Charity Number: 1179010


Kool Carers Safeguarding Children Policy


Kool Carers South East Ltd (the Charity) is a Charity run for the following purpose:

To relieve the needs of young carers aged 8 to 18 years, living within the county of Essex by:

Providing emotional support and respite to young carers

Offering educational and social opportunities that will enhance their personal lifeskills and improve well being

Developing a network of support for young carers and their families

The Charity is based at:                     

Unit 1 Tuskite Business Park,

Pitsea Hall Lane,


Essex.  SS16 4UH

 What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment.

Preventing harm to children’s health or development.

Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care.

Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures, which detail how to respond to concerns about a child. (NSPCC)

Purpose of the Policy:

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all staff, volunteers, apprentices and students should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.

The Charity has adopted this safeguarding children’s policy and expects all staff, trustees, volunteers, students, apprentices and parents either working or supporting the work of Kool Carers to adhere to it.

This policy is intended to protect children and young people who receive a service from us, whilst including those who are the children of adults who may also receive services from the Charity.

The Charity believes that no child or young person should experience abuse or harm and is committed to the protection of children and young people and this policy is intended to provide guidance and overarching principles to those who represent us as volunteers or staff, to guide our approach to child protection and safeguarding.

Risks to Children:

Sadly, not every child or young person grows up in a healthy and happy environment and whilst it is important not to exaggerate or over estimate the dangers, it is imperative for everyone involved within the Charity to be aware of situations, where children and young people may need protection, including but not limited to;

Physical Abuse:

Is a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or young person. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

All children have bumps, trips, and falls, and not all cuts and bruises mean that a child is being physically abused. If a child has repeated or patterned injuries, this needs to be reported.


 Signs of physical abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Bruises (particularly indicative of abuse if observed in infants and immobile children)
  • Broken or fractured bones, or evidence of old fractures
  • Burns or scalds, particularly to the feet or the bottom
  • Lacerations to the body or mouth
  • Bite marks
  • Scarring
  • The effects of poisoning (e.g. vomiting, drowsiness, seizures)
  • Breathing problems from drowning, suffocation, or poisoning
  • Head injuries in babies and toddlers may be signalled by the following symptoms: swelling, bruising,
  • fractures, being extremely sleepy, breathing problems, vomiting seizures, being irritable, not feeding
  • Seeming frightened of parents, reluctant to return home after school
  • Displays frozen watchfulness
  • Constantly asking in words/actions what will happen next
  • Shrinks away at the approach of adults

Emotional Abuse:

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child, or young person, such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child or young person that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.  

Signs of emotional abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Lack of confidence and self-esteem
  • Difficulties controlling emotions
  • Extreme behaviour, like becoming overly demanding, aggressive, passive
  • Difficulties making and maintaining relationships
  • Behaviour that is inappropriately infantile or adult-like
  • Persistent running away from home or being missing from school
  • Anxiety, unhappiness or withdrawal
  • Having few or no friends
  • Seeming to be isolated from parents/family
  • Lack social skills
  • Self-harm or attempts at suicide
  • Babies or toddlers might not have a close relationship or bond with their parent(s)
  • Babies or toddles might be overly affectionate with strangers

Sexual Abuse:

Sexual abuse is any act that involves the child or young person in any activity for the sexual gratification of another person, whether or not it is claimed that the child or young person either consented or assented. “Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child or young person is aware of what is happening. 

There are 2 types of sexual abuse – contact and non-contact abuse. Sexual abuse can happen in person or online.

Contact abuse is where an abuser makes physical contact with a child. This includes:

  • sexual touching of any part of a child’s body, whether they’re clothed or not
  • using a body part or object to rape or penetrate a child
  • forcing a child to take part in sexual activities
  • making a child undress or touch someone else.

Contact abuse can include touching, kissing and oral sex – sexual abuse isn’t just penetrative.

