top of page

Safeguarding Policy

We consider the welfare of any child, young person or vulnerable adult, who engages with Emerge Hub CIO, to be of paramount importance and we are committed to ensuring that they are valued, listened to, and respected within the work that we do. 


1.1 Our Vision

We want to see a world where people are free from sexual exploitation, and where those in prostitution have the option to pursue genuine alternatives, free from constraints such as poverty, drug dependency, and abuses of vulnerability.

Emerge Hub CIO believes that all vulnerable adults, no matter their sex, disability, racial or ethnic background, religious beliefs or sexual orientation, have the right to be in a safe, caring environment.

Everyone working with Emerge Hub CIO, including its employees and volunteers, are responsible for ensuring that vulnerable adults are safe. 

1.2 Principles
Emerge Hub CIO will adopt and uphold the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB) ‘Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Policy, Procedure and Process 2017’ and reflect that advice and guidance throughout this policy whose key principles are outlined below:
•    Principle 1 Empowerment - presumption of person-led decisions and informed consent.
•    Principle 2 Prevention - it is better to take action before harm occurs.
•    Principle 3 Proportionality - proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
•    Principle 4 Protection - support and representation for those in greatest need.
•    Principle 5 Partnership - local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have          a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
•    Principle 6 Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

1.3 Aims of our policy
•    Adopting person led safeguarding, respecting and promoting the rights, wishes and feelings of vulnerable          adults.  
•    Listening to and working alongside vulnerable adults actively to provide support and representation for                them 
as needed.
•    Creating a safe and healthy environment within our organisation and the services it provides, avoiding                    situations where abuse may occur. 
•    On-going training, supervision and support for staff and volunteers to adopt local multi-agency good                    practice.  
•    Raising the awareness of the duty of care responsibilities relating to vulnerable adults throughout the staff            and volunteers team, assessing risk and responding to concerns proportionately.  
•    Actively encouraging good practice amongst all staff, and volunteers and promoting wider awareness                    wherever possible i.e. partnership organisations and user groups.
•    Staff and volunteers who work with vulnerable adults will be subject to Safer Recruitment processes and the          appropriate level of Criminal Records check through the Disclosure & Barring Service.
•    Responding to any allegations appropriately and implementing the appropriate disciplinary and appeals              procedures.
•    Requiring staff and volunteers to adopt and abide by the Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and procedures. 
•    Managing allegations against staff or volunteers appropriately, referring any member of staff or volunteer to          the appropriate agencies, including the Disclosure & Barring Service if required.


Abuse of vulnerable adults and safeguarding
Prevention is critical to the vision of the Care Act 2014. The care and support system must work actively together to promote wellbeing and independence rather than waiting to respond once a person has reached a crisis point. Safeguarding involves achieving a balance between protecting people and preserving their right to make decisions for themselves 
‘Safeguarding adults’ means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse and neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feeling a
nd beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.


1.4 The Care Act 2014 definition of an adult needing care and support
Under The Care Act 2014 the Government expects local authorities and others to help people with care and support needs, who may be at risk of abuse or neglect as a result of those needs, keep safe. But this must not mean preventing them making their own choices and having control over their lives. Everyone in the community should understand the importance of safeguarding and help keep people safe. 
The terminology of what was a vulnerable adult under ‘No Secrets’ has changed. A definition now in use is:    “Any adult aged 18 or over, who has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and is experiencing, or as it at risk of, abuse or neglect; and as result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse and neglect.” (Care and Support Statutory Guidance, published under the Care Act 2014, Department of Health)

This may include a person who:
• Is elderly or frail
• Has a mental health difficulty
• Has a physical disability
• Has a learning disability
• Has a severe physical illness

This may include a situation where a person receives care or is currently unable to protect themselves, for instance, someone who:
•    Is misusing substances 
•    Is homeless
•    Is in an abusive relationship
(this can include women who are being pimped by a partner)
•    Is vulnerable due to context o
r experience e.g. bereavement, poverty.

