Updated : May 2023
1. POLICY STATEMENT
In2scienceUK regards the health, safety and welfare of adults at risk of harm (‘adults at risk’) engaged in its activities, as one of its highest priorities. The organisation recognises and fully accepts its moral and statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of adults at risk and its duty to protect staff from unfounded allegations of abuse.
This Policy should be read in conjunction with our Staff/Volunteer Code of Conduct, Participant Code of Conduct.
In2scienceUK believes everyone has the right to live free from abuse or neglect regardless of age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation.
Those in a position of trust must do everything they can to foster and protect these rights, to promote the welfare of all adults involved in In2scienceUK programmes and keep them safe from harm. In2scienceUK is committed to protecting both the participants we work with and our volunteers and staff.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all staff and volunteers working for In2scienceUK understand:
- The legislation which relates to safeguarding adults at risk (aged 18+).
- In2scienceUK’s policy for safeguarding adults at risk (aged 18+).
- Their role in and responsibility for safeguarding adults at risk (aged 18+).
This policy applies to all individuals employed by or representing In2scienceUK, including managers, paid staff and trustees, hereafter collectively referred to as ‘staff’; placement hosts, mentors, supporters, partners, contracted service providers and other volunteers or anyone working on behalf of In2scienceUK, hereafter collectively referred to as ‘volunteers’.
In2scienceUK staff and volunteers are expected to read this policy and understand the standards expected of them with regards to safeguarding adults. This policy covers the safeguarding of all adults engaged in our activities across England, Wales and Scotland.
This policy will be reviewed annually to ensure it is up to date with the relevant legislation and best practice.
3. PRINCIPLES OF SAFEGUARDING AT IN2SCIENCEUK
We will ensure:
- A safe environment for all participants, staff and volunteers.
- Those suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm or abuse are identified and referred to the necessary agencies as appropriate.
- All staff and volunteers learn about safeguarding, the organisation’s policies and procedures and how to keep themselves and others safe.
We will do this by:
- Appointing and training a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) to lead on all safeguarding matters.
- Raising awareness of issues relating to the welfare and safeguarding of adults at risk.
- Ensuring all staff and volunteers understand and adhere to our Code of Conduct.
- Engaging with stakeholders to ensure their commitment to safeguarding.
- Ensuring staff and volunteers recognise the signs of abuse or that an individual may be at risk of significant harm
- Working with other agencies as appropriate (e.g., health service, adult services, the police) where an individual is being, or at risk of being, significantly harmed.
- Providing a framework for reporting and dealing with concerns and disclosures.
- Establishing clear procedures for the reporting and handling of allegations of abuse against staff or volunteers.
- Requiring staff and volunteers to undertake safeguarding training as appropriate.
- Implementing safer recruitment practices for both staff and volunteers.
- Ensuring that external organisations that host participants have adequate safeguarding practices in place before activities occur.
4. KEY LEGISLATION
In2scienceUK adheres to the framework of relevant legislation and statutory guidance in the countries and devolved governments in which it operates. See Appendix 1 for further links and resources
- The Care Act 2014
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Care and Support Statutory Guidance (Revised Jan 2023)
- The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014
- In Safe Hands: protection of vulnerable adults in Wales (Wales Social Services Inspectorate 2000)
- Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007
- Social Care (Self-directed Support)(Scotland) Act 2013
5.1. Safeguarding – protecting the health, wellbeing and human rights of adults at risk enabling them to live safely, free from abuse and neglect and people and organisations working together to prevent and reduce both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect.
5.2. Position of Trust – is a legal term that refers to certain roles and settings where an adult has regular and direct contact with participants. Examples of positions of trust include teachers, care workers, social workers
5.3. Adult at Risk of Harm (Adult at Risk)- An adult at risk is ‘any person who is aged 18 years or over and at risk of abuse or neglect because of their needs for care and support’ (Care Act 2014 [England]). This may include those with physical, functional or learning disabilities and/or illness, or are otherwise unable to protect themselves from harm or report abuse. This definition is broadly consistent with definitions across the devolved nations. In Scotland, the definition of an ‘adult at risk’ or ‘vulnerable adult’ applies to those aged 16 years and over. In2scienceUK follows the guidance of the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2021) on when to apply child protection frameworks for individuals under the age of 18 in Scotland.
