Know the Signs
An important aspect of safeguarding is knowing the signs of abuse and neglect.
Sometimes people with a disability can find it hard to let others know they are being harmed.
This could be because they might not:
- Understand that what’s happening to them is wrong
- Be able to tell other people what's happening
- Know how to raise it
It’s good to know about abuse and neglect so you can help someone if you spot the signs. You might become worried about someone if you notice they:
- Have become quieter or depressed
- Have lost weight
- Seem to be struggling with money
- Have cuts or bruises that can't be explained
- Have changed behaviour
- Seem malnourished
It's always better to do something about your concerns than try to ignore them. You won't be making a fuss - just checking that someone is ok and making sure they are safe.
If you're worried about someone
Do you have concerns about someone else’s safety? Start by talking to the person in private if you can.
Tell them gently that you’ve noticed a change and ask them if they are ok.
Listen. They might really need someone to talk to. Let them talk as much as they want and be calm, even if what you hear upsets you.
Be patient. They may not want to talk at all. Many people who are abused are scared to talk in case it makes things worse.
Try not to promise you won't tell anyone what you've heard, because if an adult is being abused or neglected, it's vital to find help for them as soon as possible.
Make it clear they have a right to feel safe, and that what’s happening to them is wrong.
If you think that there are still safeguarding concerns after your conversation, you should report it.
Report your safeguarding concerns
To find out who to report your concerns to, select from the list below what kind of care and support the adult is receiving:
The adult receives support and has a Social Worker - All Local Authorities have a lead Safeguarding Officer, and Social Workers are trained to alert the right person when a safeguarding concern is raised. If you’re worried about an adult who is already receiving support and has a Social Worker, you can get in touch with their social worker. They’ll listen to your concerns and get advice from the Local Authority safeguarding team. If you feel that the social worker doesn’t take your concerns seriously, contact the local Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) directly through the Local Authority website.
The adult has health care support in the community - You can speak to the manager of the care provider. If you feel this isn’t appropriate - because you think they are causing the harm, for example - go straight to the Local Authority Safeguarding Adults Board. You’ll find their contact details on the Local Authority website. Although health care packages are funded by the NHS and regulated by the Care Quality Commission, Local Authorities have overall responsibility for safeguarding all vulnerable adults in their community. If you have any problems contacting the Local Authority, or they don’t respond appropriately, you can call the Care Quality Commission: 03000 616161.
Safeguarding in Wales
Wales has its own Safeguarding Procedures which were published in November 2019 The Wales Safeguarding Procedures for children and adults at risk of abuse and neglect which provides the guidance to support organisations to meet the requirements of the…
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.