1.5 Introducing the 4 R’s (see Appendix 1 for flow chart)

The 4 R’s shown above can act as a guide for dealing with possible disclosures/ indicators of abuse. A helpful reference point can be found in Appendix 1.

  • Recognise – Making sure we are aware of signs of abuse and aware of situations, signs and symptoms that may indicate abuse.

  • Respond – Ensuring we understand what is required of us when an individual discloses abuse in the moment, and the importance of responding well. 

  • Refer – Ensuring that the information has been passed on to the right people/ organisation in a timely manner.

  • Record – Information disclosed must be recorded and stored correctly (See Data Protection Policy).

2.1 Recognising Adult Abuse
Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple, and affect one person or more. Patterns of abuse may vary and include:
Serial abusing in which the perpetrator seeks out and ‘grooms’ individuals. Sexual abuse sometimes falls into this pattern as do some forms of financial abuse
Long-term abuse in the context of an ongoing family relationship such as domestic violence between spouses or generations or persistent psychological abuse; or
Opportunistic abuse such as theft occurring because money or jewellery has being left lying around
(Care and Support Statutory Guidance issued under the Care Act 2014, Department of Health)
Abuse is the violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. It is the use of power and/or abuse of vulnerability of a person. Abuse can consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological. It may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented and cannot consent.


2.1 Where and how abuse might occur
Abuse of vulnerable adults may be perpetrated by a wide range of people, including spouses/partners, relatives and family members, professional staff, paid care workers, volunteers, other service users, neighbours, friends and associates, people who deliberately exploit vulnerable people, strangers or the elderly. Mate crime happens when someone is faking a friendship in order to take advantage of a vulnerable person. 
There is often particular concern when abuse is perpetrated by someone in a position of power or authority who uses his or her position to the detriment of the health, safety, welfare and general well-being of a vulnerable person.  Abuse can occur in any setting. Abuse and crimes against adults may occur in different contexts. Actual or suspected abuse of persons at risk in any of the contexts below will trigger a safeguarding response in accordance with this policy.


2.3 The main forms of abuse
Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to or exploitation of, the person subjected to it. It can take a number of forms:

  • Physical abuse e.g. hitting, pushing, shaking, inappropriate restraint, neglect or abandonment

  • Sexual abuse e.g. involvement in any sexual activity against his/her will, exposure to pornography, voyeurism and exhibitionism.

  • Sexual Exploitation is a type of abuse in which young people/ adults are sexually exploited for survival, money, power or status.

  • Emotional/psychological abuse e.g. intimidation or humiliation, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

  • Financial abuse e.g. theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.  

  • Discriminatory abuse e.g. racial, sexual or religious harassment, abuse based on a person’s disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.

  • Personal exploitation - involves denying an individual his/her rights, to forcing him/her to perform tasks that are against his/her will

  • Violation of rights e.g. preventing an individual speaking his/her thoughts and opinions.

  • Institutional abuse e.g. when the routines, systems and norms of an institution compel individuals to sacrifice their own preferred style and cultural diversity to the needs of the institution

  • Neglect and acts of omission e.g. ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, wilful neglect and ill treatment become a criminal offence.

2.4 Other forms of abuse to consider:
2.4.1 Hate crime: Hate crime is defined as any crime that is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be racist, homophobic, trans-phobic or due to a person’s religion, belief, gender identity or disability. It should be noted that this definition is based on the perception of the victim or anyone else and is not reliant on evidence. 

2.4.2 Mate crime: Mate crime happens when someone is faking a friendship in order to take advantage of a vulnerable person. Mate crime is committed by someone known to the person. They might have known them for a long time or met recently. A ‘mate’ may be a ‘friend’, family member, supporter, paid staff or another person with a disability.

2.4.3 Self Neglect: The Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance Chapter 14 recognises self-neglect as a type of abuse. It describes self-neglect as a wide range of behaviours; neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
Where self-neglect persists the risks to the individual may increase and could have a significant impact on the person’s wellbeing. 