5.4. Abuse – This is the ill-treatment or abuse of an adult at risk. A person may abuse or neglect an adult at risk by inflicting harm or by knowingly failing to act to prevent harm. Adults at risk can be abused in any type of institution/organisation, by those known to them or others.
Types of abuse as specifically defined in legislation in England, Scotland and Wales include:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse
- Financial or Material Abuse
- Neglect or acts of Omission
In addition, the Care Act 2014 in England specifies the following additional types of abuse:
- Domestic Abuse
- Modern Slavery
- Discriminatory Abuse
- Organisational or Institutional Abuse
It should be noted that Wales and Scotland recognise these types of abuse of adults at risk, but are included in broader definitions. In addition it is recommended that all staff and volunteers are also aware of cyber bullying, forced marriage, ‘mate crime’ & radicalisation. For further details on categories of abuse see Appendix 2.
5.5. Regulated Activity – This is any activity that a barred person must not carry out this may include providing: personal health care or assistance; social care; financial and legal assistance. for definitions of regulated activities when working with adults see Appendix 3.
6. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and all staff and volunteers involved in the organisation’s activities have a role to play.
In2ScienceUK will ensure that all staff, trustees and volunteers have requisite training for their role, this includes:
- All staff undertaking CPD accredited safeguarding training specific to their role during induction. This training is to be renewed every three years.
- The designated safeguarding lead, safeguarding officers and trustees receive updated safeguarding training every two years specific to their role and to cover legislation in England, Scotland and Wales.
- All staff have access to yearly training and briefing sessions in safeguarding as well as updated internal guidance should changes in practice, guidance or legislation occur.
- All staff responsible for the decision on hiring staff who will interact with adults at risk to have undergone safe recruitment training and abide by our safe recruitment practices.
- Volunteers who work directly with students will be trained in In2scienceUK’s safeguarding procedure and policies and will be directed to ensure that they are up to date with their organisations own safeguarding policies and procedures.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) & Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) Wales is – Stephen Hancock – [email protected]
The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) – Anishta Shegobin – [email protected]
Trustee Safeguarding Lead is Paul Topping – [email protected]
The DSL and DDSL will be responsible for:
- Managing the referral of cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant agencies.
- Keeping detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals.
- Maintaining secure and accurate records of any concern, referral, complaint or allegation.
- Communication of the policy and arrangements to all relevant parties including but not limited to service users, staff and volunteers.
- Ensuring that staff and volunteers receive safeguarding training appropriate to their roles and update this annually.
- Maintaining accurate and up to date employment records of all staff including DBS checks.
- Maintaining safeguarding training records.
- The safety of all participants, including when it becomes apparent that a participant is absent or missing from a session, without explanation and/or where there are concerns about their welfare.
- Providing periodic reports to the board about safeguarding incidents or referrals as well as policy implementation.
- Act as a source of support, advice and expertise for staff and volunteers
7. SAFE RECRUITMENT OF STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
In2scienceUK operates safer recruitment and employment practices.
7.1. Staff checks and critical process undertaken include:
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, Disclosure Scotland check (PVG Scheme), or (international) Certificate of Good Conduct from a local police authority for all staff appropriate to their role.
- Where a conviction is recorded, the DSL will carry out a risk assessment and decide whether to confirm or reject the individual’s appointment. (Anyone that is barred from working with adults at risk will NOT be appointed)
- Where a DBS check or equivalent has been applied for but not yet received, the appointed individual will not have unsupervised access (whether in person or online) to any adults at risk.
- Two validated reference checks will be obtained before employment which indicate the candidate’s suitability to work with adults at risk and children under 18 where necessary.
- All pre-employment checks are carried out prior to appointment, including evidence of identity obtained, right to work in the UK, valid qualifications check. Any discrepancies or issues will be assessed by the hiring manager and DSL before appointment and In2scienceUK may refuse appointment for failure to provide such evidence.
- All staff sign and agree to abide by our code of conduct on appointment to the role. Any failure to abide by these standards will result in disciplinary action including suspension or termination of employment depending on severity.
- All job descriptions include our commitment to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk and the role as well as detailing the requirements for pre-employment checks.
