NILS is committed to ensuring that any concerns regarding abuse or harm to clients and/or staff and volunteers are taken seriously and addressed promptly and appropriately, in conjunction with our Whistleblowing, Data Protection and Disciplinary and Capability policies and procedures.

This document sets out NILS’ Safeguarding Policy and Procedure encompassing:

  • Adult and child safeguarding, clearly stating circumstances under which escalation of concerns will occur and the protocols to be followed.
  • Staff and Trustee appointments and conduct.
  • Any allegations raised regarding staff impropriety or harassment.
  • Expectations regarding organisations it contracts with, awards grant funding to or uses as referral partners.
  • How the organisation will address its duty of care towards staff.

Our objective is to prevent and reduce the risk of harm to adult beneficiaries and/or their dependents from abuse or other types of exploitation and we will do this whilst supporting individuals to enable them to maintain control over their lives and make informed choices about their futures.

NILS only has contact with individuals through the telephone, emails and application documents and this policy has been written with this in mind. The policy will be updated if direct face to face work is carried out.

We recognise that abuse and exploitation can take many forms which extend beyond our collective organisational experience, also recognizing the vital and sometimes difficult role that staff take in managing responses to its beneficiaries’ lives.

Any staff member or volunteer who hears anything from, or in relation to, a person at risk regarding a safeguarding issue must take the matter seriously and respond with sensitivity and discretion, raising the matter immediately with the Safeguarding Lead or, in their absence, a Trustee.

Should a safeguarding issue be raised, we will treat any person at risk as a unique and valued individual, respecting their dignity and well-being, keeping them involved and informed of all safeguarding decisions which affect them, with those decisions taking account of the individual’s ability to give informed consent as defined by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Should the person be unable to give informed consent, their guardian, registered Power of Attorney or other appropriately nominated and authorised representative will be informed.

We will ensure that any necessary action taken is legal, proportionate and respects the rights and wishes of the person at risk. This includes respecting the rights of any alleged perpetrators who have their own care and support needs, raising concerns with any necessary third party bodies where these are not being met.

In particular, we aim to observe the six principles of adult safeguarding in relation to our role as a charity as set out in The Care Act 2014, namely:


  • Empowerment: supporting and encouraging people to make their own decisions and give informed consent
  • Prevention: taking action before harm occurs
  • Proportionality: responding in the least intrusive way appropriate to the risk presented
  • Protection: providing support, signposting and advocacy for those in greatest need
  • Partnership: working closely with partners in the client’s local community to create the best outcome
  • Accountability: being transparent in what we deliver and accountable for how it is done

Safeguarding responsibilities apply to working with vulnerable adults who are at risk of harm as defined as:

  • Having needs for care and support
  • Experiencing, or being at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • As the result of their care and support needs are unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect



  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Children Act 1989/ Children Act 2004/ Protection of Children Act 1999/ Children and Families Act 2014/ Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005
  • Care Act 2014
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679



Allegations are inclusive of complaints, concerns generated by colleagues or grievances.

Child relates to any individual aged under 18 years of age.

Conduct relates to how individuals behave on the phone, in meetings, during assessment decisions regarding beneficiaries and on visits to beneficiaries.

Protocols are the official procedure or system of rules governing how something is done.

Adults with additional needs are defined as anyone over the age of 18 who:

  • requires care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of these needs), and;
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse and neglect;
  • as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.



3.1 Definition of Abuse

There are ten types of abuse as recognised by The Care Act which NILS staff and volunteers should be alert to:

  • Self-neglect: neglecting to care for oneself and/or their environment e.g. personal hygiene, hoarding
  • Modern slavery: forced labour, domestic servitude, slavery and human trafficking
  • Domestic abuse: this includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse perpetrated by anyone within a person’s family and/or living arrangements
  • Discrimination: abuse based on a difference or perceived difference with respect to race, gender, disability or any of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act
  • Organisational: neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, or in relation to care provided in the individual’s home
  • Physical: this includes any form of physical contact made with inappropriate force, and/or aggression and misuse of medication or inappropriate sanctions
  • Sexual: this includes rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or inuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the individual has not consented or was pressurised into consenting
  • Financial or material: including theft, fraud, internet scamming and coercion in relation to an individual’s financial affairs or arrangements which can be in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, possessions or benefits including their misuse
  • Neglect and acts of omission: e.g. ignoring medical or physical care needs and failing to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, as well as withholding the necessities of life including medication, adequate nutrition and heating
  • Emotional or psychological: this includes threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of human contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation, or withdrawal from services or supportive networks





All staff and Trustees are required ed to sign NILS’s Code of Conduct and behave appropriately which includes the duty to keep matters relating to beneficiaries and the organisation’s business confidential.

Any complaints received from beneficiaries about a staff member will be dealt with through NILS’s Complaints Procedure.

NILS recognises that staff require a safe and respectful workplace in which to work. Any concerns expressed by a staff member regarding unfair or inappropriate treatment are taken seriously and will be investigated by their line manager and/or a Trustee.

Investigations fall within the provisions of the Disciplinary and Grievance procedures and, as a gender-aware organisation, the appellant’s preferences will be taken into account where possible when nominating investigation officers in any particular situation.




