Safeguarding and Vulnerable Adults Policy

Last updated: 20th March 2024

Brain in Hand Ltd makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.

Brain in Hand Ltd encounters children and adults who may be at risk through the provision of Coaching Support to use our system and through the provision of on demand support from our response service.

This policy ensures that Brain in Hand Ltd undertakes its responsibilities regarding the protection of children and adults at risk and will respond to concerns appropriately. The policy establishes a framework to support employees, unpaid employees, consultants, and contractors in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.

The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad-ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies, procedures, employee handbook and training within the organisation.

The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are:

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
  • Children Act 1989
  • Childrens Act 2004
  • The Care Act 2014
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Disclosure & Barring service 2013

Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and adults at risk wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.

Abuse is the act of causing someone distress or harm. Abuse can take many different forms such as physical or psychological harm.

Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender, or culture.

It includes the following:

  • Physical abuse
  • Domestic violence or abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Organisational or institutional abuse
  • Neglect or acts of omission
  • Self-neglect

Definition of a child

A child is anyone under 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).

Definition of an Adult at Risk

  • A person aged 18 years or over
  • has needs for care and support
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • because of those needs, is unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect.

All employees and contractors (paid or unpaid) are responsible for following the guidance in this policy and related policies and passing on any concerns using the required procedures.

We expect all employees and contractors (paid or unpaid) to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) have responsibility to ensure:

  • The policy is in place and appropriate
  • The policy is accessible, implemented, monitored and reviewed
  • Liaison with and support for the Designated Safeguarding Officer
  • Sufficient resources (time and money) are allocated to ensure that the policy can be effectively implemented.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) has the following responsibilities:

  • Promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults
  • Ensure employees and contractors (paid and unpaid) have access to appropriate training/information
  • Receive employees concerns about safeguarding concerns of our Users and respond seriously, swiftly, and appropriately
  • Maintain an up-to-date Register of Risk, which includes the Safeguarding Incident Log
  • Keep up to date with national and local arrangements for safeguarding and DBS
  • Develop and maintain effective links with relevant agencies
  • Take forward concerns about responses.

The Safeguarding Team Leads have the following responsibilities:

  • Works in conjunction with the DSO and deputises in the DSO’s absence, with support from SLT
  • Reviewing with the DSO the information to aid clarification of risk as low/medium/high
  • Acknowledges receipt and responds to incoming enquiries and incident forms
  • Makes outbound calls to support those reporting an incident e.g., Specialists or clients
  • Escalates to DSO Medium and High -risk Incident Reports
  • Act as a point of contact for safeguarding concerns within their teams
  • Supports the Safeguarding and welfare concern audits
  • Supports dissemination of lessons learnt objectives.

If an employee, contractor, or consultant is notified, or becomes aware through the declaration, indication or disclosure (behaviourally, verbally or in writing) of an individual, that a child or an adult at risk is being, or has been, abused or is at risk from themselves or others, they must:

  • React calmly.
  • Reassure the person they are right to disclose the matter.
  • Take what is said seriously. Be clear that they cannot keep secrets and that they must pass the information on if they think a child or adults at risk has been or is being harmed or is at risk of harm in some way.
  • Keep questions to an absolute minimum to ensure a clear and accurate understanding of what is being said.
  • Only ask questions if they need to clarify what they are being told. They must not ask about explicit details as it is up to the external agency to investigate fully.
  • Clarify the facts about what happened only and avoid asking leading questions.

The employees, contractors and consultants must make it clear that if they are concerned about the wellbeing or safety of any child or adult at risk then they will report the risk to the Brain in Hand Safeguarding Team, who may notify other services as appropriate in accordance with the Brain in Hand Terms and Conditions of Use and Safeguarding Policy.

Where an isolated concern for welfare is identified the user should always be encouraged to disclose this to the appropriate person themselves, the user must be informed that this will be reported to the safeguarding team. The safeguarding team will gain consent from the user if they feel it should be escalated externally.

Where there are cumulative welfare concerns for a user, or a user is at increased risk of harm, consent is not required but the user must be informed that the concern is being reported to the Brain in Hand Safeguarding Team and may be escalated externally if appropriate. Only where it is deemed unsafe or placing the user at more risk may the risk be reported to the Brain in Hand Safeguarding Team without the users’ knowledge.

If there is a concern for the immediate safety of a child or adult at risk, a high risk of harm to the service user, or a risk of the service user harming others, this should be escalated to the appropriate 999 service and their emergency contact, and then reported to the Safeguarding Team once the risk has been addressed. In such high-risk situations the risk can be escalated externally with or without consent from the user, but the user should still be informed. Only where it is deemed unsafe or placing the user at more risk may the risk be escalated to the emergency services or the Brain in Hand Safeguarding Team without the user’s knowledge.

