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safeguarding adults booklet
Safeguarding adults
Everything you need to know as a Social Care Worker


2. Types of Abuse
4. Procedure if Abuse is Disclosed or Discovered
6. National Policies, Local and Organisational systems for safeguarding individuals
7. Useful Organisations

Safeguarding Adults

Verb: (used with an object)
1) To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.
2) To treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse one's eyesight.
3) To speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
4) To commit sexual assault upon.
5) Obsolete, to deceive or mislead.
6) Wrong or improper use; misuse: the abuse of privileges.
7) Harshly or coarsely insulting language: The officer heaped abuse on his men.
8) Bad or improper treatment; maltreatment: The child was subjected to cruel abuse.
9) A corrupt or improper practice or custom: the abuses of a totalitarian regime.
10) Rape or sexual assault.

Types of Abuse and signs or symptoms:

Physical Abuse: the intention to cause physical injury and pain to a person via violence, starvation, rough manual handling, and etc. physical abuse can leave signs like unexplainable bruises, marks, cuts, fractures, burns and sores. People who are being abused will show signs in their behaviour like depression, fear, weight loss and assault.

Sexual Abuse: forcing sexual behaviour on to an unwilling participant. Sexual abuse isn’t always contained to sexual acts it can be verbal in the form of sexual bullying. Effects of sexual abuse can include guilt and nightmares, self-harm, fear, insomnia, depression, weight loss, anxiety, torn or stained underwear, bruising, soreness around genitalia, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and unexplained changes in behaviour.

Emotional/Psychological Abuse: is any form of abuse which causes psychological trauma. This can cause depression, anxiety, self-imposed isolation, fear, confusion, loss of sleep, any abnormal changes in behaviour, etc.

Financial Abuse: illegal or unauthorised use of a person’s money or assets, often by obtaining power of attorney fraudulently. Financial abusers can be family members, partners, friends, care providers, etc. signs of financial abuse can be unexplained withdrawals from the bank, unusual bank account activity, unpaid bills, unexplained loss of money, reluctance of person with responsibility of money to provide basic food and clothes, fraud and theft.

Institutional Abuse: is mistreatment of a person from a system of power, like a Hospital, Care-Home, Nursing Home, etc. The abuse can vary from personal abuse to situational maltreatment, where lack of training and stressful work conditions can result in abuse. Signs of institutional abuse can vary from rigid systems and routine which are non-negotiable and inflexible, lack of consideration for dietary requirement, inappropriate ways of addressing people, and lack of physical care.

Self-Neglect: self-destructive behaviour which can vary, these are actions which can be harmful to their mental and physical health. This can include self-harm, poor hygiene, malnourishment, weight loss, under or over medication and inappropriate living standards.

Neglect by Others: withholding care which is essential to a person’s wellbeing that they are unable to provide for themselves. This can be a range of things from withholding food and medication, bed sores, confusion, untreated medical problems, malnutrition and over sedation.
Procedure if abuse is disclosed or discovered

You may become aware of abuse occurring by:
Seeing or hearing something happen.
The person being abused disclosing an allegation to you.
A colleague, family member or somebody else may tell you something which causes concern.
You may notice injuries or physical signs that cause concern.
If someone tells you they are being abused then you should stop what you are doing and listen carefully. The conversation should be treated with confidence and only passed on to those who need to know, like your line manager, unless they are suspected of abuse then go to their senior manager. You need to report the abuse as soon as you are able to so action can be taken as soon as possible. Everything which the individual tells you should be recorded as soon as possible in as much detail as possible, this should then be passed on to your duty line manager. Never promise to keep the information to yourself, tell them that you will pass on the information to someone who can help. Contact the police if physical or sexual abuse has taken place, also preserve as much evidence as possible, don’t touch anything unless necessary, if so wear gloves and try to close off the area if possible, inform your manager immediately. If the person needs medical attention then call an ambulance, inform your manager immediately.
If you suspect someone is being abused then inform your line manager, record your observations in writing and pass these on to your line manager, as allegations may be made later and they can be used as evidence.

You should:
You should not:
Stay calm.
Listen very carefully.
Ensure that no one is in immediate danger.
Call for an emergency service if urgent medical / police help is required.
Be aware that medical and forensic evidence might be needed.
Encourage the person not to wash or bathe as this could disturb medical/forensic evidence.
Tell the person that they did the right thing in telling you.
Express concern and sympathy about what has happened.
Reassure that the information will be taken seriously and give information about what will happen next.
Let the person know that they will be kept involved at every stage; that they will be told the outcome and who will do this.
Give the person contact details so that they can report any further issues or ask any questions that may arise.
Explain that you must tell your Line Manager or Designated Officer.
Inform your Line Manager or Designated Officer immediately.
Explain what you have heard or seen, that has given rise to your concerns.
Give as much information as possible
Stop someone disclosing to you.
Be afraid to act on your concerns. Press the person for more details.
Promise to keep secrets or make promises you cannot keep.
Gossip about the disclosure or pass on the information to anyone who does not have a legitimate need to know.
Contact the alleged abuser.
Attempt to investigate yourself.
Tidy up, as this may disturb forensic evidence.
Be judgemental.
Leave details of your concerns on a voicemail or by e-mail.

National Policies, Local and Organisational systems for safeguarding individuals.

