Young Adult Safeguarding

Date Approved 22/04/2020

Date of Next Review 17/11/2024

Policy Owner Charlie Stainforth- Lead Safeguarding Officer


Circl is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young adults that we work with. We work in partnership with our school, university, charities and other partners to ensure the wellbeing of our young adults on our virtual programmes.

The purpose of Circl is to upskill & connect our current and future workforce and promote social mobility, including but not limited to:

2.1 Improving the interpersonal skills of socio-economically disadvantaged young adults; and

2.2 Improving the network of socio-economically disadvantaged young adults.

This document is the Young Adult Safeguarding Policy for Circl which will be used to ensure that;

  • Excellent young adult safeguarding practice is promoted at Circl
  • All young adults who engage with Circl are treated with dignity and respect.
  • All employees, volunteers, interns, advisors, trustees and other stakeholders know what to do in the event of a young adult safeguarding incident and make informed and confident responses to specific young adult safeguarding issues.
  • All young adult safeguarding incidents are dealt with consistently and properly recorded.

Principles upon which the Young Adult Safeguarding Policy is based;

  • The welfare of a young adult will always be paramount.
  • Empowerment - Presumption of person led decisions and informed consent. The rights of the young adults will be respected and listened to.
  • Prevention - It is better to take action before harm occurs.
  • Proportionality – Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
  • Protection - Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  • Partnership - Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  • Accountability - Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.  


Young Adult Safeguarding is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:


  • protecting young adults from maltreatment;  
  • preventing impairment of young adult's health or development;  
  • ensuring that young adults are in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • acting to enable all young adults have the best outcomes.  

The definition of a ‘young adult at risk’ for the purposes of this policy is defined as any person aged 18 years and over who is or may be considered at risk by reason of mental health issues, learning or physical disability, sensory impairment, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself or unable to protect him/herself against.

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all Circl employees, coaches, interns, advisors and trustees.  It also applies to anyone involved in a Circl organised activity and event. While stakeholders are likely to have varied levels of contact with children, everyone should be aware of the potential indicators of abuse, neglect and all other potential child safeguarding concerns, and everyone should be clear about what to do if they have concerns.

The policy applies to all employees whether they have had a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS check, previously CRB check) carried out. However, when relevant for their role, employees undertake a DBS check prior to commencing employment at Circl.

Where is this policy available?

This policy is available on our website and is available at any time by emailing the Lead Safeguarding Officer, Charlie Stainforth,  

Protecting our professional skills coaches

To ensure that our coaches are empowered to make informed and confident responses to specific young adult safeguarding issues we have implemented the following procedures that must be adhered to before a coach can begin on the Circl programme;

  1. All coaches will be sent this policy in advance of the initial training session as part of their pre reading.
  2. During the training, coaches will be given training on young adult protection in line with this document. Each coach will then be asked to sign that they have understood and agree to the content of this document.  These signed documents will then be stored in accordance with Data Protection Act 1998 (and any subsequent legislation which replaces or amends this Act). Coaches will not start a programme until these steps have been carried out.

Escalation process

Stage 1 – identifying an incident or concern

All stakeholders have a responsibility to be mindful and aware of young adult safeguarding issues. It is not the stakeholder’s responsibility to decide whether the potential young adult safeguarding incident requires investigation or further action, but each stakeholder has a responsibility to act on any concerns through escalating the matter as set out in this policy.  Abuse could happen anywhere in a physical place or in an online environment.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of the main types of abuse that all stakeholders should be aware of;

Physical Abuse - Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms, of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child.

Emotional Abuse - Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person.  It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.  It may involve 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 ill treatment of a child though it may occur alone.

Sexual Abuse - Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts.  They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Neglect - Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.  It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.  It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Online Abuse - can happen with content where a child is  being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material; with contact where a child is being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; or with conduct where personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of issues or incidents which require escalation in accordance with this policy:

  • Failing to protect a young adult from physical harm or danger;
  • Failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment;
  • Failure to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing;
  • Sudden changes in a young adult’s behaviour or performance;
  • Any physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Stage 2.  Consulting about your concern

In the event of becoming aware of a potential young adult safeguarding issue, the stakeholder must take the following steps:  

  1. Take a detailed record of their concerns, focusing only on facts and not opinions or judgements, using the ‘Safeguarding Concerns Form’ (Appendix 1).

