About Us

SAFE CIC works both nationwide &  internationally, and is based at:

Unit 10
Mid Suffolk Business Park
IP23 7HU
01379 871091
email: help@safecic.co.uk


Click here to discover SAFE's History & Key Safeguarding Milestones

The SAFE project has many years of multi-agency experience and offers all aspects of Child Protection and Adult Safeguarding training, both online and face to face.
We also provide rigorous recruitment courses, eSafety courses, management consultation, auditing services, expert advice and more.

Our DBS service is second to none. Not only do we offer a fast and efficient full DBS checking service, but we also help our customers complete their safeguarding risk assessments and identify appropriate courses of action in the event of a positive return.

Established for nearly twenty years, SAFE is a not for profit community interest company dedicated to raising child and adult safeguarding standards both in the UK and overseas. SAFE provided the Charity Commission with safeguarding advice in 2014 and  recently addressed the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Charities and Volunteering at Westminster. A trusted supplier for the National Council for Voluntary organisations (NCVO). The SAFE team advised Hungary with regards to their national safeguarding legislation and practice in 2003; and has also worked extensively with a major leisure provider across the Middle East for the last 5 years.   SAFE also works with a wide range of organisations; from household names and international organisations, to smaller voluntary groups in the community. SAFE comments for; Sky News, Anglia TV, BBC Radio, BBC TV and the Daily Mirror. SAFE provides a variety of bespoke training sessions suitable for those working directly with children, young people and adults at risk through to board level training and management briefings and audits. All of our multi-agency safeguarding experts are professionally qualified and are drawn from police, social care, education, and health backgrounds. Other SAFE services include a membership scheme, audits, inspections, policy writing, advice and consultation. SAFE is also a member of the Association of Child Protection Professionals (AoCPP) and was a runner up in the BASPCAN and NSPCC National Trainer of the Year Award 2018. SAFE sits on the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command) Thinkuknow education board and is an associate member of the United Kingdom Council for Child Internet Safety Council (UKCCIS). SAFE carries Public Liability insurance (up to £5m) and Professional Indemnity insurance (up to £1m).

SAFE has always offered its services commercially, using the profits generated to subsidise the same, high quality services for good causes (such as charities, not-for-profit groups and community organisations).

SAFE's History

Choose Your Year or Milestone

SAFE's Background

1987 Origins

1989 The Children Act

1991 Government Guidance for Interagency Co-Operation

1993 Vulnerable Adult Training Development

1999 'Working Together' Revision Introduces 'Safeguarding'

2000 Safeguarding Toolkit & SAFE Award Launched

2001 Soham Murders Highlight Recruitment 'Local Check' Shortfalls

2003 Laming Report Published

2004 Web Launch & Growth Beyond Suffolk

2006 'Working Together' Revised

2008 SAFEchild Website

2010 New Working Together to Safeguard Children Guidance

2011 Charity Evolves into CIC

2012 Protection of Freedoms Act

2013 New Working Together to Safeguard Children Guidance

2014 2014 Launch of ezafe.co.uk

2015 The Care Act and new statutory guidance

2016 SAFEcic Relocates


SAFE's Background

SAFE was originally a Suffolk Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) project which evolved to charity status then on to become a nationally focused, not for profit, community interest company. At the heart of SAFE cic is the desire to protect children and protect vulnerable adults. It also aspires to enable those who work voluntarily and paid, qualified and unqualified, in many diverse and varied situations to protect all children, young people, the elderly and vulnerable adults. This also includes protecting family members and carers.

To achieve a safeguarding environment, SAFE provides organisations, groups and individuals with:

  • current and relevant safeguarding information
  • extensive training packages in safeguarding both children and vulnerable adults.( In the beginning SAFE provided face to face training but quickly included on-line training)
  • templates and toolkits for child protection and safeguarding vulnerable adult policies and procedures
  • conferences for participants to hear speakers at top of their field in safeguarding children, young people, and vulnerable adults. The conferences cover specific issues, research, developments in safeguarding good practice and provide the opportunity for networking
  • advice which, if necessary, is backed up by professionals working in the relevant field
  • safeguarding audits of groups and organisations policies, procedures and practices
  • DBS checks, risk assessments, support, advice, consultancy
  • strategies for rigorous recruitment

There has been an increasing need to protect children and vulnerable adults, in the fast growing field of information technology. This area of eSafety has become an important development for SAFEcic. SAFEcic is a member of the board of Thinkuknow, the CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre ) educational unit, as well as the UKCCIS (United Kingdom Council for Child Internet Safety) .