Non-contact abuse is where a child is abused without being touched by the abuser. This can be in person or online and includes:

  • exposing or flashing
  • showing pornography
  • exposing a child to sexual acts
  • making them masturbate
  • forcing a child to make, view or share child abuse images or videos
  • making, viewing or distributing child abuse images or videos
  • forcing a child to take part in sexual activities or conversations online or through a smartphone

Signs of sexual abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Avoiding being alone or frightened of people or a person they know
  • The use of language or sexual behaviour that is not age appropriate
  • Nightmares or bed-wetting
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Self Harm
  • Changing in eating habits, developing an eating disorder
  • Changes in mood, irritability, angry, or any mood changes that are out of the ordinary
  • Spend a lot more or a lot less time than usual online, texting, gaming or using social media
  • Appear distant, upset or angry after using the internet or texting
  • Be secretive about who they’re talking to and what they’re doing online or on their mobile phone
  • Have lots of new phone numbers, texts or email addresses on their mobile phone, laptop or tablet

Domestic Abuse:

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional. It is 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.

The Charity recognises that exposure to domestic abuse can have a serious, long-term emotional and psychological impact on children and young people. The Charity will work with other key agencies and will share relevant information where there are concerns that domestic abuse may be an issue for a child or family or be placing a child at risk of harm.

Signs that a child is witnessing domestic abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying or aggression towards others
  • Bed-wetting
  • Nightmares, trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Constant or frequent sickness (e.g. headaches, colds)
  • Anti-social behaviour (e.g. vandalism)
  • Problems in school
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Attention seeking
  • Tantrums
  • Withdrawal
  • Anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts

Bullying and Cyber Bullying:

Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It includes name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.  It can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.

Signs that a child is being bullied, include, but are not limited to:

  • Depression,
  • Low self-esteem
  • Headaches, stomachaches, tiredness, or poor eating habits
  • Missing school, disliking school, or having poorer school performance than previously
  • Self-destructive behaviors, such as running away from home or inflicting harm on oneself
  • Thinking about suicide or attempting to commit suicide
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place online. Unlike bullying offline, online bullying can follow the child wherever they go, via social networks, gaming and mobile phone.

Signs that a child is a victim of cyber bullying, include, but are not limited to:

  • Appears nervous when receiving a text, instant message, or email
  • Seems uneasy aboutgoing to school or pretends to be ill
  • Unwillingness to share information about online activity
  • Unexplained anger or depression, especially after going online
  • Abruptly shutting off or walking away from the computer mid-use
  • Withdrawing from friends and family in real life
  • Unexplained stomach aches or headaches
  • Trouble sleeping at night
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts


Peer on Peer abuse, Child on Child Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment:

All staff should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer on peer abuse).  This can happen in a range of settings inside and outside of the home. It is important that all staff recognise the indicators and signs of peer on peer abuse and know how to identify it and respond to reports. The Charity has a zero tolerance to all forms of abuse.  The Charity may be one of the only stable, secure and safe elements in the lives of children at risk or, or who have suffered harm. Nevertheless, whilst attending the Charity’s groups or events, their behaviour may be challenging and defiant, or they may instead be withdrawn, or display abusive behaviours towards other children. The Charity recognises that some children may abuse their peers and any incidents of peer on peer abuse will be managed in the same way as any other child protection concern and the same procedures will be followed.  The Charity will always seek support from external agencies as appropriate.

Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any age and sex, from primary through to secondary stage and into colleges. It can occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children. Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap; they can occur online and face to face (both physically and verbally) and are never acceptable. All staff working with children and young people within the charity, need to remain alert and vigilant, as just because there may not be a report that this is happening, it does not mean that it isn’t.   If staff have any concerns regarding peer on peer abuse they should speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Rachel Tungate, CEO.

It is essential that all staff understand the importance of challenging inappropriate behaviours between peers, some of which are listed below, that are actually abusive in nature. Downplaying certain behaviours, for example dismissing sexual harassment as “just banter”, “just having a laugh”, “part of growing up” or “boys being boys” can lead to a culture of unacceptable behaviours, an unsafe environment for children and in worst case scenarios a culture that normalises abuse, leading to children accepting it as normal and not coming forward to report it Peer on peer abuse can manifest itself in many ways. This may include bullying (including cyber bullying), physical abuse, sexual violence / sexual harassment, ‘sexting’ or initiation / hazing type violence and rituals.


