (£50,630 FTE)
  • 28 hours per week (this is 0.8 FTE, to be worked Mon-Thu, or worked over 5 days Mon-Fri)
  • Permanent
  • Flexible location - London / Bristol / home / hybrid
  • Closing date: 16th June 2024
  • Interviews: To be held online on 2/3 July 2024 (first round) and 8 July 2024 (second round)


When a child or young person is diagnosed with cancer, their whole world can feel like it’s falling apart. Independence is taken and confidence is stolen. Stability no longer exists. The future suddenly feels uncertain.

The impact of cancer on young lives is more than medical. That’s why we exist. Our specialist social workers help children and young people with cancer and their families navigate the emotional and practical impact of cancer. We remove barriers, solve problems and prioritise wellbeing. And we stop at nothing to make sure they get the right care and support at the right time.

We challenge the systems and policies that surround children and young people, we highlight gaps and campaign for change. Because we know what a better future could look like. And we know what we need to do to make that future a reality. We need to push harder, reach further and work smarter. And we need the right people on our team to help us get there. People like you.


We’re looking for a Head of Safeguarding & Professional Standards with a background in social work to join Young Lives vs Cancer.

The Head of Safeguarding & Professional Standards works to create a positive organisational safeguarding culture where safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, through shaping, implementing and monitoring safeguarding activity, policy, training and governance across the whole organisation. The role also sets professional standards for our Services Directorate, and highlights areas for continuous improvement, and by directly delivering or designing and commissioning training, they enable Young Lives vs Cancer to respond to changes in policy, legislation and best practice in social care and safeguarding.

You would be joining us at a really exciting time in our journey. Following two innovative peer reviews with partner charities, we are confident in our approach to safeguarding. But like many organisations, we need to prepare for the future. With the launch of a new strategy later this year, we are looking outward to understand how we can create a better future for young cancer patients, one in which the whole system of support around them works together, face to face and digitally, and no-one is left behind. We constantly challenge how we do things, and are experimenting with new ways to create impact, influence the whole system, and importantly – fund this vital work.

You’ll be vital to this journey, leading our approach to safeguarding and professional standards and giving us a high level of confidence as we move forward. You will work closely with a passionate and dedicated group of trustees, directors and management teams who lead activities from frontline social care services through to fundraising and support services.

This role is subject to a criminal record check. In the event of a successful application an Enhanced Criminal Record Check will be completed. This role is also subject to a Social Worker Registration. 


No two days are the same at Young Lives vs Cancer. So, summarising your ‘day to day’ isn’t easy. Here are some of the main things you’ll be doing, but you’ll find more details in the job description.

The Head of Safeguarding & Professional Standards:

Shapes, implements and monitors and reports performance against the safeguarding policy, training and governance across the whole organisation including with the trustees

Reports to and supports the trustee Safeguarding Committee

Oversees the governance of safeguarding referrals and activity in local social care teams

  • Advises on safeguarding matters anywhere else across the organisational structure (including in income generation, for example)
  • Works closely with the Services Senior Management team to set professional standards for our services and highlight areas for continuous improvement
  • Planning and directly delivering, or designing and commissioning training, to enable Young Lives vs Cancer to respond to changes in policy, legislation and best practice in social care and safeguarding


The person we are looking for will have:

  • The right experience: you must be a registered social worker and have worked as a as a social worker and in a strategic role in children or young people's social care services, delivering safe services with particular reference to safeguarding and assurance, and have significant experience of developing social work practice at a strategic or system level
  • The right leadership expertise: with strong leadership and collaborative planning skills you will have ability to work collaboratively to oversee how things work, and influence stakeholders across the charity
  • The right people skills: Confidence to challenge ways of thinking and the communication skills to coach and empower people to build a culture of safeguarding.

We will be unable to shortlist any applicants who do not meet the requirement to be a registered social worker. 

Diverse perspectives and unique skillsets are at the heart of Young Lives vs Cancer. If you're passionate about making a positive impact and eager to learn, we encourage you to apply, even if you don't meet the criteria and person specification fully. Your potential is what matters most to us, and we’re committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment to help you develop.


 For people to reach their full potential, they need the right environment. As a member of Team Young Lives, you’ll be made to feel supported, valued and appreciated. Here’s how we do it:

  • Flexible working: we’re open to working hours outside of 9 - 5 and we can talk through your flexibility requirements at interview stage
  • Wellbeing days: four days a year to do what works for you – from catching up on training to going for a walk
  • Generous annual leave allowance
  • Great family/caring leave entitlements
  • Enhanced pension
  • Access to our employee savings scheme

To find out more about our benefits package, have a look on our website:  


At Young Lives vs Cancer, we recognise that opportunities for too many people remain a condition of their sex, ethnicity, class, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation – or a combination. This has never been acceptable to us as an organisation. We don’t just accept difference, we value it, celebrate it, nurture it and we thrive because of it.

We’re on a journey to be reflective of the diverse children, young people and families we support. We know we aren’t there yet, and we’re passionately committed to taking actions and making changes to be a truly diverse, inclusive and equitable organisation. This includes taking anti-oppressive action and removing barriers in our recruitment practices. We particularly welcome applications from members of minoritised communities. Our Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging strategy will tell you more.


We’re committed to providing reasonable adjustments throughout our recruitment process and we’ll always aim to be as accommodating as possible.  Please let us know in your application form of any adjustments or access requirements we could make to help you with the application process and interview.

To arrange an informal chat, please contact Jenny Turner, Director of Strategy & Governance on


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