There are different national policies, local and organisational systems in place to safeguard individuals, these include the disclosing and barring services, formerly criminal records bureau and the independent safeguarding authority which have merged. CRB checks are now call DBA checks. In the No Secrets guidance, Social Services authorities were given the lead responsibility for co-ordinating local multi-agency systems, policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. Local authority social services departments work in partnership with other agencies such as the police, Crown Prosecution Service, health services, Care Quality Commission and voluntary organisations as well as other partners. Each local authority will have formally agreed regional adult safeguarding policies and procedures that are used by all the agencies involved in the protection of vulnerable adults. These agencies should form part of the local Adult Safeguarding Board.
Useful organisations
The following organisations may be able to offer information, support and assistance.
Action on Elder Abuse (AEA)
Works to protect and prevent the abuse of vulnerable older adults. AEA offer a UK wide helpline, open every weekday from 9am to 5pm.
Action on Elder Abuse, 23–25 Mitcham Lane, Streatham, London SW16 6LQ UK Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (free phone) Website: Email:
Alzheimer’s Society
Campaigns for and provides support to people affected by all types of dementia and their relatives and carers. There are local branches across the UK.
Devon House, 58 St Katherine’s Way, London E1W 1JX Tel: 020 7423 3500 Website: Email:
Benefits Enquiry Line
Government-run information line about benefits for people with disabilities, carers and their representatives.
Tel: 0800 88 22 00 (free call) Textphone: 0800 24 33 55 (free call) Website:
The Care Quality Commission
The independent regulator of adult health and social care services in England, whether provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies or voluntary organisations. Also protects the rights of people detained under the Mental Health Act.
Tel: 0300 061 6161 (free call) Website:
Carers UK
National charity working on behalf of carers. Offers wide range of information on carers’ rights and sources of help and contact details for local carers’ support groups.
Tel: 0808 808 7777 (free call) Website:
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
National network of free advice centres including advice about national housing provision.
Tel: 020 7833 2181 (for contact details only – not telephone advice) Website:
Counsel and Care
A charity that provides advice for older people, their families and professionals on community care and other issues.
Tel: 0845 300 7585 (lo-call rate) Website:

Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)
Tel: 0845 330 2900 Customer Service Advice Line: 0300 456 0300 Website:
Crossroads Caring for Carers
Has approximately 150 schemes in the UK that provide support and assistance to carers.
Tel: 0845 450 0350 (lo-call rate) Website:
Domestic Violence Support Groups
There may be a domestic violence support group in the local area. The local Age UK/Age Concern may be able to provide contact details (see section 13 for information on contacting the local Age UK/Age Concern). Citizens Advice may also be aware of appropriate support groups in the area.

Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC)
The EAC is a national charity helping older people make informed choices about their housing, care and support.
Advice line: 020 7820 1343 Website:

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
The EHRC was launched in October 2007, taking over the role and functions of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and assuming new responsibilities for sexual orientation, age, religion and belief, and human rights.
Tel: 0845 604 6610 Textphone: 08457 622 644 Website:

Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)
The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) looks at complaints about the actions and decisions of councils, usually when a complaint has not achieved a satisfactory outcome.
Tel: 0845 602 1983 Website:

MIND (National Association for Mental Health)
Offers support for people in mental distress and their families.
Advice line: 020 8519 2122 Mindinfo line: 0845 766 0163 Website:
National Centre for Independent Living
This organisation run by and for disabled people provides a wide range of publications relating to direct payments, personal budgets and arranging personal assistance.
Tel: 020 7587 1663 Website:

NHS Direct
NHS Direct has contact details for your PCT and local services such as doctors, pharmacists, dentists and support groups. It can also give information on range of health topics and advice on looking after your health.
Tel: 0845 46 47 Website:

If there is a serious danger that an older person may be in imminent risk of harm and that the situation warrants immediate attention, the police can be called. The number of the local police station will be in the telephone directory. In an emergency, it is appropriate to dial 999 or 112. This is when someone’s life is in danger or a crime is in the process of being committed.

Princess Royal Trust for Carers
The Trust provides information, advice and support services to carers.
Tel: 0844 800 4361 Website: Email:

Public Concern at Work (PCaW)
Public Concern at Work is an independent charity working to promote a new approach to ‘whistle-blowing’ in the public interest.
Helpline: 020 7404 6609 Website: including a guide to their helpline Email
The Relatives and Residents Association
Gives advice and support to older people in care homes and their relatives and friends.
Tel: 020 7359 8148 Website: Advice line: 020 7359 8136 (Mon–Fri 9.30am–4.30pm)

The service provides emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.
A confidential Samaritans helpline on 08457 90 90 90 (lo-call rate) is available 24 hours a day.

Solicitors for the Elderly
Produces a booklet for solicitors that gives details about financial abuse and actions solicitors can take if they have concerns.
Tel: 0870 067 0282 Website:

Trading Standards
If someone has experienced a situation where they feel they have been charged excessive amounts of money for services provided, or pressurised into buying something they did not want by unscrupulous traders, Trading Standards may be able to help.
The Trading Standards Central website has details of the location of local offices at
Consumer Direct, a part of Trading standards, can also be contacted on 08454 040506.
Victim Support
Victim Support is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. It has offices across England and Wales, including a National Centre in London.
Telephone Victim Supportline on 0845 30 30 900 for support over the phone or to get details of a local office.
Typetalk users should dial 18001 0845 30 30 900.
Website: Women’s Aid
A national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. Supports a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (free phone Mon–Sun 24 hours) Website:

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