Signs of peer on peer abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • absence from school or disengagement from school activities
  • physical injuries
  • mental or emotional health issues
  • becoming withdrawn – lack of self esteem
  • lack of sleep
  • alcohol or substance misuse
  • changes in behaviour
  • inappropriate behaviour for age
  • harmful towards others

All reports of sexual violence or sexual harassment should be taken seriously, it is essential that all victims are reassured that they will be supported and kept safe.  A victim should never be given the impression they are creating a problem.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE):

 Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources. In some cases, the abuse will be in exchange for something the victim needs or wants and/or will be to the financial benefit or other advantage (such as increased status) of the perpetrator or facilitator. The abuse can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse. It can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence. Victims can be exploited even when activity appears consensual and it should be noted exploitation as well as being physical can be facilitated and/or take place online.  Children and young people, can become trapped by this type of exploitation as perpetrators can threaten victims (and their families) with violence, or entrap and coerce them into debt. They may be coerced into carrying weapons such as knives or begin to carry a knife for a sense of protection from harm from others. Children involved in criminal exploitation often commit crimes themselves, their vulnerability as victims is not always recognised by adults and professionals, (particularly older children), and they are not treated as victims despite the harm they have experienced.  It is important to note that the experience of girls who are criminally exploited can be different to that of boys. The indicators may not be the same, however professionals should be aware that girls are at risk of criminal exploitation too. It is also important to note that both boys and girls being criminally exploited may be at higher risk of sexual exploitation.

Signs that a child or young person is being groomed or sexually exploited include, but are not limited to:

  • Unhealthy or inappropriate sexual behaviour
  • Persistently going missing for periods of time or returning home late regularly
  • Frequently staying out late or overnight with no explanation as to where they have been
  • Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going
  • Using more than one phone
  • Spending more time online or on their devices
  • Excessive receipt of texts or phone calls, letters, or emails
  • Having an older girlfriend or boyfriend, or having relationships with controlling older individuals or groups
  • Unexplained absences from school, college, training, or work
  • Suddenly acquiring expensive gifts such as mobile phones, jewellery – even drugs – and not being able to explain how they came by them
  • Having mood swings and changes in temperament
  • Having hotel cards or keys to unknown places
  • Noticeable changes in behaviour – becoming secretive, defensive or aggressive when asked about their personal life.
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing that is too adult or revealing for their age
  • Significant changes in emotional well-being
  • Sudden changes in lifestyle
  • Increasingly disruptive or violent behaviour
  • Getting into trouble with the police
  • Bruises, marks on the body, bleeding in their genital or anal area, sexually-transmitted diseases, pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse or self-harm.

Signs that a child or young person is being groomed in criminal exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being
  • Persistently going missing from school or home and/or being found out-of-area
  • Unexplained acquisition of money, clothes, jewellery, or mobile phones
  • Excessive receipt of texts or phone calls
  • Spending more time online or on their devices
  • Using more than one phone
  • Suddenly acquiring expensive gifts such as mobile phones, jewellery – even drugs – and not being able to explain how they came by them
  • Having hotel cards or keys to unknown places
  • Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going
  • Relationships with controlling older individuals or groups
  • Leaving home/care without explanation
  • Unexplained absences from school, college, training, or work
  • Returning home unusually late or staying out all night
  • Coming home looking dishevelled
  • Suspicion of physical assault or unexplained injuries
  • Carrying weapons
  • Starting or increasing drug use, or being found to have large amounts of drugs on them
  • Starting or increasing alcohol use
  • Loss of interest in school and significant decline in performance
  • Using sexual, gang, drug-related or violent language you wouldn’t expect them to know
  • Meeting with unfamiliar people or associating with a gang
  • Becoming isolated from peers or social networks
  • Self-harm
  • Significant changes in emotional well-being
  • Sudden changes in lifestyle
  • Increasingly disruptive or violent behaviour
  • Getting into trouble with the police

Universality of Protection:

The Charity recognises that;

The welfare of the child is important, whilst the Charity supports young carers aged 8 -18 years within the group activities that it facilitates, the Charity also recognizes that it has a responsibility to safeguard any child from 0 – 18 years (up to 25, if the person has special educational needs). Furthermore the Charity also has it’s own Adult Safeguarding Policy.

All children and young people regardless of race, gender, religious belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, or identity have a right to equal protection from harm

Some children and young people are more vulnerable to harm, as a result of their circumstances, prior experiences, communication needs, or level of dependency and working with children, young people, their parents and/or guardians, carers or other agencies is essential to protecting their wellbeing.

While traumas cannot always be avoided, a number of measures can be taken to mitigate the effect on those concerned. These include:

  •  Establishing clear child protection procedures
  •  Ensuring all staff receive regular training annually on all aspects of child protection and staff work collaboratively with other agencies, as directed by the CEO.