2.4.4 Carers at risk of harm: Carers experiencing abuse by the person they offer care to can expect the same response as any person at risk of abuse. Carers also have a legal right to an assessment of their needs. A carer’s assessment should be seen as part of the overall assessment process. Sometimes both the carer and the supported person may be at risk of harm. 

2.4.5 Abuse of trust: a relationship of trust is one in which one person is in a position of power or influence over the other person because of their work or the nature of their activity. There is a particular concern when abuse is caused by the actions or omissions of someone who is in a position of power or authority and who uses their position to the detriment of the health and well-being of a person at risk, who in many cases could be dependent on their care. There is always a power imbalance in a relationship of trust. 

2.4.6 Abuse between adults at risk: Organisations supporting these individuals have a responsibility to protect them from abuse as well as preventing them from causing harm to other adults. It is important the needs of the adult causing the harm are taken into consideration in the safeguarding responses for both parties. 

2.4.7 Domestic Violence: Domestic violence includes any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults or young people, who are or have been intimate partners, family members or extended family members, regardless of gender and sexuality. 
M Government, Working Together to Safeguard Children, London, Stationery Office, 2015’
Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family; see Association of Chief Police Officers 2004.


2.4.8 Controlling behaviour: Acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour: An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. ‘Hampshire Adult Safeguarding Glossary’  The Serious Crime Act 2015 creates a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships (section 76). This closes a gap in the law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour in an ongoing relationship between intimate partners or family members. The offence carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine or both.  


2.4.9 Honour based violence: Honour based violence is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and or community. 
It is a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect
perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code. ‘Crown Prosecution Service/Association of Chief Police Officers’

2.4.10 Forced marriage: A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor.

‘The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014’ makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry. This includes:

  • Taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)

  • Marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)

  • Breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order is also a criminal offence. 

        Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.


2.4.11 Female genital mutilation (FGM): FGM involves procedures that include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. The practice is medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious health consequences, both at the time when the mutilation is carried out and in later life. The age at which girls undergo FGM varies enormously according to the community. The procedure may be carried out when the girl is new born, during childhood or adolescence, just before marriage or during the first pregnancy. FGM constitutes a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls, and has severe short-term and long-term term physical and psychological consequences. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is illegal under the ‘Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.’

2.4.12 Sexual Exploitation: The official definition of Sexual Exploitation, developed by the National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People (NWG) 

Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive 'something' (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person's limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.” 

2.4.13 Trafficking: Human trafficking is essentially the recruitment, movement or receipt of a person by deception or coercion into a situation of exploitation, this may include:

  • Prostitution (or other forms of sexual exploitation)

  • Forced labour

  • Slavery

  • Servitude, or the removal of organs.


2.4.14 Exploitation by radicalisers: Involves the exploitation of susceptible people who are drawn into violent extremism by radicalisers. Violent extremists often use a persuasive rationale and charismatic individuals to attract people to their cause. The aim is to attract people to their reasoning, inspire new recruits and embed their extreme views and persuade vulnerable individuals of the legitimacy of their cause. ‘The Prevent Strategy’, launched in 2007, seeks to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It is the preventative strand of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, ‘CONTEST’

2.4.15 Spiritual Abuse: Across the four UK nations, there are varying government definitions of the major recognised forms of abuse. However, currently there is no single agreed definition. 


In 2013 spiritual abuse was defined as: . . .  coercion and control of one individual by another in a spiritual context. The target experiences spiritual abuse as a deeply emotional personal attack. This abuse may include:- manipulation and exploitation, enforced accountability, censorship of decision making, requirements for secrecy and silence, pressure to conform, misuse of scripture or the pulpit to control behaviour, requirement of obedience to the abuser, the suggestion that the abuser has a ‘divine’ position, isolation from others, especially those external to the abusive context. (Oakley, 2013 in Oakley & Kinmond, 2013 p21) courtesy of CCPAS leaflet ‘Help. . . I want to understand Spiritual Abuse’ (2015).pdf

This is not an exhaustive list of examples, but a guide to forms of abuse. You can find more detailed descriptions of these forms of abuse in the Appendix 5 of this policy.

