In2scienceUK Adult Safeguarding (18+) Policy

17th May 2023

Downloadable PDF version


In2scienceUK regards the health, safety and welfare of vulnerable adults 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 vulnerable adults 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 (aged 18+).
  • In2scienceUK’s policy for safeguarding adults (aged 18+).
  • Their role in and responsibility for safeguarding adults (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 will be reviewed annually to ensure it is up to date with the relevant legislation and best practice.


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 Officer (DSO) and Deputy (DDSO) to lead on all safeguarding matters. 
  • Raising awareness of issues relating to the welfare and safeguarding of vulnerable adults. (See Appendix 1)
  • 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.


The legislative frameworks underpinning this policy are:

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which was passed to help avoid harm, or risk of harm, by preventing people who are deemed unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable adults from gaining access to them through their work.


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.

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

Physical Abuse – may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning or suffocating. It may be done deliberately or recklessly, or be the result of a deliberate failure to prevent an injury occurring

Neglect – the persistent or severe failure to meet a child’s, young person’s or vulnerable adult’s physical and/or psychological needs, which may result in serious impairment of their health or development

Sexual Abuse involves a child, young person or vulnerable adult being forced or coerced into participating in or watching sexual activity of any kind. Any apparent consent or awareness is irrelevant

Emotional Abuse – persistent emotional ill treatment or rejection; includes abusive or offensive electronic communications. This causes severe and adverse effects on behaviour and emotional development, resulting in low self-esteem. Some degree of emotional abuse is present in all forms of abuse.

Financial Abuse – in intimate or parental relationships is a way of controlling a person’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain their own money and financial resources


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 staff and volunteers undergo safeguarding training at induction, advanced training (as appropriate) and will take part in the annual CPD programme where safeguarding updates/refreshers will be programmed.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) is Stephen Hancock

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer (DDSO) is Anishta Shegobin 

The Trustee Safeguarding Lead is Vicky Pope

The DSO and DDSO 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 child protection 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 and volunteers including DBS checks where it is confirmed that the member of staff is involved in regulated activity. 
  • Maintaining safeguarding training records. 
  • Safety of all beneficiaries, including when it becomes apparent that a In2scienceUK participant may be at risk of harm. 
  • 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.


In2scienceUK operates safer recruitment and employment practices. Staff checks and critical process undertaken include:

  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check where the member of staff or volunteer is involved or likely to be involved in ‘regulated’ activity. 
  • Where a conviction is recorded, the DSO will carry out a risk assessment and decide whether to confirm or reject the individual’s appointment. (Anyone that is barred from working with vulnerable adults will NOT be appointed)
  • Two employment/education references including the most recent employment.
  • Check on gaps in work history.
  • Evidence of identity is obtained, including the right to work in the UK.
  • Qualifications are checked and verified with original certificates.
  • Areas of concern in the CV or application will be addressed during the interview.
  • Applicants sign the application form to declare the information they have provided is true.


The primary concern in the event of an allegation is to ensure the safety of the participant. 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, Safeguarding Trustee and DSO 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.  

Any subsequent dismissal must be reported to the Disclosure and Barring Service.  

In the event that a member of staff or volunteer suspects any other member of staff or volunteer of abusing a vulnerable adult, it is their responsibility to report these concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (or Deputy), except when they are the person against whom the allegation is being made. In this instance, the report should go to the Designated Safeguarding Trustee and /or Chief Executive.


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:  

  • people should never experience online abuse of any kind. 
  • everyone 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:  

  • the online world provides everyone with many opportunities; however, it can also present risks and challenges. 
  • we have a duty to ensure that all vulnerable adults involved in our organisation are protected from potential harm online.  
  • We have a responsibility to help keep programme participants safe online, whether or not they are using In2scienceUK’s network and devices.  
  • all people, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.

We will seek to keep programme participants safe by:  

  • Appointing an Online Safety Coordinator – the same person as our Designated Safeguarding Officer.
  • Tracking all official online activities for review where necessary – these recordings will be stored securely 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 use the internet, social media and mobile phones in a way that keeps them safe and shows respect for others.   
  • Developing clear and robust procedures to enable us to respond  appropriately to any incidents of inappropriate online behaviour, whether by an adult or a child/young person.
  • Reviewing and updating the security of our information systems regularly. 
  • Ensuring that usernames, logins, email accounts and passwords are used effectively.
  • Ensuring personal information about programme participants who are involved in our organisation is held securely and shared only as appropriate.  
  • 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.  
  • Providing supervision, support and training for staff and volunteers about online safety.  
  • Examining and risk assessing any social media platforms, e.g., WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and any other new technologies before they are used on behalf of the organisation, ensuring that they are only used for the purposes of education and in accordance with the code of conduct.  