These notes of guidance do not replace the Government Child Protection Guidelines (the SET Child Protection Procedures) in any way but, rather, are intended to supplement them in relation to the purely personnel-related aspects of dealing with the situation. The Children Act 1989 states that the interests of the child are paramount and adherence to the SET Child Protection Procedures will ensure this.

All staff MUST NOT take any unilateral action, however, well-intentioned, following an allegation, in case the SET Child Protection Procedures or a potential criminal case is jeopardised.

The Charity works in accordance with the following legislation and guidance (this is not an exhaustive list)

  • Children Act 1989
  • United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Children Act 2004
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and
  • promote the welfare of children; HM Government, 2018 – updated 2021

Roles and Responsibilities:

All Staff

All staff play an important role in the safeguarding of children, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.


It is the duty of all staff to be familiar, and comply, with all relevant child protection policies and procedures. Staff must keep relevant, factual and timely records of any concerns they have raised. These must be shared in a secure fashion with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, (Rachel Tungate).

Any member of staff receiving a disclosure of abuse or noticing signs or indicators of abuse, will make an accurate written record using, as soon as possible noting what was said or seen (if appropriate, using a body map to record), giving the date, time and location. All records will be dated and signed and will include the action taken. This is then presented to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Rachel Tungate (07899986329) immediately, who will decide on appropriate action and record this accordingly. If any member of staff, requires advice or guidance, they should contact Rachel Tungate.


All staff should reassure any child or young person making a disclosure, making them feel that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. Children and young people should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting abuse, sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor should a child or young person ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report.

The CEO and trustee board is responsible for creating a safe environment and for making sure all staff are aware of child protection procedures.

Where there is a safeguarding concern, the Designated Safeguarding Lead, should ensure the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide.  The Charity in-house counsellors, will be available to any child or young person who makes a disclosure and wishes to accept therapeutic intervention. 

The CEO and Trustee Board, will be responsible for implementing child protection/disciplinary procedures where allegations are made against members of staff other than the CEO.


Designated Safeguarding Lead:

The CEO, (Qualified Social Worker) Rachel Tungate, (07899986329) is the nominated member of staff to have specific responsibility within the charity for child protection matters and for liaising with social care and other agencies over suspected child abuse.

They act as a source of advice and support for other staff (on child protection matters) and ensure that timely referrals to Essex Children’s Social Care (Family Operations Hub) are made in accordance with current SET procedures. They work with the local authority and other agencies as required.

If for any reason the Designated Safeguarding Lead is unavailable, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, Helen Murphy (Charity Counsellor – 07964 399916)), will act in their absence.

Mr Colin Campbell, Chair of the trustee board is an additional safeguarding lead can be contacted on: 07505041316.

Confidentiality is an issue, which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children and young people, particularly in the context of child protection. A member of staff must never  guarantee confidentiality to a child or young person and will not agree to keep a child or young person’s secret as, where there is a child protection concern, this must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and may require further investigation by appropriate authorities.

All staff should be able to reassure victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. A victim should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting abuse, sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor should a victim ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report.

All staff members are informed of relevant information in respect of individual cases regarding child protection on a ‘need to know basis’ only. Any information shared with a member of staff in this way, MUST be treated confidentially.

Where there are concerns about the safety of a child, the sharing of information in a timely and effective manner between organisations can reduce the risk of harm. Whilst GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) places duties on organisations and individuals to process personal information fairly and lawfully, it is not a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would result in a child or vulnerable adult being placed at risk of harm. Similarly, human rights concerns, such as respecting the right to a private and family life would not prevent sharing where there are real safeguarding concerns. Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children at risk of abuse or neglect.  

Safeguarding children and young people attending Kool Carers provision and activities:

There are three kinds of events/activities:

  • those open to adults and children (including young carers) of all ages
  • those for children accompanied by a parent
  • those for unaccompanied children and young people, which are sometimes run alongside other activities

At events and activities open to all ages, children under 16, must be accompanied throughout by an adult over the age of 18, who not only brings the child or young person, but who also takes them home again.  Young people aged 16 -17 may attend unaccompanied if their parent/carer provides either verbal or written consent and their mobile telephone number.