3.1 Responding to a disclosure
It is important that the adult is given the opportunity to talk and every effort should be made to ensure this takes place in private. The person at risk may not understand that they are being abused and so may not realise the significance of what they are telling you. Some disclosures happen many years after the abuse. There may be good reasons for this, for example the person they were afraid of has left the setting.  Therefore, any delay in an individual reporting an incident should not cast doubt on its truthfulness. Often a disclosure can be the ‘tip of the iceberg’ so it is important to believe the person. 


3.2 Principles of responding to a disclosure

  • assure the person that you are taking them seriously

  • listen carefully to what they are telling you, stay calm, try to get a better picture of what happened, but avoid asking too many questions 

  • do not give promises of complete confidentiality

  • explain that you have a duty to tell your Manager or other designated person (if you are an employee/volunteer), and that their concerns may be shared with others who could have a part to play in supporting and protecting them

  • reassure them that they will be involved in decisions about what will happen

  • explain that you will try to take steps to protect them from further abuse or neglect

  • if they have specific communication needs, provide support and information in a way that is most appropriate for them

  • record the words of the person at risk and accept the statements as fact; record the full details, including the time, date and location that disclosure was made. All written notes must be made as soon as practicable and kept securely

  • do not confront the person alleged to have caused the harm as this could place you at risk, or provide an opportunity to destroy evidence, or intimidate the person alleged to have been harmed or witnesses

  • do not be judgemental or jump to conclusions

  • staff and volunteers should follow the Emerge Hub CIO organisational procedures for raising the alert (See Appendix 2 for specific response procedures for disclosure of abuse).

When someone discloses to you, remember you are not investigating.

  • Stay calm and try not to show shock.

  • Listen very carefully.

  • Be sympathetic.

  • Be aware of the possibility that medical evidence might be needed.

Tell the person that:

  • You believe them

  • They did a good/right thing in telling you.

  • You are treating the information seriously.

  • It was not their fault.


4.1 Referring a concern or a disclosure
These procedures inform all staff and volunteers of what actions they should take if they have concerns or encounter a case of alleged or suspected vulnerable adult abuse, i.e. response actions. 
Important Rule
It is important that all staff and volunteers are aware that the first person that has concerns or encounters a case or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred.  
However, staff and volunteers do have a duty of care to the adult to report any suspicions or concerns you may have to a line manager/ Safeguarding Coordinator.


The Safeguarding Coordinator will ultimately decide whether to alert Adult Services in each case.

** If someone is deemed at immediate and significant risk, then the Emergency Services (999) should be contacted straight away**

4.2 Witnessing abuse
In situations of immediate danger take urgent action by calling the relevant emergency services i.e. Police, ambulance, GP.  You may wish to challenge the person who is abusing the individuals and try to persuade them to stop whilst ensuring your personal safety is not compromised.  Remember to have regard for your own safety.  Leave the situation if it is not safe for you.

Report the incident to your line manager straight away and/or Safeguarding Coordinator.

4.3 Referring or reporting to other agencies - Alerting Authorities
An alert is a concern that a ‘person at risk’ is suffering, or at risk of, or may be being, abused, neglected or exploited by a third party, or where a person at risk may be being harmed by others usually in a position of trust, power or authority. 


Alerts may be made to Adult Services by anyone and should be made when: 

  • the person is a person at risk and there is a concern that they are being or are at risk of being abused, neglected or exploited

  • the person is a person at risk and there is a concern that they have caused or are likely to cause harm to others 

  • the adult has capacity to make decisions about their own safety and wants this to happen

  • the adult has been assessed as not having capacity to make a decision about their own safety, but a decision has been made in their best interests to make a referral

  • crime has been or may have been committed against an adult who lacks the mental capacity to report a crime and a ‘best interests’ decision is made a

  • the abuse or neglect has been caused by a member of staff or a volunteer

  • other people or children are at risk from the person causing the harm

  • the concern is about institutional or systemic abuse

  • the person causing the harm is also a vulnerable adult

If there is an overriding public interest or vital interest or if gaining consent would put the adult at further risk, an alert must be made. 