All SAFEcic work is based on current safeguarding legislation and guidance.

1987 Origins

The story starts in 1987 following the publication of the Cleveland Report and the first Working Together: A Guide to Inter-Agency Co-operation for the Protection of Children from Abuse in 1988. Prior to this, from the early 1970’s, terms used to describe what might be happening to children began with battered baby syndrome, then non-accidental injury. By 1980 the term became officially known as ‘Child Abuse’ and this covered physical injury, physical neglect, failure to thrive and emotional abuse. There was no mention of sexual abuse. However one of the main recommendations of the Cleveland Inquiry was for the main agencies to understand each other’s roles and the implications of legal intervention in mainly child sexual abuse whilst also protecting children in general. This required agencies who worked together in this field to also train together. This training was developed specifically for those professionals who would become involved in child abuse cases. This included, not only social care, child care staff but specifically identified police officers, senior teachers and health visitors. Police and social care staff who undertook child abuse investigations, which may lead to prosecution, also needed specialist training to undertake these investigations.

1989 - The Children Act

In 1989, the publication of new and principle legislation on child protection raised the profile of child abuse. This was the Children Act 1989. It brought together a number of existing legislative documents which affected children. Important aspects included the paramountcy principle, put simply, that the welfare of the child supersedes any other legislation and actions making the welfare of the child paramount. It charged local authorities with the “duty to investigate...... if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering or likely to suffer, significant harm” (section 47). The Children Act 1998 defined “harm” as ill-treatment. This is the impairment of health and or development by e.g. sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and emotional abuse.

1991 - Government Guidance for Interagency Co-Operation

By 1991 Government guidance was published to encourage interagency co-operation. This Guidance was an update to the 1988 publication which was needed so quickly, not only as a response to the Children Act 1989, but because of raised awareness and lessons learned over the short time. Among many other issues, the importance of training was emphasised. The focus was ‘children at risk of significant harm’ and the introduction of ‘thresholds’, i.e. levels at which, what kind of intervention and investigation would take place and when. Training was emphasised as a vital need in safeguarding children.

To enable this training to happen, an existing committee; which had been called the Area Review, put in place by Suffolk County Council, which included both social services and education, Suffolk NHS and Suffolk Police; put together plans. This committee was renamed Suffolk Area Child Committee (ACPC) in 1988.

These plans included the development of a multi-agency training team of experienced professionals from each of the main agencies. Their remit was to train staff from all agencies and sectors, who work with children and their families, together. The training would be designed to enhance the knowledge of recognition and reporting of suspected abuse. The training also focused on what might happen within the agencies. This included the roles and responsibilities of each agency and the child protection procedures that would need to be followed. In addition, there would be an opportunity for participants to get to know one another. The training also included each agency understanding the roles of other agencies. Specialist training was devised to teach, police and social workers, skills in investigation and communicating with children. This would include the videoing of interviews with children to act as their main account to be used in court. This training, called Joint Investigation Training, commenced in 1989.

By 1991 Jill Powell, now SAFE’s Independent Consultant, had become a member of that team; and in 1993 Rosie Carter, now SAFE’s MD, also joined . Both were working half time still in their own professional roles, alongside one other part time professional. The team was now based at the Kerrison Conference and Training Centre in Mid Suffolk.

1993 Vulnerable Adult Training Development

By March 1993, Jill had been seconded for her other half time to help in the development of training for vulnerable adults. Jill and Rosie trained staff working in adult day centres and adult residential units in good practice, recognition and referral of sexual abuse, of vulnerable adults. As this was before the publication of the document, ‘No Secrets’, yet to be published in 2000, or any other supporting legislation, funding was difficult. The original trainer for safeguarding of vulnerable adults continued working alone, whilst Jill was given a full time training post in child protection training.