The Brain in Hand Safeguarding Team may (where it is in the vital interest of the user or others) escalate cumulative welfare concerns, high risks of harm or immediate risks of harm by contacting the service user’s school, college or university, Student Support Team or Non-Medical Help Provider, the individual’s support provider or referring agency, their Local Authority Safeguarding Team, or the police or other emergency services as appropriate.

If the person who is disclosing abuse or harm is a child or adult at risk, they may not wish to take the matter further than the person they have informed. They may fear the effect this will have on their or another person’s family or may fear forms of retribution. The child or adult at risk must be helped to understand why the report must be made and what is likely to happen as a result. This discussion need not happen if on the balance of probabilities having the discussion could result in a worsening situation or further avoidable harm.

If a child or adult at risk alleges that they or another child or adult at risk is a cause for concern, Safeguarding Procedures must be followed in respect of both parties. Brain in Hand will attempt to ensure their disclosure is handled confidentially, although no absolute guarantees will be offered.

All child protection or safeguarding concerns must be recorded on a Brain in Hand Safeguarding Incident Form and emailed securely to

Where forms are unable to be submitted securely, to ensure delays do not occur, a report may be made by phone, and a signed or emailed copy must follow within one week (5 working days).

All forms must be completed, reviewed, and relayed onwards if appropriate within 24 hours of having a concern or an incident occurring.

All forms will be reviewed by the Safeguarding Team within 1 working day of receipt.

These records may need to be disclosed to third parties such as children’s services, police, the courts, and solicitors, so every care must be taken that they are clear, accurate and objective.

Employees and contractors should take care not to write speculative comments and stick to the facts given by the person raising the concern.

Employees’ opinions may in some circumstances be crucial, but they must be recorded as an opinion and evidence accompanied to support these opinions.

All fields should be completed and where information is non-applicable, ‘unknown’ or ‘unavailable’ must be clearly noted.

The person filling in the form is responsible for the contents and ensuring it is emailed securely to

Contacting an external agency: The decision whether to make a referral to an external agency will be based on the information provided in the Incident form and following review by the DSO and SLT if appropriate. Any other issues Brain in Hand Ltd is aware of in relation to the child or adults at risk should be considered, and any risks associated with not acting should be assessed and documented.

The referral to the appropriate services will be made by the DSO or a member of the Safeguarding Team under the guidance of the DSO or the Deputising DSO.

If appropriate, after discussing with a member of SLT and taking advice from the NSPCC helpline, it is the responsibility of the DSO to decide whether the parents/carers of the child or adults at risk should be informed of the report, if they have not already been made aware of this.

If the child or adults at risk has a known contact with an external agency, they must be informed of Brain in Hand Ltd.’s concerns.

Once the referral has been made in writing, the DSO or Deputising DSO must ensure he/she has a written record that this has been received. This must be stored with the reporting form and any other paperwork relating to the case in line with agreed processes.

If a referral is made outside the organisation, it is the responsibility of the DSO or, under the guidance of the DSO, the Safeguarding Team member to ensure that the referral has received

appropriate attention from the external agency within 7 days. The DSO or the Safeguarding Team Member should confirm this and record the action on the form.

Information will be gathered, recorded, and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Policy and Access to Confidential Information Policy.

All employees must be aware they have a professional duty to share information with other agencies to safeguard children and adults at risk. The public interest in safeguarding children and adults at risk may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need-to-know basis only, as judged by the DSO.

All employees must be aware that they cannot promise users or their families / carers that they will keep secrets.

All concerns and any discussions about the welfare of a child or adults at risk must be recorded and reported on a safeguarding incident form or direct into the safeguarding system (Recordmy) it must include whether further action is taken.

All Safeguarding incidents will be logged on to the safeguarding system (Recordmy), with relevant documents / emails / records attached to the record, audited for any patterns or trends and lessons learnt objectives.

Only the DSO, Safeguarding Team Members, and appropriate members of SLT or extended SLT (including CEO) will have access to these records. Any other employees will need to request access from the DSO, which will only be granted only for a valid reason.

Verbal discussions around any child protection or safeguarding case will be conducted confidentially and not in the open office. Verbal conversation should be recorded in the safeguarding system.

Any information sent through the post around a child protection or safeguarding case will be marked ‘Confidential – addressee only’ for the attention of the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Sensitive information sent in emails around a child protection or safeguarding case must be encrypted or included in a password-protected document attached to the email.

Brain in Hand Ltd will ensure that this Safeguarding Policy is readily accessible on their website.

This policy will be reviewed at least every 2 years, and when there are changes in legislation.