At events and activities for children accompanied by a parent, children under age 16 must be supervised

throughout the event by an adult over the age of 18, who not only brings the child to the event, but also takes the child home again afterwards.  If a lone adult brings more than one child, then the children will have to stay together, so that the adult can supervise them.  Young people aged 16 – 18, may attend unaccompanied if their parent/carer provides either verbal or written consent and their mobile telephone number.

At events and activities for unaccompanied children, which relates to children and young people under the age of 16, they must be enrolled by a responsible adult before being left with the session leader.  All addresses and contact telephone numbers for parents/carers of each child and young person, will have to be provided to the session leader before the parent or carer leaves the child at the event.  Young people aged 16 -18 may attend unaccompanied if they provide contact details of at least one parent/carer.

All events and activities are to be defined broadly to include any occasions where the Charity will be providing a service.

Photographing Children:

No photos will be taken or published at any event facilitated by the Charity, unless prior permission is sought from a person who has parental responsibility.  If any person has any concerns regarding any person taking any photos at any event or activity, they should contact the Charity immediately.

Local Authority Designated Officer :

The Designated LEA officer (LADO) will be the point of contact where allegations are made against a member of staff.  The LADO can provide advice, information and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations around allegations and concerns regarding paid and unpaid workers Tel:  (03330 139797)

Managing and overseeing individual cases from all partner agencies.

Ensuring the child’s voice is heard and that they are safeguarded.

Ensuring there is a consistent, fair and thorough process for all adults working with children and young people against whom an allegation is made.

Monitoring the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible.

Recommending a referral and chairing the strategy meeting in cases where the allegation requires investigation by police and/or social care.

Pre Employment Screening:

Although it affords no guarantees that child protection issues will not arise, the Charity should ensure that appropriate pre-employment checks are carried out on all relevant staff. Disclosure and Barring Service checks are undertaken on all staff and volunteers, prior to commencing a position within the Charity. It is illegal to offer employment that involves regular contact with young people under the age of 18 to anyone who has been convicted of certain specific offences and/or is included on lists of people considered unsuitable for such work. Employers should also ensure that references are taken up from an applicant’s last/current employer.

Most of the Kool Carers staff team receive annual updates to their DBS certificate, for those staff members and volunteers who have not subscribed to the service, their DBS certificates will be refreshed every three years.

Staff Training:

It is essential that all staff, receive regular training on child protection issues and steps should be taken to ensure that all new staff are also trained. In addition to protecting children, the training also enables staff to be more aware of their own vulnerabilities and to take steps to minimise these. All staff should be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect so they are able to identify children who may be in need of help or protection.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (and Deputy) undertakes Level 3 child protection training at least every 2 years.

All staff members, including volunteers and trustees receive appropriate child protection training which is regularly updated and in line with advice from the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) annually.  In addition, all staff members receive safeguarding and child protection updates as required, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

Actions where there are concerns about a child:

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child or young person. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child or young person by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and young people may be abused in a family or in an institutional/community setting by those known to them or others. Abuse can be wholly online or technology be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children and young people can be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.

Abuses are generally categorised into four types; Physical, Emotional, Sexual and Neglect. Staff should be able to identify and report concerns regarding abuses to the relevant Designated Safeguarding Lead.


All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviours linked to issues such as drug taking and or alcohol misuse, deliberately missing education and consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nude, self-harm images and/or videos can be signs that children are at risk. Other safeguarding issues all staff should be aware of include:

Contextual Safeguarding:

Safeguarding incidents and or behaviours do not just arise due to familial settings they can be associated with factors outside of the charity and /or can occur between children outside of these environments.

All staff should consider whether children are at risk of abuse or exploitation in situations outside their families within a different context. Extra- familial harms take a variety of forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to) sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and serious youth violence.

The expectation is that this safeguarding issue should be dealt with as staff would any other safeguarding issue and report concerns via the expected processes.  

Any member of staff receiving a disclosure or noticing signs or indicators of abuse should make an accurate written record immediately and notify the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy immediately and follow their advice and guidance. This may include contacting the Essex Children’s and Families Hub Priority Consultation Line: 0345 603 7627, or the Police.   

Record Keeping and Information Sharing:

Information sharing is vital in identifying and tackling all forms of abuse and neglect, and in promoting children’s welfare. Staff must ensure that all concerns, discussions, decisions made, and the reasons for those decisions, are recorded clearly and in writing.  Information should be kept confidential and stored securely in a locked filing cabinet in the charity’s main office.