NILS recognises that, where staff are dealing with vulnerable individuals describing difficult life circumstances, they may need assistance or support.

Staff who listen to beneficiaries will receive appropriate training and/or support as agreed with the Trustees.

While on a quarterly basis any staff dealing directly with beneficiaries will be given an opportunity to explore the personal impact of the work via arrangements agreed by their line manager, they are encouraged to raise any concerns immediately they become aware of them so that the necessary support can be arranged if required.

In addition, staff will be supported by the Abusive Caller Protocol that permits the closing, with due warning, of an abusive call and by an After Care procedure.




As an adjunct to this policy, a number of operational protocols have been developed (see Appendices):

  • Recruitment and Appointment
  • Cause for Concern, Safeguarding and Data Sharing (Protocol and Form)
  • Abusive Caller and After Care
  • Third Party Enquiries




In the event of receipt of compliant / grievance from a beneficiary, employee or staff member in relation to safeguarding the:

  1. Head of Client Services will undertake an investigation and report to the Chair of Trustees.
  2. investigation will be thorough, as confidential as is feasible and completed in a timely manner.
  3. outcome of all such investigations will be reported to the individual beneficiary, staff member and the board of trustees.

Any investigation will decide:

  • a course of action in respect of all parties involved in matters at the core of the investigation.
  • the appropriate communication for all relevant parties.
  • whether or not the matter should be referred to the Charity Commission and/or any other investigatory or law enforcement agencies.
  • any recommendations in respect of the organisation’s future practice.

In the event that the charity’s assets, reputation, services or beneficiaries have been harmed, or are at significant risk, the Chair will advise the Charity Commission of the actions taken and recommendations resulting from the internal enquiry.

In the event of an allegation of inappropriate conduct or harassment the Chair will nominate appropriate investigators and the investigation will follow all of the provisions detailed for Complaints and Grievances.




In the event that any individual enquirer or beneficiary generates significant concern the receiving staff member will follow the Cause for Concern, Safeguarding and Data Sharing protocol set out in the Appendices. Any situation that merits safeguarding consideration under the Cause for Concern protocol will be recorded using the Recording Form for a Concern of Harm/Abuse or Disclosure.

The action taken will also be recorded on the form and the form given to the Charity and Finance Officer for secure storage.

After any instance of the Cause for Concern protocol being used, the exec team will convene a lessons learnt meeting.

The Charity and Finance officer will report any actions under the provisions of this policy annually to the Board of Trustees.

That meeting will precede and inform the annual review of this policy.



At all times we seek to recruit, train and manage staff and volunteers who can help clients keep themselves safe and protect and uphold their rights, dignity and well-being.

This includes:

  • Detailed application forms
  • First stage telephone interviews undertaken by the Safeguarding Lead
  • Robust interviews that cover safeguarding, equality and diversity knowledge and skills
  • Reference checks including verification of qualifications and experience
  • Risk assessments
  • DBS checks
  • Induction, training, probationary period and 3 month review

In the interests of protecting the longevity of our organisation and the safety of our beneficiaries these are procedures that we will follow when recruiting and appointing staff, trustees and volunteers



When Recruiting:

We will require:

  • CV detailing the applicant’s previous work history and any other relevant information
  • face to face interview with at least 2 members of staff, trustees or relevant external person (face to face defined as video meeting to comply with safe working in the pandemic)
  • two references are provided
  • verification of the applicant’s identity, residence and right to work in the UK
  • relevant level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for the role.


Once appointment is agreed:

All staff, directors and volunteers will have an induction process which will include:

  • introduction to NILS and information about their role/duties
  • access to the shared drive in order to download and/or read the charity’s operating protocols, policies and procedures
  • signing of the NILS Code of Conduct
  • understanding appropriate standards of conduct including zero tolerance of harassment of colleagues, or beneficiaries and signing the Code of Conduct
  • reading the Health and Safety policies and procedures and Risk Assessments
  • reading the Complaints, and Grievance and Whistleblowing procedures
  • meeting other staff/directors as appropriate
  • undertaking Safeguarding and any other relevant training.




As a small organisation, every member of the NILS team has a role to play in being alert to, and taking action where appropriate with regards to safeguarding concerns and/or issues.

In the first instance, any concerns should be raised with the designated Safeguarding Lead whose role is to:

  • Be the first point of contact for any potential safeguarding concern, using their specialist knowledge to assess risk and potential and/or necessary courses of action, taking the lead on those with the appropriate partners and/or agencies
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of current safeguarding legislation and compliance measures
  • Communicate to the team any updates as relevant to NILS, including updating the NILS Safeguarding Policy and Procedure
  • Recommend any necessary training for Trustees, staff and volunteers to maintain current knowledge
  • Participate in interviews, leading on safeguarding questions
  • Work with partner agency safeguarding leads to share best practice and to achieve best outcomes where issues are identified that require action
  • Update Trustees at the monthly Exec Team and Quarterly Trustee meetings on any incidents, risks, courses of action and outcomes


Safeguarding Lead: Lisa Watkins, Head of Client Services 07975 562262


Safeguarding Deputy: Heather Baylis, Administrator 07904 488492


Board  Lead:  Angela Vint, Chair  01584  811512