1.1       Kerry Nicholls Dance (herein referred to as ‘KND’) has a duty of care to provide a safe environment that is conducive to promoting the health and well being of all children, young people and vulnerable adults. 

1.2       The aim of the KND’s Policy and Procedures on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults (the “Policy”) is to ensure that all children, young people and vulnerable adults with whom KND comes into contact are well protected and that there is a system in place to protect their welfare.

1.3       KND believes that; the welfare of the child/young person is paramount, that all children regardless of age, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation or identity, or religious belief have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. Adults can be deemed to be at risk of harm as a consequence of the personal care and support they receive from others rather than because of a particular impairment or illness. Vulnerable adults are covered within the provision of the ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Guidance’, which can be found in Appendix 3.2 

1.4       The purpose of these policies and procedures are: 

  • to facilitate protection for children, young people and vulnerable adults during any opportunities or services provided by KND 
  • to provide staff with procedures to follow in the event that they suspect a child, young person or vulnerable adult may be experiencing abuse; or be at risk of abuse or harm 
  • or where there is concern about the behaviour of an adult that might harm a child or vulnerable adult. 

1.5       Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children/young people is defined as: 

  • protecting children from maltreatment 
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development 
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care 
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. 

1.6       Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and everyone who comes into contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults has a role to play. 

1.7       All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. 

1.8       This Policy will be available on the KND website and all KND staff and volunteers will be made aware of this through induction programmes and print, training and personal development. 

1.9       When a preferred gender pronoun has not been stated in advance, the terms “child”, “children”, “girl” and “boy” are used to refer to anyone under the age of 18. The terms “young person”, “young people”, “young woman” and “young man” are used to refer to anyone between the ages of 18 and 25 years. 


The Director of KND is: Kerry Nicholls
The Designated Safeguarding Officer is: Suzie Robinson

2.1       The Designated Safeguarding Officerleads upon policy development and reporting, including: 

  • Reviewing and updating the organisation’s safeguarding policy on an annual basis or when necessary 
  • Leading upon contact with Local Authority Social Services in the event that a child/young person/vulnerable adult is at risk of harm 
  • Managing complaints about poor practice and allegations against staff/volunteers 
  • Referring relevant issues of safeguarding to the Director of KND and/or the Advisory Board 
  • Promoting safeguarding across the organisation 
  • Acting as a “front-line” point of contact for any persons concerned about the welfare of a child/young person/vulnerable adult 
  • Modelling best practice when it comes to safeguarding amongst staff/volunteers/participants 

2.2 All members of staff/volunteershave a responsibility to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them 
  • Being vigilant of the signs that may indicate a child/young person/vulnerable adult is experiencing harm or is at risk of harm 
  • Report any disclosures or concerns, as soon as possible, to the Designated Safeguarding Officer
  • When taking a disclosure from a child/young person/vulnerable adults remembering not to ask any leading questions 


3.1       Safe recruitment and selection practice is vital in safeguarding and protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults. KND recognises and takes seriously its responsibility to adopt practice that minimises risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults by ensuring that measures are in place through this practice to deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children and young people or who are unsuitable to work with them. 

  • KND carries out enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for relevant staff members and/or volunteers
  • KND has an open door policy during all KND curated opportunities this means at any time the Director of KND and/or Safeguarding Officer may enter the space to observe the session. This offers transparency and an opportunity to feedback and reflect on good practice. 


At times KND staff may have to respond to concerns about the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. This could relate to the actual or alleged harm of a child/young person/vulnerable adult. Alternatively a child/young person/vulnerable adult you are working with may disclose abuse directly to you. This section provides information and guidelines on our procedures in these situations. 


In order to effectively protect children, young people and vulnerable adults against harm all staff should be familiar with the various types and key signs of abuse. The Government’s Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010) details four key types of abuse: 

  • Physical; 
  • Sexual; 
  • Emotional; 
  • Neglect. 

All staff are required to acquaint themselves with indicators of abuse. 


KND recognises the positive contribution it can make towards protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from radicalisation to violent extremism. KND will continue to empower children, young people and vulnerable adults to create communities that are resilient to extremism and support the wellbeing of particular children/young people/vulnerable adults who may be at risk of being drawn into violent extremism or crime. It will also continue to promote the development of spaces for free debate where shared values can be reinforced. 