4.4 Harm
In determining what justifies intervention and what sort of intervention is required the LSAB framework uses the concept of ‘significant harm’. This refers to: 

  • Ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical) 

  • The impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health and/or 

  • The impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development. 

The importance of this definition is that in deciding what action to take, consideration must be given not only to the immediate impact on and risk to the person, but also to the risk of future, longer term harm, neglect or exploitation.

The criteria used to identify whether an issue should be raised as a safeguarding alert are as follows: 
Does the adult have needs of care and support?
Is abuse or neglect by a third party alleged?
Is adult unable to take care of him or herself? 
Is the adult unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation?
If the answer is YES, then you have a ‘safeguarding alert’. 

4.5 Supporting immediate needs
In line with information sharing considerations, Emerge Hub CIO may need to take the following actions:

  • Make an immediate evaluation of the risk to the person at risk and any others who may be at risk.

  • Take reasonable and practical steps to safeguard the person at risk as appropriate.

  • Consider referring to the Police if the abuse suspected is a crime.

  • If the matter is to be referred to the Police, discuss risk management and any potential forensic considerations.

  • Consider the support needs of the person alleged to have caused harm if they are also a vulnerable adult.

  • Arrange any necessary emergency medical treatment; note that offences of a sexual nature will require expert advice from the Police.

  • If there is a need for an immediate Safeguarding Plan, we will refer to the relevant Adult Services or Emergency Duty Services if out of hours.

  • Consider appropriate action in line with Emerge Hub CIO’ disciplinary procedures if a staff member is suspected to have caused harm. 

4.6 Person led safeguarding

Professionals are often wary of intervening in abusive situations if the adult does not want them to do so because of human rights and other issues.  These dilemmas are very real for staff but can lead to an approach of non-intervention which conflicts with the professional “duty of care”.

Person led adult safeguarding follows the principle of ‘no decision about me without me’ and means that the adult, their families and carers are working together with agencies to find the right solutions to keep people safe and support them in making informed choices. 

This person led approach to safeguarding leads to services which are: person-centred and focused on the outcomes identified by the individual; planned, commissioned and delivered in a joined up way between organisations; responsive and which can be changed when required.

4.7 Mental capacity 

People must be assumed to have capacity to make their own decisions and be given all practicable help before they are considered not to be able to make their own decisions. Where an adult is found to lack capacity to make a decision then any action taken, or any decision made for, or on their behalf, must be made in their best interests. Professionals and other staff have a responsibility to ensure they understand and always work in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005. In all safeguarding activity due regard must be given to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. In all cases where a person has been assessed to lack capacity to make a decision, a best interest’s decision must be made. Even when a person is assessed as lacking capacity, they must still be encouraged to participate in the safeguarding process. 

4.8 Responding to allegations or concerns against another person, a member of staff or volunteer, parent, carer or service user

Unfortunately, those that live with, care for, work alongside or serve those that are vulnerable can be individuals who go on to abuse them. Should you ever have a concern about a person close to the adult who may be at risk be that a relative, or a member of your team for example you should:

  • Take the allegation or concern seriously.

  • Consider any allegation or concern to be potentially dangerous to the vulnerable adult.

  • Report to and inform (if appropriate) your Line Manager or Designated Lead.

  • Record in writing on a Vulnerable Adult Incident Form (see Appendix 3) all the details that you are aware of as soon as possible.

  • Designated Lead informs relevant persons, i.e. Adult Services, and/or the Police if appropriate.

  • Any allegations involving a line manager/ senior team leader – refer to the whistle blowing policy.

4.9 Internal investigation for staff or volunteers

When a complaint or allegation has been made against a member of staff or volunteer, he/she must be made aware of their rights under employment legislation and internal disciplinary procedures.  
It is the responsibility of the Trustees, to conduct a thorough investigation in accordance with the Emerge Hub CIO
Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.  

