What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect.
Due to age, disability, illness or lifestyle, people may not be able to protect themselves and so the Government has bought out guidance and legislation to help protect vulnerable adults and children.
Every day, abuse of adults and children at risk goes unreported. Agencies involved with adults and children who might be at risk of abuse have a duty of care to make sure that procedures are in place to encourage reporting of suspected abuse, and take action to stop the abuse.
Who needs to report safeguarding issues?
At Progress Housing Group we sometimes receive ASB reports that also need to be logged as a safeguarding concern with the relevant authority.
Safeguarding issues need to be recorded directly by the person who witnessed them.
If we log the issue then unfortunately it won't be taken any further.
That is why it is really important that if you witness something which you think might be a safeguarding issue, that you report it.
Details of how to report a safeguarding issue can be found below.
What is abuse?
Abuse is not normal and never ok.
Being abused means a person is being deliberately hurt (whether physically or mentally) by someone else. Abuse and neglect should not happen to anyone at anytime.
Unfortunately it does happen, often because people do not recognise that the situation they are in is not right.
Everyone has the right to live safely and in control of their day-to-day lives. If you think you are being abused or at risk, talk to us as soon as possible.
What types of abuse are there?
Abuse may be a single act or it can continue over a long time and may take different forms.
Abuse may be:
- Financial or material abuse - including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult's financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
- Physical abuse - including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
- Neglect and acts of omission - including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
- Sexual abuse - including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
- Psychological abuse - including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks
- Organisational abuse - including neglect or poor care practice within an organisation or specific care setting, such as a hospital day carel or care home. It can also be in relation to care provided in your own home. This may range from one-off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
- Discriminatory abuse - including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
- Self-neglect - this covers a wide range of behaviour such as neglecting to care for your personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
- Domestic abuse - including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional, or so-called 'honour' based violence.
- Modern slavery - encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Trafficking and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
What to do if you suspect abuse is happening
If you or someone you know if at significant risk of harm then the police are the first agency to contact.
This is only where the abuse is happening at the present time and there may be significant harm as a result of it.
Where you have concerns about a vulnerable adult or child experiencing abuse or neglect, or are experiencing it yourself, it is best to contact the relevant Local Authority directly as they are more likely to act on the information where it comes from you.
If you wish to discuss any issues you have first then please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Local Authority Safeguarding Team asses all referrals and are best placed to ensure that vulnerable adults and children are provided with the support and help that person requires.
In many cases, this will involve other agencies such as healthcare professionals, housing, the police and schools.
Every Local Authority will have its own safeguarding information.
You can find more information about Safeguarding in Lancashire from these websites:
Safeguarding Adults: http://www.lancashiresafeguarding.org.uk/lancashire-safeguarding-adults/
Safeguarding Children: http://www.lancashiresafeguarding.org.uk/
If you aren't based in Lancashire then please contact your Local Authority for further information.