We commit to ensuring that the Child Therapy Service CIC:

  • Provides a safe environment for children (birth to 16) and vulnerable adults
  • Identifies children and adults who are or may become vulnerable who are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, and ensures they are kept safe.
  • Safeguards children and adults from being drawn into committing terrorist-related activity.

This policy applies to all persons acting on behalf of or engaged in activities associated with the Child Therapy Service CIC (CTS), visitors to, and hired trainers working for the CTS.


The CTS has a statutory and moral duty to ensure that the Service(s) function with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults who are or may become vulnerable and who receive education and training through the CTS.  Throughout this policy and procedure reference is made to, “children and vulnerable adults”. This term is used to mean “those under the age of 16” and adults who are or may become vulnerable over the age of 18.

The CTS recognises that some adults are also vulnerable to abuse, accordingly, the procedures may be applied (with appropriate adaptations) to allegations of abuse and the protection of vulnerable adults. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is a broader term than child protection. It includes protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of health or development and ensures children can grow up in safe circumstances.

Child protection is part of this definition and refers to activities undertaken to prevent children suffering or likely to suffer, significant harm. When operating this policy the CTS uses the following accepted Governmental definitions of extremism and radicalisation which are:

  • Extremism: ‘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: ‘the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism’.

Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation As part of wider safeguarding responsibilities CTS staff will be alert to:

  • Disclosures by families or professionals of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside of CTS, such as in their homes or community groups, especially where learners have not actively sought these out.
  • Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images
  • Families, professionals or trainers voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives and glorifying violence, especially to other faiths and cultures
  • Use of extremist or ‘’hate‟ terms to exclude others or incite violence
  • Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or, in line with our EDI Commitment, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture
  • Attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others
  • Making remarks about being at Extremist Events or Rallies outside CTS training events

Guest Speakers and Visitors

The CTS Group values the opportunities presented by external speakers for families and professionals to experience diverse opinion and to enter into debate. The CTS values freedom of opinion and speech but recognises that, in the interests of the whole learning community, this must exist within formal guidelines.

The CTS recognises and supports the moral and legal frameworks of the society and community within which it works. The CTS will not accept the use of language by external speakers that offends and is considered to be intolerant. Specifically, this means offensive “street”, misogynistic, misanthropic, sexual or racist language irrespective of context. Direct attacks on any religions or beliefs are not permitted. The CTS will not tolerate any person who intentionally demeans individuals and groups defined by their ethnicity, race, religion and/or belief, sexuality, gender, disability, age or lawful working practices and which give rise to an environment in which people will experience, or could reasonably, fear harassment, intimidation or violence.

 Types of Abuse

The CTS recognises the following as definitions of abuse: “Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or an omission to act or it may occur when a young person or vulnerable adult is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented or cannot consent. Abuse can happen in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it” taken from guidance document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Young People’ DFE-00195-2018 latest update published 21st February 2019.

It is every young person and adult’s right to live free from abuse in accordance with the principles of respect, dignity, autonomy, privacy and equity. This could include young people and adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems, and people with a physical disability or impairment. Their need for additional support to protect themselves may be increased when complicated by additional factors, such as domestic violence, physical attention to physical signs or displaying certain actions / gestures. This may be their only means of communication. It is important for staff to be alert to these signs and to consider what they might mean. It is important that all staff are aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely, but not limited to, bullying, gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting.

Definitions of Abuse

Physical Abuse

  • Hitting, slapping, scratching, shaking, throwing
  • Pushing or rough handling
  • Poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating
  • Assault and battery
  • Restraining without justifiable reasons
  • Inappropriate and unauthorised use of medication
  • Physical harm caused by feigning the symptoms of, or deliberately inducing injury in a young person or vulnerable adult
  • Using medication as a chemical form of restraint
  • Inappropriate sanctions including deprivation of food, clothing, warmth and health care needs

 Sexual Abuse

  • Sexual abuse which involves forcing or enticing a young person or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the person is aware of what is happening, the risks involved or the consequences
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Sexual assault and harassment
  • Non-contact abuse e.g. voyeurism, exposing children to pornography, grooming (including via the internet), accessing or creating indecent images of children.