- Inclusion of safeguarding screening questions, during the interview process to assess candidate suitability for the role.
- Areas of concern in the CV or application will be addressed during the interview.
- Appointments for roles that require regular working with children, young people or adults at risk will also include a self-disclosure form.
7.2. Volunteer checks and critical process undertaken include:
- Where appropriate volunteers may be required to carry out and show evidence of a DBS check or equivalent where appropriate and where indicated by In2scienceUK.
- In2scienceUK will indicate to volunteers that a DBS check or equivalent is required and what level of check is required and has processes in place to identify where a DBS check may be required based on the nature of the activity or needs of the individual identified.
- Where a conviction or other concern is recorded, the DSO will carry out a risk assessment and decide whether the volunteer should continue to participate in the programme.
- All volunteers agree to our code of conduct prior to taking part in any of our programmes.
- Organisations in which placements occur are informed of the upcoming placements and hosts are required to inform themselves and follow their own organisations safeguarding procedures in addition to those set out by In2scienceUK.
8. HANDLING DISCLOSURES
In2scienceUK recognises that in order to best safeguard adults at risk we must create a safe environment in which they feel confident and supported to disclose any concerns.
To do this In2scienceUK will maintain an ethos in which participants are encouraged to talk and are always listened to. Additionally, we ensure to make easily accessible lines of communication open and known to all participants. In2scienceUK will make all reasonable adjustments to support a young person in need of extra support to make a disclosure, including a disclosure in the Welsh language.
Staff and volunteers should never promise confidentiality during or after a disclosure and should let them know you may be required to pass on any information provided to the DSL to ensure their wellbeing. During a conversation you should:
- Allow them to speak freely
- Allow for silence
- Not ask investigative questions
- Ask open, non-leading questions
- Remain calm with composed reactions
- Reassure the individual that you are there to support them
- Maintain professional boundaries
Information should be written down at the earliest as possible opportunity and taken verbatim, it should not include interpretation or personal opinion. This information should be passed on to the safeguarding team in accordance with procedures in this policy. Do not attempt to investigate the incident further.
If you think any person is in immediate danger, or that a crime has been committed, please call the police on 999 straight away.
9. PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH CONCERNS AND DISCLOSURES
9.1. Procedure for Staff and Volunteers
If any member of staff or volunteer is concerned about the welfare or safety of any participant they must report their concerns to the DSL, DDSL or Trustee Lead for Safeguarding within 1 working day.
If an individual is in immediate danger, or you are made aware of a crime that has been committed, please call the police on 999 straight away.
The reporting individual should write down as much information as possible about the incident as they can during, or immediately following, an incident to help capture as much detail as possible while it is still fresh in their mind.
The reporting staff or volunteer will be provided with an incident reporting form in order to capture as much information as possible in order to aid in the decision making process.
The DSL or DDSL should let you know when an incident has been responded to and it’s current status, however they may not disclose details of any outcome. If you have not received this information you may escalate the issue.
Volunteer placement hosts should always follow their own organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures in addition to those of In2scienceUK.
9.2. Procedure for Safeguarding Leads
When the DSL or DDSL receives a concern they must decide if harm has occurred, or if there is an allegation or reasonable grounds to suspect that harm has or is likely to occur. Consideration must be given on the impact of the alleged incident on the individual, any previous incidents, the pattern of abuse or whether this is a one-off.
- Information gathering – It may be necessary to gather more information before deciding if there is reasonable cause to believe that abuse may have occurred. This could include checking rotas, daily records, and on occasion may require further discussion and investigation.
- Low Risk Reporting (Single Agency Response) – If the concern has been assessed as low risk and will therefore be handled within the organisation, this must be recorded as a safeguarding incident on an incident log by the next working day.
- Medium to High Risk Reporting (Multi-agency Response) – When certain (or in any doubt) that there is an allegation of abuse and it is assessed as medium to high risk, the Safeguarding Lead must follow these guidelines:
- Seek consent from the person concerned.
- Collect all available relevant facts and appropriate information.
- Make a written record of the concern.
- Tell the person involved what will be done about the concern and note any views that they may have regarding how they wish the matter to be dealt with.
- Tell only the people who need to know – such as safeguarding officers.