Radicalisation is the process by which individuals come to support terrorism or violent extremism. There is no typical profile for a person likely to become involved in extremism, or for a person who moves to adopt violence in support of their particular ideology. Although a number of possible behavioural indicators are listed below, staff should use their professional judgement and discuss with other colleagues if they have any concerns: 

  • Use of inappropriate language 
  • Possession of violent extremist literature including electronic material accessed via the internet and communication such as e-mail and text messages 
  • Behavioural changes 
  • The expression of extremist views 
  • Advocating violent actions and means 
  • Association with known extremists 
  • Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology 

If staff have any significant concerns about a child/young person beginning to support terrorism and/or violent extremism, they should discuss this with the Designated Safeguarding Officer or KND Director immediately.


If a child/young person/vulnerable adult says or indicates they are being abused, or information is obtained which gives concern that a child/young person/vulnerable adult is being abused, you should follow the below guidance: 


  • Listen to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief.
  • Accept what is said and react calmly so as not to frighten the child/young person/vulnerable adult.
  • Make a note of what has been said as soon as possible. 


  • Reassure the child/young person/vulnerable adult, but only so far as is honest and reliable. 
  • Tell the child/young person/vulnerable adult they are not to blame and that it was right to tell; I am glad you came to me. 
  • It is important that you do not promise to keep it a secret as your professional responsibilities may require you to report the matter. If you make this promise to a child/young person/vulnerable adult and then break it, you confirm to the child/young person/vulnerable adults yet again that adults/KND are not to be trusted. 


  • React to the child/young person/vulnerable adult only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer this matter, but do not interrogate for full details. 
  • Take what the child/young person/vulnerable adult says seriously, recognising the difficulties inherent in interpreting what is said by a child/young person/vulnerable adult who has a speech disability and/or differences in language; 
  • Do not ask ‘leading’ questions, for example ‘what did he do next?’ (This assumes he did!), or ‘did he touch your private parts?’ Such questions may invalidate your evidence (and that of the child/young person/vulnerable adult) in any later prosecution in court. 
  • Explain what you have to do next and whom you have to talk to. 


  • Make some brief notes at the time on any paper which comes to hand.
  • Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required by a court.
  • Record the date, time, place, persons present and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour. 
  • Be specific when noting the words used by the child/young person/vulnerable adult. 


  • To share your concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Officer who may take the matter forward. 


It is not the responsibility of anyone working at KND to decide whether or not a child/young person/vulnerable adult is being abused or might be abused. However, there is a responsibility to act on concerns in order that appropriate agencies can then make enquiries and take any necessary action to protect the child/young person/vulnerable adult. 

It is the remit of the appropriate authority and not anyone connected with KND to investigate the incident. 

If you become aware of any issue or complaint relating to the welfare or wellbeing of children, young people or vulnerable adults then you should raise these with the Designated Safeguarding Officer who will be responsible for documenting your concern on an Incident Report Form. All concerns will be considered and a decision reached as to whether the concern should be referred to Social Services. 

All Incident Report Forms are securely stored in a restricted and protected folder on the KND Dropbox. When an Incident Report Form is archived in this folder a note will be made on KND’s Participant Safeguarding Tracker. The note will provide basic details about the incident and a reference to the location of the Incident Report Form.


If a decision is made to raise a concern with Social Services it will be the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Officer to formally report this concern. If, for any reason, the Designated Safeguarding Officer is unable to lead on this process then the KND Director will make the referral. Referrals should be made to: 

NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000 

KND will make all referrals within 24 hours of a serious concern or disclosure coming to light. When a referral is made, KND will record the name and role of the children and young people’s services member of staff or police officer to whom the concerns were passed, together with the time and date of the call/referral. 

If a concern is allayed and a decision is made not to make a referral then KND will still be required to record details of the concern and details as to why a referral was not made. This information may become relevant later on if further concerns emerge. 


In the event of allegations being made against an employee (staff or voluntary), KND has a dual responsibility in respect of both the child/young person/vulnerable adult and the employee. 

Two separate procedures must be followed: 

  1. In respect of the child/young person the Designated Safeguarding Ambassador will lead the process related to the child/young person; 
  2. In respect of the staff member against whom the allegation is made the Designated Safeguarding Officer will lead the process related to the staff member. 