Records should include:
a clear and comprehensive summary of the concern, the date, time, who was present; • details of how the concern was followed up and resolved;
a note of any action taken, decisions reached and the outcome

All child protection records are stored securely and confidentially and will be retained for 25 years.

Interagency Working:

It is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure that the charity is represented at, and that a report is submitted to, any child protection conference called for children or young people who attend Kool Carers provision. Where possible and appropriate, any report will be shared in advance with the parent(s) / carer(s). Whoever attends will be fully briefed on any issues or concerns the Charity has and be prepared to contribute to the discussions at the conference.

Children’s social care assessments should consider where children are being harmed in contexts outside the home, so it is important that the charity provides as much information as possible as part of the referral process. This will allow any assessment to consider all the facts.

Allegations are made about members of the workforce:

All staff members are made aware of the boundaries of appropriate behaviour and conduct. These matters form part of staff induction and are outlined in the employee’s Code of Conduct.

The Charity has processes in place for reporting any concerns about a member of staff (or any adult working with children). Any concerns about the conduct of a member of staff regardless of threshold level, will be referred to the CEO or Chair of the Trustee Board, in their absence.   Where the concern involves the CEO, it should be reported direct to the Chair of the Trustee Board.

SET procedures (ESCB, 2019) require that, where an allegation against a member of staff is received, the CEO, or the Chair of the Trustee Board, must inform the Duty Local Authority

Designated Officer (LADO) in the Children’s Workforce Allegations Management Team on 03330 139 797 within one working day.

The LADO will advise on how to proceed and whether the matter requires Police and or Social Care involvement.

 Allegations that may meet the harms threshold:

This is concerning any incidence or situation where it may indicate or is alleged that anyone working in the charity, in their current position or capacity would pose a risk of harm.

This guidance should be followed where it is alleged that anyone working in the Charity that provides and supports with the facilitation of young carers group sessions or respite activities for children under 18 years of age, has:

behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;

behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; or

behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

Allegations of this nature should always be reported to the CEO, Rachel Tungate or in their absence, Helen Murphy.  Advice will then be sort from the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

Initial response to an allegation:

Where it has been identified a child has been harmed, that there may be an immediate risk of harm to a child or if the situation is an emergency, the charity will contact children’s social care and as appropriate the police immediately as per the processes explained earlier in the policy.

There are two aspects to consider when an allegation is made:

Looking after the welfare of the child:
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (Deputy) is responsible for ensuring that the child is not at risk and referring cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care.

Investigating and supporting the person subject to the allegation:
The CEO and Trustee Board will discuss with the LADO, the nature, content and context of the allegation, and agree a course of action.

When dealing with allegations, the charity will:

Apply common sense and judgement;

 Deal with allegations quickly, fairly and consistently; and

Provide effective protection for the child and support the person subject to the allegation.

Before the LADO is contacted, the CEO, will ensure all basic enquires are made in line with local procedures to help establish the facts and determine any foundation to the allegation.

Other Considerations:

When to inform the individual of the allegation should be on a case by case basis, guidance should be sort from the LADO and if appropriate social care and the police.

If there is cause to suspect a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm, a strategy discussion involving the police and/or children’s social care will be convened in accordance with the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Where there is concern about the welfare of other children in the community or the member of staff’s family, they should discuss these concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and make a risk

assessment of the situation. It may be necessary for the Designated Safeguarding Lead to make a referral to children’s social care.

Where it is clear that an investigation by the police or children’s social care is unnecessary, the CEO will discuss next steps with the LADO.

Supporting those involved

Duty of Care:

The welfare of a child is paramount and this will be the prime concern in terms of investigating an allegation against a person in a position of trust. However, when an allegation or safeguarding concern is being investigated it is likely to be a very stressful experience for the adult subject of the investigation, and potentially for their family members.

The Charity recognises that it has a duty of care to staff and recognises the sensitivity of any such situation. Information is confidential and should not ordinarily be shared with any other party who are not directly involved in the investigation.

The Charity will aim to manage and minimise the stress caused by the allegation; and will inform the individual as soon as possible, explaining the likely course of action, guided by the LADO, and the police.

where necessary;

The Charity will advise the individual to contact a representative, or a colleague for support;

Appoint a named representative to keep the person informed about progress of the case.