1999 'Working Together' Revision Introduces 'Safeguarding'

By 1999, and taking in to account the Department of Health’s Child Protection: Messages from Research published in 1995, another revision of Working Together was published. This guidance was different in focus, as its subtitle suggests - ‘A Guide to Interagency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children’. The scope of those who needed training had also widened. Now, not all training was essentially multi-agency or needed to include the whole remit required for professionals. It was however essential training to important individuals in the lives of children. This guidance used the word “safeguarding” for the first time instead of the term “child protection” which had taken over from “child abuse”. The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families was published by the Department of Health in 2000. This was to be used alongside the 1999 Working Together. This document described the detail of what was required when assessing adults and children in a family, when children were considered, in need and/or neglect or abuse had happened or was considered at risk of happening. This document was aimed at social care workers, teachers, doctors, including psychiatrists, and health visitors .

By this time the training team consisted of Jill and Rosie with help from designated police officers. The question now was; how are we going to reach the many who work with children and their families,  paid or volunteers? Many, such as sports groups, clubs and faith groups, worked at their own job during the day so training was required in the evenings or weekends. Training at this time was free under the support of the Suffolk ACPC. This functioned using funding from the main agencies. We had always been fortunate that dedicated and knowledgeable individuals, who were working in child safeguarding, willingly and freely gave their time to training. As they all had full time jobs they could only volunteer occasionally.

2000 Safeguarding Toolkit & SAFE Award Launched

By 2000, we were training more and more in the evening or weekends as well as delivering our specialist and multi-agency training. We had to think of ways to raise funds, to pay trainers, and develop a strategic workable plan. The police inspector in charge of the teams of child protection officers was particularly worried about small football clubs, and other small volunteer groups. Rosie and Jill were looking at ways to reach and help the many small and disparate organisations and groups who were working voluntarily with children, young people and their families. The police inspector, through his work, knew that it was these small groups who were particularly vulnerable to being targeted by paedophiles. A paedophile is someone, male or female who has sexual desire for children, or has committed the crime of sex with a child. Lessons from research, and its conclusions for serious case reviews, identified the need for early identification and referral. If this was to be achieved, then training was going to have to raise awareness in safeguarding issues and understand what constitutes good practice when working with children. It would also need to build confidence in making a decision to make a referral to social care and or the police. For many people thinking that children were at risk of being harmed by people they knew, was far from their thoughts, stranger danger was easier to handle.

Along with our police colleagues and a dedicated sports development officer from Waveney District Council, we met at the Ipswich Town Football Club to find a way forward. It was never going to be easy. We would need concise, straight forward training that could be delivered in about 2 hours. We would need information leaflets to back up the training. As we worked on this project, Rosie took on the lead for the development work which was to be named SAFE, standing for, Safer Activities For Everyone. Rosie also continued delivering main stream training and running conferences for children regardless of their ability. Children with disabilities were often not taken into account when considering safeguarding. Jill continued leading on multi-agency and specialist training and putting on bi-annual national 2 day conferences at nearby Snape Maltings.

With the backing of the Bishop of Ipswich and St Edmundsbury, Jill took on the role of training Faith Groups in the county as well as working as becoming Safeguarding Advisor to the Bishop. This raised funds to help pay for a few occasional trainers. The training and advice was given in line with the SAFE project. Many groups were coming forward as well: including other Churches of varying denominations and Mosques. Rosie was responding to an ever growing list of individuals and groups, from football, golf, archery, swimming and leisure centres, Woodland Folk to playgroups and nurseries. Rosie had developed a toolkit for writing policies and procedures and good practice which enabled groups to provide safe, informed and alert staff but also provided evidence of their achievement. This then developed into achieving the SAFE Award. The Award was given when all good practice guidelines were in place and all staff had received training. An audit would be carried out by one of the SAFE team to pass inspection. The first award was presented by David Sheepshanks, the then Chairman of Ipswich Town Football Club, at a Premier League Match at ITFC’s Portman Road. The initial steering group for SAFE had grown to help and support its development.