A risk assessment must be undertaken immediately to assess the level of risk to all service users posed by the member of staff/volunteer.  This must include whether it is safe for them to continue their role or any other role within Emerge Hub CIO whilst the investigation is being undertaken.  The consideration of risk must be considered alongside the right of the employee.  Decisions not to suspend an employee must be fully documented.  

Action to be considered will include the following:

  • Is this a supervisory/training issue?

  • Is it a matter for discipline/capability issue?

  • Does discussion need to take place with other agencies, e.g. the Police and Adult Services?

  • Is there a need to refer to Disclosure & Barring Service?

4.10 Reporting abuse for investigation

Concerns of abuse towards a vulnerable adult should be referred/reported to the area Adult Service team or the Emergency Social Services duty team if urgent and outside of normal office hours. To prevent a delay in raising concerns, alerts to the local authority should usually be made by contacting:

Where a crime may have been committed the Police must always be contacted, and if in any doubt, they should still be notified so that they can make that judgement.
Staff and volunteers are required to liaise with Adult Services throughout the investigation and provide any necessary information or assistance.  This may include attending meetings and case conferences. 

Managers/Designated Leads must keep Adult Services informed of outcomes of any internal investigations and disciplinary proceedings being undertaken alongside Adult Services own investigation.

All agencies will work together and decide on the best possible course of action for both the perpetrator and the victim.



5.1 Recording Information

As soon after the disclosure/incident as possible, record in writing on a ‘Safeguarding Adult Incident Reporting Form’ (Appendix 3) all the details that you are aware of and what was said using the person’s own words.  To record you should include:

  • The date and time.

  • The person’s name and address and date of birth if known.

  • The nature of the allegation.

  • A description of any visible injuries.

  • Your observations – e.g. a description of the vulnerable adult’s behaviour and physical and emotional state.

  • Exactly what the adult said and what you said.  Record their account of what happened as closely as possible.  

  • Any action you took as a result of your concerns e.g. who you spoke to and resulting actions.  Include names, addresses and telephone numbers.

  • Sign and date what you have recorded.

  • Store the information in accordance with relevant procedures, e.g. Data protection.

5.2 Preserving evidence

The first concern must be to ensure the safety and well-being of the vulnerable adult. However, in situations where there has been or may have been a crime and the Police have been called it is important that forensic and other evidence is collected and preserved.Try not to disturb the scene, clothing or victim if at all possible. Secure the scene, for example, lock the door, preserve all containers, documents, locations, etc. Evidence may be present even if it cannot actually be seen. If in doubt, contact the Police and ask for advice.

The Police will always be responsible for the gathering and preservation of evidence to pursue criminal allegations against people causing harm. However, other organisations and individuals can play a vital role in the preservation of evidence to ensure that vital information or forensics is not lost.

5.3 Confidentiality

Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned.  Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only, i.e.: Designated Lead, Adult Services and the police. It is extremely important that allegations or concerns are not discussed, as a breach of confidentiality could be damaging to the vulnerable adult, their family and any protection investigations that may follow.  

Informing the parent or carers of the vulnerable adult you may have concerns about needs to be dealt with in a sensitive way and should be done in consultation with Adult Services.

Any individual under supervision has the right to be notified about the cause for concern.  This should be done in joint consultation with Adult Services and the Police.  It is important that the timing of this does not prejudice the investigation.  

Recorded information should be stored in a secure place with limited access in line with data protection laws (e.g. the information stored is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).  

If enquiries arise from the public (including parents) or any branch of the media, it is vital that all staff and volunteers are briefed so that they do not make any comments regarding the situation.  Staff and volunteers should be informed who the relevant designated spokesperson will be, and all enquiries directed through them. Staff and volunteers should reply ‘no comment’ to all questions/enquiries.

1. Recognise

2. Respond

3. Refer

4. Record

bottom of page