With regards to the child/young person/vulnerable adult, the aforementioned process will be followed. With regards to the staff member against whom the allegation is made, the below process will be followed: 

  1. KND will make formal contact with the NSPCC who is responsible for providing instruction in the event of an allegation of abuse or suspicious behaviour made against a staff member. 
  1. KND is legally required to alert the LADO (local authority designated officer) to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children, young people, and vulnerable adults has: 

a.) Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child/children and/or a young person/young people, vulnerable adult(s); 

b.) Possibly committed a criminal offence against a child/children and/or a young person/young people, vulnerable adult(s);

c.) Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable for such work. 

  1. The LADO will instruct KND on procedure and what information may be shared with the person who is the subject of an allegation. KND and LADO will decide, in consultation with the Police and/or any other relevant agencies, what may be shared in situations that may possibly lead to a criminal investigation. 
  1. Subject to advice from the LADO, and to any consequent restrictions on the information that can be shared, KND will, as soon as possible, inform the accused person about the nature of the allegation, how enquiries will be conducted and the possible outcome. 

In all instances KND will seek to ensure that any staff member is treated fairly and honestly and that they are supported to understand the concerns expressed and processes involved. They will be kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation and the implications for any disciplinary or related process. 


Consent for photography or video recording of anyone engaged in activity with KND is obtained through Company Enrolment forms. Photographs or videos of children, young people or vulnerable adults will be stored in a designated folder that is only accessible by designated KND staff. 


KND’s portfolio of opportunities includes the possibility for children, young people and vulnerable adults to attend some residential activities. In circumstances where KND provides accommodation options will ensure that the following considerations are made: 

  • Staff members over the age of 25 will sleep in separate but nearby quarters. 
  • Where bedroom, bathroom or toilet facilities are shared; children will be placed in accommodation of the same gender. 
  • Where single room, en-suite accommodation is provided children will be placed in accommodation of the same gender, young adults may be placed in accommodation of mixed gender. 
  • Separate sleeping areas are provided for those above and those below the age of 16. 
  • A member of the KND team is available on call 24 hours a day. 



The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) exists to help employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children, young people and vulnerable adults. A DBS check forms one part of the wider safeguarding process. It helps organisations to determine whether a person is a suitable candidate for a particular role by providing information about their criminal history. 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosures are required for any staff member (paid or unpaid) who will be working in a regulated activity. For most of KND’s work the only relevant regulated activity is unsupervised activities with children: to teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/guidance on well-being. This work is Regulated Activity only if done regularly or intensively, which means being carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on 4 or more days in a 30-day period. A person who managed or supervises a regulated activity is also counted as undertaking a regulated activity. If the person is providing occasional or temporary services they are not in a regulated activity. 

Before an organisation considers asking a person to apply for a criminal record check through DBS, they are legally responsible for ensuring that they are entitled to submit an application for the job role. There are currently three levels of check: 

  1. Standard checks reveal information relating to spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings from the Police National Computer (PNC). To be eligible for a Standard Check the position must be specified in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. 
  2. Enhanced checks reveal the same information as Standard Checks but also check against information held by local police forces (for instance, relevant on-going investigations). To be eligible for an Enhanced Check the position must be specified in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 AND regulations made under the Police Act 1997, which includes work with children. 
  3. Enhanced checks (with barred list) are used to check against lists of people prohibited from working with children and vulnerable adults. These are known as ‘barred lists’ (see below). To be eligible for an Enhanced Check with Children’s and/or Adults Barred list check the position must meet the above criteria and fall within the DBS definition of ‘Regulated Activity’ (see below). 

The minimum age at which someone can apply for a DBS check is 16. 

Organisations wishing to undertake a check should choose between three routes depending on the nature of the role: 


Regulated Activity is work a person who appears on the DBS barred lists is prohibited from doing. This includes work that involves close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups, including children/young people/vulnerable adults. 

The DBS has recently reduced the scope of Regulated Activity, so that some roles that previously needed a barred list check no longer do so. However, those posts taken out of Regulated Activity remain eligible for Enhanced Checks. In reducing the scope there is now a greater role for organisations in deciding whether a person is a suitable candidate for a particular role. To do this effectively they must also use other safeguarding measures rather than rely on legal provisions alone. 

Activities that place a staff member in Regulated Activity with Children are:

  1. Unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/guidance on well-being, or drive a vehicle only for children; 
  2. Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact: for example, schools, children’s homes, childcare premises. Not work by supervised volunteers; 
  3. Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional, even if done once. 
  4. Registered childminding; and foster-carers. 