If online abuse occurs, we will respond to it by:  

  • having clear and robust safeguarding procedures in place for responding to abuse. (including online abuse)  
  • providing support and training for all staff and volunteers on dealing with all forms of abuse, including bullying/cyberbullying, emotional abuse, sexting, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
  • making sure our response takes the needs of the person experiencing abuse, any bystanders and our organisation as a whole into account. 
  • reviewing the plan developed to address online abuse at regular intervals, in order to ensure that any problems have been resolved in the long term. 


10.1 Procedure for Staff and Volunteers

If any member of staff or volunteer is concerned about the welfare or safety of a participant on the programme, they must report their concerns to the DSO, DDSO or Trustee Lead for Safeguarding as soon as practicably possible.

In some circumstances, the reporting staff or volunteer will be provided with an incident reporting form in order to capture as much information of the situation as possible in order to aid in the decision making process.

It is advised in these circumstances, that the reporting individual writes 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. Written notes of the event should be made by the member of staff or volunteer who witnessed the event or disclosure and these will be held in a secure location and shared with the relevant agencies as appropriate.

Staff and volunteers will receive training on how to deal with disclosures made by a child, young person or vulnerable adult.  Written notes of the disclosure should be made by the member of staff or volunteer and these will be held in a secure location and shared with the relevant agencies as appropriate. 

10.2 Procedure for Safeguarding Lead

When the safeguarding lead 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. 

In addition, as an adult, the individual has more say about what happens from this point forward, so must be consulted before any action is taken. 

  1. 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 some very broad discussion with staff or adults.
    1. Ensure the staff member who raised the concern has written a formal record, and all relevant information is collected.  
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
    1. Seek consent from the person concerned. 
    2. Collect all available relevant facts and appropriate information.
    3. Make a written record of the concern.
    4. 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.
    5. Tell only the people who need to know – such as safeguarding officers.
    6. Consider the balance between listening to someone’s wishes and needing to refer information where others may be at risk.
    7. Inform the person involved about the outcome of any process.
  4. When to report the concern to the police – When a serious crime or robbery has just taken place then there is a duty to call the Police via 999, as an emergency situation. With non-emergency situations, where a safeguarding concern involves a possible crime, the number 101 should be used to contact the police. 

10.3 It is best practice to be transparent, explaining what are the concerns and reasons, and the duty of care to report, however, the safety and welfare of the individual concerned has to be of paramount importance. 


In the first instance, contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO).  If you are unable to make phone contact or receive an out of office reply, please contact the Deputy DSO.  If your concern relates to a member of the In2scienceUK team, please contact the Trustee Lead for Safeguarding.

Safeguarding RoleNameEmailPhone
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSO)Stephen Hancock[email protected]07436923304
Deputy DSOAnishta Shegobin[email protected]07895873857 
Trustee Lead for SafeguardingVicky Pope[email protected]

Types of Abuse Appendix 1

A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who is unable to care for themselves or protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation. They may:

  • be elderly, and physically or mentally frail
  • have a learning disability
  • have a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment
  • have mental health issues including dementia or a personality disorder
  • have a long-term illness or condition that means they need help to carry out everyday tasks
  • misuse substances or alcohol
  • be unable to demonstrate the capacity to make decisions
  • have undergone a recent trauma, such as a bereavement, a divorce or loss of a job
  • be in an abusive relationship
  • be homeless

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.  In addition to the stated types of abuse, there are many other risks that are faced by vulnerable adults on a day-today basis.  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. 

Emotional Abuse – Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a vulnerable adult 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.  

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
  • Voyeurism
  • Stalking
  • Grooming
  • 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.

Neglect – Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a vulnerable 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, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. 

Criminal Exploitation – Criminal exploitation of vulnerable adults is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity: drug networks or gangs groom and exploit vulnerable adults either to use their homes as a base for selling drugs or to force them to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns. 

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. 

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.

Female Genital Mutilation – all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for nonmedical reasons. FGM is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003.

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.

Mental Health – all staff should be aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a vulnerable adult has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. Only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem.  Where children have suffered abuse and neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. It is important that staff are aware of how these early experiences, can impact on their mental health, behaviour and education.