- Consider the balance between listening to someone’s wishes and needing to refer information where others may be at risk.
- Refer to the relevant adult safeguarding board, social services or police.
- Inform the person involved about the outcome of any process.
- Update the person who reported the concern that the report is being dealt with.
- In line with national guidance, incident reports will be retained for 12 months after they are first recorded. Data Protection Agreements and UK GDPR do not prevent sharing of this data for safeguarding purposes.
9.3. Capacity and Consent
It is important to be alert to issues of cognitive capacity which can increase the vulnerability of people where they have a reduced ability to make informed decisions. However, a staff member or volunteer does not have to seek consent to notify the DSL or DDSL of any concerns.
A person aged 16 or older is presumed in law to have capacity to consent, unless there is evidence to the contrary. They should not be treated as unable to make a decision until all practicable steps to help them have been taken.
It is important that the DSL or DDSL should consider a person’s capacity to understand the consequences of giving or withholding their consent. It is important to try and ensure that they really understand the issues and are not just agreeing to what is proposed. This should take into consideration their preferred mode of communication, age, language and any other factors that might effect their understanding.
Where the DSL or DDSL believe that the individual is unable to give informed consent, this should be assessed by the DSL, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee Safeguarding Lead, before action is taken which may include the sharing of their information.
10. ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF OR VOLUNTEERS
The primary concern in the event of an allegation is to ensure the safety of the adult at risk. In all cases, action will be taken quickly, confidentially and professionally, with all parties clear that suspension is not an indicator of guilt, but a required part of a process.
Where an allegation is made, the CEO, Trustee Safeguarding Lead and DSL will meet to discuss the required action. In order that a full and fair investigation can be carried out, consideration must be given to suspending the member of staff or volunteer. Where it is clear that a criminal offence may have occurred, the matter must be reported to the police.
In2scienceUK will ensure to report to the Local Authority Designated Officer in Wales and relevant disclosure service in England, Scotland or Wales any individual who is considered to be unsuitable to work with adults at risk and may be dismissed. This will be done as soon as possible and ensured to be carried out within one month of the individual leaving the organisation.
In the event that a member of staff or volunteer suspects any other member of staff or volunteer of abusing a anyone, it is their responsibility to report these concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy), except in the circumstance in which the DSL is the person against whom the allegation is being made. In this instance, the report should go to the Safeguarding Trustee Lead.
Where incidents are deemed to have a potential detrimental impact on the reputation of the organisation the Trustee Safeguarding Lead and/or CEO must notify the trustee board and the chair immediately.
11. ONLINE SAFETY
In2scienceUK conducts many of its programmes using online platforms in order to expand our reach and serve a greater number of individuals from across the UK. We believe that children and young people should be able to use the internet for education and personal development, but safeguards need to be in place to ensure they are kept safe at all times.
We recognise that we have a duty to ensure that all children and young people involved in our organisation are protected from potential harm online, whether or not they are on In2scienceUK’s networks and devices.
We will seek to keep programme participants safe by:
- Appointing an Online Safety Coordinator – Stephen Hancock, Head of Operations.
- Moderating all communications on our online platforms.
- Make and securely store recordings of all online video conferencing events hosted by In2scienceUK e.g. webinars, mentoring sessions, for a period of 12 months following the completion of the programme.
- Providing clear and specific directions to staff and volunteers on how to behave online through our code of conduct.
- Supporting and encouraging programme participants using our service to follow our code of conduct and use the internet, social media and mobile phones in a way that keeps them safe and shows respect for others.
- Reviewing and updating the security of our information systems regularly and ensuring that usernames, logins, email accounts and passwords are used effectively.
- Ensuring that images of programme participants are used only after their written permission has been obtained, and only for the purpose for which consent has been given.
12. KEY CONTACTS AND RESOURCES
In the first instance, contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). If you are unable to make phone contact or receive an out of office reply, please contact the DDSL. If your concern relates to a member of the In2scienceUK team, please contact the Trustee Safeguarding Lead
- Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) – Stephen Hancock – [email protected] – 07436923304
- Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)– Anishta Shegobin – [email protected] – 07895873857
- Trustee Safeguarding Lead – Paul Topping – [email protected]
- Police & Emergency services – 999 – Emergency, 101 – Non-emergency police services
- In2scienceUK staff confidential counselling helpline – 0117 934 2121
- Safeguarding Helpline (Thirtyone:eight) – 0303 003 1111
Adult Safeguarding Boards
An up to date list of all Safeguarding boards in England, Wales, Scotland and NI can be found courtesy of the Ann Craft Trust.