Work under (i) or (ii) is Regulated Activity only if done regularly. ‘Regularly’ means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more) or on four or more days in a 30-day period (or in some cases overnight). Activity under (iii) and (iv) does not have a frequency restriction and is Regulated Activity even if performed only once. 

Broadly speaking, the new definition of Regulated Activity relating to children no longer includes certain activities done on an irregular or ad-hoc basis or some activities properly supervised by someone who themselves is in Regulated Activity. 


Designated Safeguarding Officer – Suzie Robinson, KND Producer


NSPCC Helpline 

Helpline 0808 800 5000 


All staff and volunteers will be expected to be aware of and follow KND’s Policy and Procedures on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults. 

All staff and volunteers will be expected to adhere to the below code of conduct. 

All Staff and volunteers will ALWAYS: 

  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Set an example you would wish others to follow.
  • Treat all members of the KND community equally.
  • Plan activities that involve more than one other person being present, or in sight/hearing of others. 
  • Follow recommended ratios between adults and children/young people for meetings and activities. 
  • Respect a child/young person/vulnerable adult’s right to personal privacy.
  • Avoid unacceptable situations within a relationship of trust.
  • Allow children, young people and vulnerable adults to talk about any concerns they may have.
  • Remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned.
  • Take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer immediately. 

Staff and volunteers will NEVER: 

  • Form a relationship with a child/young person/vulnerable adult that is an abuse of trust. 
  • Engage in inappropriate behaviour or contact – physical, verbal, sexual.
  • Make suggestive remarks or threats to a child/young person/vulnerable adult.
  • Use inappropriate language – writing, phoning, email or internet. 
  • Let allegations, suspicions, or concerns about abuse go unreported. 

On occasion, one-to-one contact will be unavoidable, in such cases: 

  • Make sure it is for as short a time as possible.
  • Ensure you remain accessible to others.
  • Tell someone where you are going, what you are doing and why.
  • Try to move with the child/young person to areas where there are more people. 
  • Try to avoid unnecessary physical contact. 



In order to effectively protect children and young people, staff should be familiar with the key signs and indicators of abuse, which are detailed below: 


Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injury or injury which results from wilful or neglectful failure to protect a child/young person. 

An important indicator of physical abuse is where bruises or injuries are unexplained or the explanation does not fit the injury. A delay in seeking medical treatment for a child/young person when it is obviously necessary is also a cause for concern. Bruising may be more or less noticeable on children and young people with different skin tones or from different racial groups and specialist advice may need to be taken. Patterns of bruising that are suggestive of physical child abuse include: 

  • Bruises that are seen away from bony prominences; 
  • Bruises to the face, back, stomach, arms, buttocks, ears and hands; 
  • Multiple bruises in clusters; 
  • Multiple bruises of uniform shape; 
  • Bruises that carry the imprint of an implement; 
  • Cigarette burns; 
  • Adult bite marks; 
  • Scalds. 

Although bruising is the commonest injury in physical abuse, fatal non-accidental head injury and non- accidental fractures can occur without bruising. Any child/young person who has unexplained signs of pain or illness should be seen promptly by a doctor. Behaviour changes can also indicate physical abuse: 

  • Fear of parents being approached for an explanation; 
  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts; 
  • Flinching when approached or touched;
  • Reluctance to get changed, for example wearing long sleeves in hot weather; 
  • Depression; or withdrawn behaviour; 
  • Running away from home. 


Emotional abuse happens where there is a relationship between a carer and a child/young person and can manifest in the child/young person’s behaviour or physical functioning. 

Emotional abuse can be difficult to measure, and often children, young people and vulnerable adults who appear well-cared for may be emotionally abused by being taunted, put down or belittled. Emotional abuse can also take the form of children and young people not being allowed to mix/play with other children and young people. The physical signs of emotional abuse may include: 

  • Failure to thrive or grow;
  • Sudden speech disorders;
  • Developmental delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress. 

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate emotional abuse include: §

  • Neurotic behaviour, eg, sulking, hair twisting, rocking; 
  • Being unable to play; or fear of making mistakes;
  • Fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour; §
  • Self-harm. 


Sexual abuse involves the use of a child/young person for gratification or sexual arousal by a person for themselves or others. 