2001 Soham Murders Highlight Recruitment ' Local Check' Shortfalls

Between 2000 and 2006 there was continual development by Government, rather than particular departments to improve the safety and response to children and their families. It also aimed to ensure that every child had the opportunity to achieve their potential. In 2000 Victoria Climbié, aged 8 years, died a horrible death caused, over a considerable time, by her carers. In 2001 national attention was on Soham in Cambridgeshire where 2 girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman had been abducted. Holly and Jessica had been taken and subsequently murdered by their school caretaker, Ian Huntley. If police intelligence and rigorous recruitment had been in place, it was felt that Ian Huntley would not have been in a position of trust working so closely to children. At that time the only guidance was for schools to do a local police check and check that applicants were not on the barred list for Department for Education ( List 99) , this would also automatically check the Department of Health Consultancy Index , the equivalent health “barred list”.

The Criminal Records Bureau started to work as the central point for all checks and systems to be tightened up. All applicants for posts involving working children were to seek clearance via the bureau, known as “disclosure”, before starting work. Unfortunately this caused a considerable backlog of people being checked and many changes were instigated by government with advice being given and withdrawn then re-given. The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) took the place of the barred list. Even now in July 2012 we are waiting for new guidance and instructions on who and when to check criminal records for “supervised” staff and volunteers. The ISA will be merged with the CRB to form the new merged Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) later in 2012.

2003 Laming Report Published

The Victoria Climbié Report written by Lord Laming, was published in 2003, after a major review of Victoria’s life and death. Keeping Children Safe report (DfES, 2003) was the Government's response to the report written by Lord Laming, as well as the Every Child Matters (green paper DfES 2003), which led to the Every Child Matters: Change for Children Programme. These then led to changes in legislation brought together in the Children Act 2004. The Act did not replace, or even change much in the Children Act 1989, but provided changes in the way agencies would work together. It placed a duty on local authorities and their partners, including the police, health service providers, and the youth justice system, to co-operate in promoting the welfare of children and young people. Local Authorities also had to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. The Children Act 2004 required that by 2006 ACPC’s were to be replaced by statutory, Local Safeguarding Child Boards (LSCBs).

2004 Web Launch & Growth Beyond Suffolk

In 2004 Rosie, by this time, was concentrating on single agency training and had worked on, and was able to launch the oursafesite.com website. This development was not only to help inform groups of, changing laws and guidance, but to begin providing on line training. More and more individuals and groups were looking for training. Not only was it becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the level of face to face training, but also attendance at training was becoming difficult for many. Membership of SAFE provided updated toolkits, online training and advice. SAFE became an umbrella service for the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) - which later became the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in 2012. Safe recruitment was becoming a major part of the work undertaken. The website allowed for fees to be included enabling SAFE to be self funding. By 2005 SAFE became a registered charity, Safeguarding Children Partnership, known as SAFEchild. By now Rosie was managing an ever increasing team of self employed experts in the field of safeguarding children as trainers and developing a team of administrators. Rosie became full time to manage the charity. Half her salary came from Social Services via the ACPC which had been supporting SAFE from the beginning and half her time was paid by funds raised via the charity. The project had progressed from reaching locally based organisations and groups to having a national focus especially through the work within the leisure industry. Trustees now replaced the steering group and consisted of a retired senior police officer, solicitor, judges and head teacher. Its Patron was the high profile Lady Clare Euston, Countess of Euston, who has always done great work for the community.

2006 'Working Together' Revised

In 2006 an updated Working Together was published taking into account the inquiry report into the death of Victoria Climbié, the Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme and the Children Act 2004. After criticism of the 1999 version, the term “child protection” had widened to “safeguarding children” but there was still no definition in law or any guidance on what was meant by the term.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children was defined in the 2006 Working Together as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development; and
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.

In 2006 the Government published non statutory guidance, under the change for children agenda called, What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused. This document was made readily available to the whole community and was designed for statutory and the independent sector as well as the wider community.