Wales Safeguarding Procedures Website
Appendix 1. Legislation and Resources
- The Care Act 2014 – https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/contents/enacted
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 – https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/47/contents
- Care and Support Statutory Guidance (Revised Jan 2023) – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-act-statutory-guidance/care-and-support-statutory-guidance
- The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 – https://www.legislation.gov.uk/anaw/2014/4/contents
- Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 – https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2007/10/contents
- Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2013/1/contents/enacted
Appendix 2. Definitions of Abuse
Somebody may abuse or neglect a vulnerable adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Vulnerable adults may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by another adult(s) or children. It is important that our staff understand these risks and recognise the signs that a participant may be in need of support.
Physical abuse – Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a vulnerable adult.
Sexual abuse – is any contact or non-contact sexual activity that happens without consent or understanding, or with forced consent. It includes:
- Sexual violence, such as rape, date rape, attempted rape, groping or forced kissing
- Sexual harassment
- Indecent exposure
- Involvement in pornography without consent
- Image-based sexual abuse (known as revenge porn)
If you think about any sexual behaviour that would make you feel uncomfortable, afraid or intimidated, it could fall in the category of sexual abuse.
Financial or material abuse – Financial abuse may involve theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Emotional/psychological abuse – Emotional or Psychological abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of an adult at risk such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their mental wellbeing. It may involve conveying that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying causing the vulnerable adult to frequently feel frightened or in danger. It may involve the exploitation or corruption of a vulnerable adult.
Neglect or acts of omission – Neglect is the persistent failure to meet an adult’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their mental or physical health. Neglect may involve a carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment, failing to protect a vulnerable adult from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate carers. This also includes the withdrawal from essential services such as health care.
Extremism and radicalisation – Extremism is defined as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs; and/or calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.” Radicalisation is defined as “the way in which a person comes to support terrorism and encourages other people to believe in views that support terrorism”
Domestic abuse – Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. Witnessing domestic abuse is considered to be emotional abuse in itself.
Modern Slavery – consists of several different types of forced bondage, such as:
- Human trafficking
- Forced labour
- Domestic servitude
- Sexual exploitation, such as escort work, prostitution and pornography
- Debt bondage – being forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to
Discriminatory abuse – is the unequal treatment of an individual based on age, disability, gender and gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation.
Organisational or institutional abuse – is the mistreatment of people typically in their workplace brought about by poor or inadequate care or support, or systematic poor practice that affects the whole care setting. It occurs when the individual’s wishes and needs are sacrificed for the smooth running of a group, service or organisation.
Self-Neglect – This covers a wide range of behaviour, but it can be broadly defined as neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health, or surroundings. An example of self-neglect is behaviour such as hoarding.
Cyber-bullying – Cyber bullying occurs when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person online, or repeatedly picks on another person through emails or text messages. It can also involve using online forums with the intention of harming, damaging, humiliating, or isolating another person. It includes various different types of bullying, including racist bullying, homophobic bullying, or bullying related to special education needs and disabilities. The main difference is that, instead of the perpetrator carrying out the bullying face-to-face, they use technology as a means to do it.
Forced Marriage – describes a marriage in which one or both of the parties are married without their consent or against their will. Different from an arranged marriage, in which both parties’ consent.
Mate Crime – A “mate crime” is when “vulnerable people are befriending by members of the community who go on to exploit and take advantage of them” (Safety Network Project, ARC). It may not be an illegal act, but it still has a negative effect on the individual. A mate crime is carried out by someone the adult knows, and it often happens in private. In recent years there have been a number of Serious Care Reviews relating to people with a learning disability who were seriously harmed, or even murdered, by people who purported to be their friend.
Appendix 3. Regulated activity with adults at risk (vulnerable adults)
Appendix 4. Safeguarding Reporting Procedure
4.1. Staff & Volunteer Concerns & Disclosure Process
4.2. DSO Process