Adults who use children, young people and/or vulnerable adults to meet their own sexual needs abuse both girls and boys of all ages, including infants and toddlers. Usually, in cases of sexual abuse it is the behaviour of children/young people/vulnerable adults which may cause you to become concerned, although physical signs can also be present. In all cases children/young people/vulnerable adults who talk about sexual abuse do so because they want it to stop. It is important, therefore, that they are listened to and taken seriously. The physical signs of sexual abuse include: 

  • Pain or itching in the genital/anal areas;
  • Bruising or bleeding near genital/anal areas;
  • Sexually transmitted disease; vaginal discharge or infection; §
  • Stomach pains;
  • Discomfort when walking or sitting down. 

The following changes in behaviour may also indicate sexual abuse: 

  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour (eg becoming aggressive or withdrawn); §
  • Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people;
  • Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age or developmental level;
  • Self harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts; 
  • Suddenly having unexplained sources of money; 
  • Acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults; 
  • Sexual drawings or language. 


Neglect results in a child/young person suffering significant harm or impairment of development as a result of being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, or medical care. 

Neglect can be a very difficult form of abuse to recognise. The physical signs of neglect may include: 

  • Hunger, sometimes stealing food from others;
  • Constantly dirty or smelly;
  • Loss of weight, or being constantly underweight; 
  • Inappropriate dress for the conditions. 

3.2 Vulnerable Adults: 

Definitions of abuse relating to vulnerable adults (No Secrets, DoH 2000 and from the 1997 Consultation ‘Who Decides’ issued by the Lord Chancellor’s Department)

What constitutes abuse? This term ‘abuse’ can be subject to wide interpretation; the starting point for a definition is the following statement: 

  • Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. 
  • The core definition of a ‘vulnerable adult’ taken from the above Consultation is a person: 

“Who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation” This definition covers all people over the age of 18 years. 

Consideration, however, needs to be given to a number of factors: 

  • 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 vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. 
  • Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it. 

Abuse can happen anywhere

  • In a person’s own home 
  • In a residential or nursing home 
  • In a hospital 
  • In the workplace 
  • At a day centre or educational establishment 
  • In supported housing
  • In the street 

Who can abuse? 

The person responsible for the abuse is often well known to the victim, and could be: 

  • a paid carer in a residential establishment or from a home care service, 
  • a social care worker, health worker, nurse, doctor or therapist, or 
  • a relative, friend or neighbour. 

The following main different forms of abuse in relation to a Vulnerable Adult are: 

Physical Abuse: includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions; 

Sexual Abuse:including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting; 

Psychological Abuse: including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks; 

Financial or Material Abuse: including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits; 

Neglect and Acts of Omission: including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating; and 

Discriminatory Abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment. 

Any or all of these types of abuse may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance. 

Incidents of abuse may be multiple, either to one person in a continuing relationship or service context or to more than one person at a time. This makes it important to look beyond the single incident or breach in standards to underlying dynamics and patterns of harm. Some instances of abuse will constitute a criminal offence. In this respect vulnerable adults are entitled to the protection of the law in the same way as any other member of the public. 

In addition, statutory offences have been created which specifically protect those who may be incapacitated in various ways. Examples of actions which may constitute criminal offences are; assault, whether physical or psychological, sexual assault and rape, theft, fraud or other forms of financial exploitation, and certain forms of discrimination, whether racial or gender grounds. 

Criminal Offences: These offences differ from all other non-criminal forms of abuse in that the responsibility for initiating action rests with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. Also when complaints about alleged abuse suggest that a criminal offence may have been committed, it is imperative that reference should be made to the police as a matter of urgency. 


The Anti-Bullying Alliance defines bullying as: 

  • Bullying behaviour deliberately causes hurt (either physically or emotionally)
  • Bullying behaviour is repetitive (though one-off incidents such as the posting of an image, or the sending of a text which is then forwarded to a group, can quickly become repetitive and spiral into bullying behaviour) 
  • Bullying behaviour involves an imbalance of power (the person on the receiving end feels like they cannot defend themselves) 

Bullying is not: 