2008 SAFEchild Website

In 2008 a more sophisticated SAFE web site was needed to take account of significant changes and developments to ensure that toolkits and training were up to date and fit for purpose. The training needed to be developed to include safe recruitment guidance, to include more in-depth interview techniques, other guidance and esafety. This new website was safechild.co.uk. By 2009 Rosie, as chief executive of the charity, was no longer paid by Suffolk C.C.

In 2009 the charity launched the web site safechild.co.uk . In addition to safechild.co.uk there was now safeadult.co.uk. It had become obvious, through calls made to SAFEchild, that many people were looking for a similar service, in particular on line training and toolkits for safeguarding vulnerable adults. A growing number of services where now being inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), using regulations and standards set by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010. The outcome 7 of regulation 11 states: “protecting people who use services from abuse”.

2010 New Working Together to Safeguard Children Guidance

In 2010 a new Working Together to Safeguard Children – a Guide to Inter-agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children was published. There had not been a comprehensive update since 2006, it was in urgent need of updating to reflect the changes in practice over the last four years.

2011 Charity Evolves into CIC

During 2011 it became increasingly financially difficult to function under charity status and the Trustees made the difficult decision to close the charity. SAFEchild would cease. After a short time, Rosie and other SAFE colleagues decided they would not give up and together they established Safer Activities for Everyone CIC, a not for profit organisation and social enterprise. A new website www.safecic.co.uk was developed and Rosie continues to direct and develop this company. The many SAFE expert professionals continue to support the project to ensure that all work undertaken and advice given, continues to be relevant, up-to date and correct.

2012 Protection of Freedoms Act

In May 2012, the Protection of Freedoms Act gained royal assent. The act brought in many changes to the vetting and barring process: The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) was created to take over the responsibilities of both the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), which were both shut down. The ISA registration scheme was abandoned and the scopes of regulated activity, barring and eligibility for criminal records checks were all redefined and reduced. SAFE's CRB/DBS team worked tirelessly throughout this period to ensure all of our processes were kept up to date, our customers informed and our deadlines met.

2013 New Working Together to Safeguard Children 

In anticipation of Safer Internet Day 2013, SAFE launched a new, Ofsted compliant, online training course for eSafety: allowing individuals and organisations alike to update their knowledge of legislation, procedures and the risks surrounding the online world. Shortly after, in March 2013, the Department for Education published their latest statutory guidance: Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. And in April 2013, SAFE launched an online Safeguarding Adults with Dementia Course.

The DBS also went through more changes this year, in February, the Court of Appeal concluded that DBS checking of certain "spent" convictions  is in violation of human rights. As a result, new legislation is now in place and from 29 May 2013 the DBS will begin 'filtering' old and/or irrelevant warnings, cautions, reprimands and convictions. The DBS plan to appeal the decision. Alongside this, the long awaited 'DBS update service' started from 17 June 2013 and the DBS also ceased issuing certificates to anyone but the applicants themselves.

2014 Launch of ezafe.co.uk

We worked with University Campus Suffolk(UCS), Suffolk Police, Suffolk Hate Crime, Fresh Start new beginnings to design a free, easy to use dedicated web space, hosted on our website which offers a resource bank of advice, information and support relating to online behaviour of children and young people: www.ezSAFE.co.uk. Shortly after SID, in April 2014, Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges was launched by the Department for Education, replacing the 2007 guidance 'Safeguarding children and Safer Recruitment in Education'.

On 18 June 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that certain old cautions and convictions should not be declared, supporting the decision of the Court of Appeal back in February 2013 - therefore the filtering of old cautions and convictions will continue in line with current legislation.

2015 The Care Act and New statutory guidance

In March, the government released updated versions of two key statutory safeguarding documents:

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education: for schools and Colleges
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 

In April, The Care Act 2014 came into power. Although many of the changes were not implemented right away (some having been pushed back to 2020), the Act is a huge step towards the improved safeguarding of adults at risk.

2016 SAFEcic Relocates

In 2016, we moved our offices from Chestnuts Farm to the Mid Suffolk Business Park across the road, expanding to a larger office building with an upstairs training suite. This is a very exciting time as we are now able to offer in house training courses to organisations and individuals. In late 2016 we launched our programme of Open House events and continue to build on this today.


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