Key Unlocking Futures
Key Unlocking Futures



Annual Safeguarding Report


The safeguarding incident reporting process was updated in 2020 to ensure that safeguarding concerns are recorded and signed off by a manager. This provides evidence of the decision-making process, including where the decision is made not to refer to statutory services. Each incident needs timely sign-off by a manager.


A new KPI has been set to monitor performance against this. The % of safeguarding incident reports completed within a 24 hour time scale have a target of 90%. During 2023 98.7 % of safeguarding concerns met this target. The table above shows the number of safeguarding incidents recorded during 2023 with comparisons to previous years. There has been a slight reduction in safeguarding concerns this year when compared to last year decreasing from 151 to 149.


Service area 2020 2021 2022 2023
January to December        
Emotional health and wellbeing 32 19 62 81
Counselling Commissioned
0 29 28 7

Drop-in services

36 50 41 44
Homelessness schemes 0 5 9 11
Refuges 0 0 6 3
DV outreach 0 0 4 0
Other 3 2 1 3
Total 71 105 151 149


Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service

Over the last year 81 (70 individuals) safeguarding incident reports have been completed by the Emotional Health and Wellbeing team, there has been a sustained increase in alerts year on year in this service. Rises are seen specifically in suicidal ideation and self harm. Further work is taking place as a partnership to consider best practice in safety planning for self harm and an agreed approach to safety planning for suicidal ideation is already in place.


Reason 2022 2023
Suicidal ideation 14 24
Bullying 9 7
Neglect 4 2
Self-harm 7 22
Sexual abuse 1 3
Physical abuse 12 11
Emotional abuse 11 12
Other 30 30


Schools Counselling 

There have been 7 (6 individuals) safeguarding concerns reported in Key’s work in schools who have directly commissioned us. The concerns fall into the following areas:


Reason 2022 2023
Suicidal ideation 3 5
Neglect 2 0
Self-harm 16 3
Sexual abuse 1 0
Physical abuse 0 0
Emotional abuse 3 0
Other 5 2


There is a significant reduction when compared to last year. This relates to us no longer providing counselling at one high school which accounted for the majority of the alerts last year. 


Drop-in 44 cases (32 individuals).


Reason 2022 2023
Homelessness 29 24
Neglect 1 4
Suicidal ideation 1 9
Physical abuse 5 11
Emotional abuse 8 13
Other 4 13


When reviewing the cases from drop in there has been a rise in the number of young people presenting with more than one safeguarding concern. The main presenting factor is still their homelessness but many are also reporting domestic abuse, physical and emotional abuse. Some of the safeguarding alerts around emotional distress and suicidal ideation are from young people who are well known to the service and feel comfortable disclosing to staff.

Homelessness Schemes

Homeless Schemes 11 cases (10 individuals) more than 1 type of safeguarding issue reported for some cases.

Reason 2022 2023
Bullying 0 1
Suicidal ideation 4 2
Sexual abuse 2 1
Emotional abuse 1 0
Self harm 2 2
Other 1 8

There have been 11 safeguarding alerts over the last year relating to 10 individuals.  


There have been 3 safeguarding incident forms competed (3 individuals). Safeguarding concerns are relatively few in number in this setting with people living in a place of safety. Cases are being dealt with appropriately and information is shared with statutory partners as appropriate.


Reason 2022 2023
Witnessing domestic violence 0 0
Neglect 0 0
Suicidal ideation 4 2
Self-harm 1 0
Physical abuse 0 0
Emotional abuse 0 0
Family not coping 0 0
Other  1 8



There have been 0 safeguarding incident forms completed.


Reason 2022 2023
Witnessing domestic violence 0 0
Neglect 0 0
Suicidal ideation 0 0
Self-harm 0 0
Physical abuse 1 0
Emotional abuse 2 0
Bullying 1 0
Other  1 0

After discussions with the team manager for this service, it is felt that there has been underreporting of safeguarding alerts in this area of work. This is due to a different understanding of when an internal alert should be completed. Many of the cases are considered low or medium risk and are separated from the perpetrator. In many cases, a multiagency response is already in place. If the risk increases, then they are supported to move to Independent Domestic Violence Associates (IDVA) services. This wouldn’t usually require a referral for example, to Children’s Social Care as commonly they are already in place or have been referred via the Multi Agency safeguarding Hub (MASH) process when police have attended an incident. 

However, this increase in risk that has necessitated a referral for IDVA services or for a hearing at (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) MARAC and should be recorded as an internal safeguarding alert to acknowledge this escalating risk. Further work is required with this team to ensure that internal alerts are recorded as appropriate. In all cases discussed appropriate action has been taken to keep the client safe but this is difficult to extract as information is in case notes rather than on safeguarding alerts. It is anticipated that safeguarding alerts will increase in this area of work going forwards.


Other services

Other Services (Tenancy Support 3).


Reason 2022 2023
Witnessing domestic violence 0 0
Neglect 0 0
Suicidal ideation 0 1
Physical abuse 0 0
Emotional abuse 0 0
Family not coping 0 0
Sexual abuse 0 1
Other 1 1

Monitoring information (within 24hrs)

Project Cases Compliant Non-compliant
Drop-in 44 43 1
EHWB 81 81 0
Schools Counselling 7 7 0
Homelessness 11 10 0
Refuge 3 2 1
DV outreach 0    
Other 3 3 0


Both non-compliant incidents happened in the first quarter of 2023 and are therefore not shown in the current financial year KPIs.

Training and Disclosure and Barring Checks (DBS)

All team members are up to date with their mandatory safeguarding training and all staff have a suitable DBS in place.



Work during the year has been positive with strong performance against the new KPI. Further work will take place this year to ensure that safeguarding remains at the forefront of people’s minds. A piece of work is underway to ensure all team members have undertaken/refreshed suicide awareness training so that everyone feels confident if someone shares that they are thinking of taking their own life. Safeguarding will remain high on Key’s agenda to ensure that cases are recorded and actioned appropriately.

Safeguarding Policy

Key operates within a robust quality framework and has achieved ISO 9001 accreditation and Investors in People’s. These demonstrate our commitment to being a great place to work and to providing high-quality services. Key has a range of policies: Code of Conduct, Complaints and feedback, data protection, Equality Diversity and Inclusion, safeguarding adults, and safeguarding children.