  • Teasing and banter between friends without intention to cause hurt 
  • Falling out between friends after a quarrel or disagreement 
  • Behaviour that all parties have consented to and enjoy (though watch this one as coercion can be very subtle) Bullying can take the following forms:
  • Emotional – being unfriendly, ignoring someone, not involving them in activities, sending hurtful or tormenting texts, humiliating or ridiculing someone 
  • Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or pinching or any use of violence 
  • Racist – racial taunts, graffiti or gestures 
  • Disability – bullying because of how somebody looks or presents related to their disabilities. Children with disabilities are more likely than their non- disabled peers to be excluded from activities 
  • Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments. Sexual bullying can also relate to gender and gender identity and includes those who do not fit with the gender role prescribed to them 
  • Homophobic – because of, or focussing, on the issue of a young person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation 
  • Verbal – in the case of children with disabilities this can take place in sign language – name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours or teasing 


Self-harm is where a person hurts themselves intentionally and this can occur in a range of ways: 

  • Cutting themselves (usually with a knife or razor) 
  • Burning their body 
  • Bang their heads (not to be confused in situations when working with a young person who may have additional (special) needs, but this could be an indicator) 
  • Throw their body against something hard 
  • Punch themselves 
  • Stick things in their body 
  • Swallow inappropriate objects or tablets 

Eating disorders: 

Eating disorders are not just about food, they are a way of coping with emotional distress. Eating disorders can affect both sexes, people of any background and any age. About 10% of people with eating disorders are male. 18% of anorexics will die. 

Eating disorders can be recognised by a persistent pattern of unhealthy eating or dieting behaviour that can cause health problems and/or emotional and social distress. 

There are three official categories of eating disorders: 

  • Anorexia nervosa 
  • Bulimia nervosa 
  • Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) 

People with EDNOS do not have the full set of symptoms for either anorexia or bulimia but may have aspects of both. EDNOS is as serious as other eating disorders and as potentially damaging to health. 

Anorexia Nervosa:  

  • The rarest – 10% of eating disorders – typically affects young people aged 12-20 years 
  • Individuals with anorexia nervosa do not maintain or have a body weight that is normal or expected for their age and height – they are usually less than 86% of their expected weight 
  • Even when underweight, individuals with anorexia continue to be fearful of weight gain. 
  • Their thoughts and feelings about their size and shape have a profound impact on their sense of self-esteem as well as their relationships 
  • Women with anorexia often stop having their periods 
  • They often do not recognise or admit the seriousness of their weight loss and deny that it may have permanent adverse health consequences Bulimia Nervosa: 
  • 40% of cases mainly with adolescent onset – affects individuals between the ages of 18-25 years 
  • Individuals with bulimia nervosa experience binge-eating episodes which are marked by eating an unusually large amount of food within a couple of hours, feeling compelled to eat and find it difficult if not ‘impossible’ to stop eating 
  • This is then followed by attempts to ‘undo’ the consequences of the binge by using unhealthy behaviours such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, severe caloric restriction or excessive exercising 
  • Individuals are obsessed and preoccupied with their shape and weight and often feel their self-worth is dependent on their weight or shape 

Binge Eating Disorder: 

  • Individuals with binge eating disorder (BED) engage in binge eating, but do not regularly use inappropriate or unhealthy weight control behaviours such as fasting or purging to counteract the binges 
  • BED is more common amongst individuals who are overweight or obese, terms used to describe these problems include; compulsive overeating, emotional eating or food addiction 
  • BED is not an officially recognised disorder, but is included in the EDNOS category 20 

Eating problems never exist in isolation; they are usually a symptom of other problems e.g. coping with painful feelings and/or situations, boredom, anxiety, anger, shame, sadness, loneliness. Adolescence can be a key time. Stressful or traumatic events can trigger an eating problem; e.g. bullying, bereavement, family tensions, school problems, self-harm, low self-esteem, sexual, physical, emotional abuse or neglect, negative criticism, fragile sense of self, and it can be more about control than about food itself. 

More information available on: www.b-eat.co.uk 


Your name: 
Your role: 
Child/young person’s name: 
Child/young person’s address: 
Child/young person’s date of birth: 
Date/time of incident or disclosure: 
Your observations: 
What did the child/young person say and what did you say. Please ensure that you record the exact wording: 
Action taken: 
Police – Details of name of contact and advice received: 
Social Services – Details of name of contact and advice received: 
Other – Details of name of contact and advice received: 
Date/time report completed: 

The report is to be emailed to KND’s designated Safeguarding Officer within 24 hours.

Status: Approved 11/07/2019
Revision Date: July 2020
Author: Kerry Nicholls, Director and Suzie Robinson, Producer