Provide access to counselling or medical advice where appropriate.

Not prevent social contact with work colleagues and friends, when staff are suspended, unless there is evidence to suggest this may prejudice the gathering of evidence.

The CEO will consult the LADO and where involved children’s social care and/or the police on what information can be disclosed.

Allegation Outcomes:

Any outcomes will be made in line with the Charity’s Disciplinary Policy, however the following definitions should be used when determining the outcome of the allegation


Substantiated: there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation;

Malicious: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation and there has been a deliberate act to deceive or cause harm to the person subject of the allegation;

False: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation;

Unsubstantiated: there is insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation. The term, therefore, does not imply guilt or innocence; or,

Unfounded: to reflect cases where there is no evidence or proper basis, which supports the allegation being made.

Other Outcomes:

Where there has been a criminal investigation the Charity will work inline with the police and the LADO.

Information supplied by any other agencies will be processed and decisions will be made in line with the charity’s disciplinary policy.

Unsubstantiated, Unfounded, False or malicious allegations: If the allegation is deemed to be unsubstantiated, unfounded, false or malicious the Charity will work with the LADO to consider if the child / or person the allegation is against need any support or help, or may have been making a cry for help. The Charity will take appropriate action including referrals to Social Care If the report is deemed to be deliberately invented or malicious the Charity will consider appropriate disciplinary action.

Managing the Situation, exit arrangement & references:

All guidance and procedures relating to exit arrangements are detailed in the Charity Disciplinary Policy. Any false, unsubstantiated or unfounded allegation should not be included in references.

Any substantiated allegations should be included provided the information is factual.

  1. Concerns that do not meet the harm threshold – Low Level Concerns :

Where there are concerns which are not deemed to meet the harm threshold they will be dealt with in line with the following Charity polices: Code of Conduct, Disciplinary policy,  Grievance policy, Safeguarding policy, Whistleblowing policy.

Low Level concerns:

The term ‘low-level’ concern does not mean that it is insignificant, it means that the behaviour towards a child does not meet the threshold set out in the previous section

A low-level concern is any concern – no matter how small, and even if no more than causing a sense of unease or a ‘nagging doubt’ – that an adult working in or on behalf of the charity may have acted in a way that:

Is inconsistent with the staff code of conduct, including inappropriate conduct outside of work; and

Does not meet the allegations threshold or is otherwise not considered serious enough to consider a referral to the LADO.

Any low-level concerns about a member of staff, or volunteer should be reported to the CEO. All low-level concerns should be recorded in writing and stored securely and confidentially.  

Responding to Low Level concerns:

When a concern has been raised it will be responded to in accordance with processes laid out in the staff code of conduct, whistleblowing policy and the charity disciplinary policy. The CEO will collect as much information as possible speaking with those who raised the concern and any potential witnesses.

Examples of Low Level Concerns could include, but are not limited to:

Being over friendly with children, having favourites.
Taking photographs of children on their mobile phone. Engaging with a child on a one-to-one basis in a secluded area or behind a closed door; or, using inappropriate or offensive language.
Such behaviour can exist on a wide spectrum, from the inadvertent or thoughtless, or behaviour that may look to be inappropriate, but might not be in specific circumstances, through to that which is ultimately intended to enable abuse.

It is crucial that any such concerns, including those, which do not meet the harm threshold are shared responsibly and with the right person, and recorded and dealt with appropriately. Ensuring they are dealt with effectively should also protect those working in or on behalf of the Charity from potential false allegations or misunderstandings.

Use of reasonable force:

The term ‘reasonable force’ covers a broad range of actions used by staff that involve a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children or young people. There are circumstances when it is appropriate for staff to use reasonable force to safeguard children and young people, such as guiding a child to safety or breaking up a fight. ‘Reasonable’ means using no more force than is needed. The charity recognises that where intervention is required, it should always be considered in a safeguarding context.


Whistleblowing is ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’ and is when a member of staff reports a concern about the improper actions or omissions of their colleagues or their employer, which may cause harm to others or to the organisation.  

All staff members are made aware of the duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of staff in line with the charity’s Code of Conduct / Whistleblowing policy.

Agreed by the CEO and Trustee Board on 10th January 2024

To be reviewed on: 10th January 2025, or earlier if there is a change in policy or legislation.

Signed by CEO Rachel Tungate on behalf of the trustee board.