  1. Report the incident to the lead Circl member of staff who will inform the appropriate people as soon as possible, following your awareness of the incident and follow the organisations safeguarding protocol which will be communicated by Circl. Immediately after you should notify the Lead Safeguarding Officer (Charlie Stainforth) at Circl by calling Charlie on 07775676868 and by also emailing the completed Safeguarding Concerns Form directly to

  1. If you are unable to contact Charlie directly or if an out of office is received, you should contact the Deputy Child Safeguarding Officer (Tom Scott) by calling +44 7717 673 999 and emailing - this process is also outlined below.

  1. You should not attempt to investigate the incident or suspected incident yourself.

  1. If the young adult is at immediate risk of significant harm, you should contact the police or adult social services.  You should then immediately contact the Lead Safeguarding Officer (or Deputy, if unavailable) when you have done so.   If you have a concern which is unrelated to a Circl event, you can still contact our Lead Safeguarding Officer.

Incident witness

During our virtual programme if you witness something concerning please follow the below:

  1. Call Charlie Stainforth– 07775676868 and send safeguarding concerns form to
  1. 2) OR send safeguarding concerns form -  07775676868

Guidance for coaches in dealing with disclosures from young adults

When acting as a Circl coach it is important to remember that the programme is a focused aspiration intervention.  At no point should you guide the conversations away from the objectives of the programme.  However, if a young adult discloses abuse to a stakeholder, the following is a non-exhaustive list of steps that the stakeholder should take:

  • Allow the young adult to speak without interruption and accept what they say;
  • Be understanding and reassuring but do not give your opinion;
  • Try to encourage the adult to allow another adult or a friend to be present so you are not alone;
  • Assure the young adult that you will offer support but that you must pass any information to another party who may take appropriate action;
  • Reassure the young adult that they have done the right thing in telling you;
  • Keep calm and listen to the young adult
  • Do not have physical contact at any time; and
  • Take a detailed record of the conversation focused on the facts disclosed, using the actual words said by the child wherever possible.

Stakeholder conduct  

All stakeholders are expected to treat young adults with respect and to act as role models for them in their behaviour. Any forms of physical, verbal or discriminating abuse will be dealt with in an appropriate manner with the young adult’s best interests at heart in all instances.  

In line with good practice, in situations where this Policy applies Stakeholders must:  

  • Treat all young adults equally with dignity and respect.
  • Inform Circl of any relevant police record, disciplinary action or other factor, or any change in your circumstances, which may impact your suitability to work with young adult.
  • Recognise that any role that interacts with young adults places you in a position of trust which must be upheld at all times.  
  • Remember at all times that interactions between you and young adults must be such that no reasonable person observing that interaction could construe its nature as abusive.
  • Behave as role models and be suitable examples for young adults.
  • Use appropriate language when conversing with young adult.

Stakeholders must not:  

  • Share any contact details or attempt to contact a young adult outside of the programme sessions without permission from the young adult first
  • Participate in virtual sessions in a location that may be misconstrued eg. a bedroom.
  • Invite young adult to their home, visit young adult in their own homes or offer a young adult a lift in a car.  
  • Behave in any way, physically or verbally, that could be offensive to a young adult.  
  • Make any kind of physical contact with a young adult that would not be considered appropriate within a school or business environment and report any inadvertent contact that could be misconstrued.  
  • Request or receive monetary (or other high value) gifts from young people; and ensure they are not open to (or perceived to be open to) improper influence or conduct through the acceptance of such gifts. The acceptance of low value gifts such given in appreciation of support provided is not problematic.  
  • Smoke or drink alcohol in the presence of young adults or supply them with these substances.  

Review of Young Adult Safeguarding Policy

This policy will be reviewed by the Lead Safeguarding Officer on an on-going basis, but at least once a year, and suitable amendments will be made to the plan as required.


Appendix 1 – Safeguarding Concerns Form

Appendix 2 – Contact information

Appendix 3 – Confirmation form