Psychological & Emotional Abuse

  • Persistent emotional maltreatment
  • Emotional and verbal abuse
  • Humiliation and ridicule which may convey that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person
  • Threats of punishment, abandonment, intimidation or exclusion from services
  • Isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks
  • Deliberate denial of religious or cultural needs
  • Removing opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
  • Failure to provide access to appropriate social skills and educational development training
  • Imposing age or developmentally inappropriate expectations
  • Interactions beyond the person’s developmental ability, overprotection, limitation of exploration or learning, prevention of normal social interaction
  • Seeing or hearing ill-treatment of another, serious bullying (including Cyber bullying) causing the person to frequently feel frightened or in danger
  • Exploitation and corruption

 Neglect and acts of omission

  • Failure to meet medical, physical care and psychological and emotional needs
  • Failure to access care or equipment for functional independence
  • Failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate caregivers or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • Failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services
  • Failure to provide adequate food, shelter, heating, lighting and clothing (including exclusion from home or abandonment) etc.
  • Failure to protect from physical or emotional harm or danger
  • Failure to give prescribed medication
  • Failure to give privacy and dignity
  • Professional neglect


  • Misuse or theft of money
  • Fraud and / or extortion of material assets
  • Misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • Exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance

Discriminatory Abuse

  • Discrimination demonstrated on any grounds including sex, race, colour, language, culture, religion, politics or sexual orientation
  • Discrimination that is based on a person’s disability or age
  • Harassment and slurs which are degrading
  • Hate crime

Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

The Safeguarding procedure will raise staff awareness of the increased concerns of trafficking and sexual exploitation with reference to the Child Sexual Exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners’ DFE- 00056- 2017 published 16th February 2017

Bullying, including cyberbullying

  • Physical bullying is bullying that takes the form of physical abuse, such as pushing, shoving, hitting, fighting, spitting, and tripping.
  • Emotional bullying is bullying that involves insults, derogatory remarks, name calling, and teasing. Also included are attempts to ostracize the victim, such as being left out or ignored, which is sometimes referred to as social bullying, as distinguished from verbal bullying. Emotional bullying can be done in person or through cyberbullying
  • Face-to-face bullying is bullying in which students confront each other in person.
  • Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place online, through either email, chat rooms, social networking services, text messages, instant messages, website postings, blogs, or a combination of means. Cyberbullies may conceal their identity so that their victim experiences an anonymous attack.
  • The content of cyberbullying can consist of all of the types of content including posting insulting and derogatory comments about someone or sending such comments to someone; sending mean or threatening messages; gossiping about someone online including posting sensitive or private information; impersonating someone in order to cast that person in a bad light; and excluding someone from an online page or group. Unwanted contact, also known as harassment, is another form of cyber bullying.
  • Bullying is repeated and intentional behaviour and can have a devastating effect and must be addressed immediately

Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is illegal and must be reported to the Police as soon as possible. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 was brought into force on 3 March 2004 and makes it an offence for the first time for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out female genital mutilation (FGM) abroad, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal. FGM is extremely harmful. It is not like male circumcision. It causes long-term mental and physical suffering, difficulty in giving birth, infertility and even death. It cannot be justified as a cultural or religious practice. Leaders of all the main faiths have spoken out against it. Girls under 15 are at most risk. Concerns regarding any child or adult must be reported to the Safeguarding team for an immediate referral to the Police.

 Hate Crime

Hate crime is an act of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. Incidents of hate crime should be reported to the Safeguarding Manager.

Online Harassment

Online harassment is unwanted conduct on any digital platform encompassing threats, stalking and/or coercion that makes people feel upset, threatened, coerced, humiliated or discriminated against. Incidents of online harassment should be reported through the Safeguarding Manager. If immediate intervention is required, please call the emergency safeguarding numbers.

Sexual Harassment and Violence

Sexual harassment is when someone behaves in a way that makes a person feel distressed, intimidated or offended and the behaviour is of a sexual nature. This includes: sexual comments and jokes, unwelcome sexual advances, inappropriate touching, displaying photos or pictures of a sexual nature and sending emails or messages with sexual content.

Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some vulnerable adults, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. It is an entirely separate issue from arranged marriage, and the two things should not be confused. Forced marriage is a human rights abuse and falls within the Crown Prosecution Service definition of domestic violence. Young people at risk of a forced marriage are usually experiencing emotional and/or physical abuse at home. The majority of forced marriages involve a young female victim, but young men can also be victims. Around one-third of the cases handled by the FMU (Forced Marriage Unit) involve children under 18 years of age. Concerns regarding any students must be reported to the Safeguarding team without delay. Staff must be aware there may be only one opportunity to speak to a potential victim of forced marriage, so an appropriate initial response is vital. The victim’s family, friends or members of the community MUST NOT be informed. The victim has sought help and this will likely increase the risk to the victim significantly. Forced marriage is closely linked to honour-based violence and honour killings. All those involved will want to bear in mind that mediation as a response to forced marriage can be extremely dangerous. There have been cases of victims being murdered by their families during mediation. Mediation can also place someone at risk of further emotional and physical abuse. Victims should be reminded of their rights – they have the right to choose who they marry and the right to make decisions about their lives. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will contact the Forced Marriage Unit, they have a public helpline that provides confidential advice and support to victims, and to practitioners handling cases of forced marriage.

Parental Involvement

The Safeguarding Team will contact parents/carers of students under the age of 18 to discuss any concerns about a child’s welfare with the family and, where possible, seek their agreement to making referrals to children’s social care, unless it is deemed that it may place the student at greater risk. Where possible the Safeguarding Managers will keep the parent/carer informed of actions and progress.

Designated Staff with Specific Responsibility for Safeguarding Young People and Adults who are or may become vulnerable

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

The post holder has a key duty regarding the promotion of a safe environment for the young people and adults who are or may become vulnerable whilst learning within the CTS and for ensuring that relevant staff are aware of their duties and obligations. The post holder will ensure that deficiencies in procedural policy identified by the East Sussex Local Children’s Safeguarding Board (or other agencies). The post holder has received appropriate training in safeguarding young people and vulnerable adult issues as required by the East Sussex Local Children’s Safeguarding Board .

Dealing with Disclosure of Abuse and Procedure for Reporting Concerns

A member of staff may suspect that a learner is being abused or is at risk of significant harm. A learner may disclose to a member of staff that s/he is being abused. In these circumstances the following procedure should be followed. Significant concerns: If a member of staff has concerns about a learner and believes that they are being abused, at risk of immediate harm, at risk of being radicalized or are missing, the member of staff should

Call the Emergency Safeguarding Number:

  • The ESSCP Team
  • ESSCP Chair: Reg Hooke
  • ESSCP Manager: Louise MacQuire-Plows
  • ESSCP Manager: Victoria Jones (job share with Louise MacQuire-Plows. Working days Tuesday – Thursday)
  • ESSCP Administrator: Maxine Nankervis (working days Monday to Thursday)
  • Tel: 01273 481544
  • Address:
    East Sussex County Council,
    County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent,
    Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1SG
  • ESSCP Trainer: Giovanna SimpsonTel: 01323 432312
    St Mark’s House, 14 Upperton Road,
    Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 1EP

And speak to a member of the Safeguarding team who will liaise with the DSL and consider and advise whether the CTS should register the concern.

Disclosure of Abuse

If a disclosure is made or abuse is suspected, staff should:

  • Listen carefully and stay calm
  • Question without pressure to be sure that what is being said is properly understood by the member of staff
  • Reassure the individual concerned that s/he has done the right thing
  • Explain to the individual who has disclosed that the information must be passed on but only to those who need to know about it.
  • Note the main points promptly and carefully
  • Make a note of the date, time and place, what the individual said /did, the questions asked by the member of staff
  • Contact the Safeguarding Lead.

Staff must not:

  • Ask leading questions or put words into the mouth of the disclosing individual Investigate concerns/ allegations
  • Promise confidentiality

Reporting to designated staff

Staff should report concerns, suspicions or disclosures of abuse, risk of radicalisation or missing students immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Reporting and dealing with allegations against staff

An allegation made against a member of staff might indicate:

  • the possibility that a criminal act against or relating to a young/vulnerable person has been committed
  • that there is reasonable cause to believe that a young or vulnerable person is suffering or may suffer significant harm
  • that the alleged perpetrator is unsuitable to work with young /vulnerable people.

The response to such an allegation might lead to:

  • police investigation of a possible criminal offence
  • enquiries by Children’s or Adult Services about whether there is a need for protection or some other action

Single Point of Advice

The Single Point of Advice (SPoA) provides advice to practitioners on concerns they have about children at Level 3 or 4 (targeted/specialist and child protection services) on the continuum of need. The SPoA can be contacted on the below details Mon-Thurs 8.30am-5pm and Fri 8.30am-4.30pm.

Phone: 01323 464222


  • VERSION:  4
  • DATED:  18.3.24
  • TO BE REVIEWED: 1.3.25
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