Safeguarding is what we do to keep people safe from abuse, neglect or exploitation. Most of the time when people talk about safeguarding, they are talking about protecting children or vulnerable adults.
What does a ‘vulnerable adult’ mean?
A vulnerable adult is someone aged 18 or above who may need community care services for reasons like mental health issues, disability, age or illness.
They may not be able to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or exploitation.
What does ‘abuse’ mean?
An abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or group of people.
Abuse or neglect can happen anywhere – and we want to prevent this from happening in supported living and care homes.
Types of abuse and neglect
- Physical Abuse: Any contact which harms or is likely to cause unnecessary and avoidable pain and distress including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking or misuse of medication.
- Financial or Material Abuse: A form of mistreatment or fraud which forcibly involves the control of someone’s money or assets.
- Psychological Abuse: A form of abuse where a person is subjected to behaviour that could induce emotional trauma.
- Sexual Abuse: Any action that refers to an individual being pressured or coerced into something sexual that they may not want to do.
- Neglect and Acts of Omission: Failure to provide necessary care, guidance or attention to an individual.
- Discriminatory Abuse: Any form of unjust or prejudicial judgement of another person.
- Institutional Abuse: The mistreatment, abuse or neglect of an individual by a regime of people or organisation.
- Domestic Abuse: The abuse of an individual within a domestic setting. This would include but is not limited to; parent to child (or vice-versa), partner to partner, sibling to sibling.
- Modern Slavery: The mistreatment, exploitation or abuse of an individual into slavery. This includes slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.
- Self-harm: While not a direct form of abuse, the Walsingham Support Group recognises that we have a duty of care in circumstances where a person we support self-harms.
Safeguarding is a set of guidelines and actions that helps to keep children safe from abuse, neglect and exploitation. If you’re worried about the wellbeing or safety of a child, there are several steps you can take.