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​Foodage4thought Safeguarding Policy

1. Introduction

Foodage4thought (F4T) believes that it is always unacceptable for a child, young person or vulnerable adult to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to practice which protects them.


We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is paramount

  • all children regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse

  • working in partnership with children, young people, vulnerable adults, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

The purpose of the policy:

  • To provide protection for the children, young people or vulnerable adult who receive F4T’s services, including the children of adult clients.

  • To provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.


This policy applies to all staff, directors, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of F4T.

2. Safeguarding Children and Young People

We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them

  • adopting Safeguarding guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers

  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely ensuring all necessary checks are made

  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers

  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who may need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately

  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.


We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.


Legal Framework

  • The Children Act 1989 and 2004 (provides the legislative framework for child protection in England)

  • The Children and Families Act 2014

  • The Care Act 2014

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (sets out how organisations and individuals should work together and how practitioners should conduct the assessment of children)

  • Local Safeguarding Partnership Arrangements

  • Children and Social Work Act 2017

  • Serious Crime Act 2015

  • The Crime and Disorder Act 1998

  • Police and Justice Act 2006

  • Policing & Social Responsibility Act 2011

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

  • GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 (does not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children and young people safe)

  • Sexual Offences Act 2003

  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

  • Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children



Overall accountability for safeguarding children and young people within F4T rests with the Directors. The Named Safeguarding Lead has responsibility to support the organisation and staff to fulfil their responsibilities appropriately.


Code of Conduct


Staff working with children or young people are required to:

  • be aware of the signs of any historical, current or potential abuse, or other risks, and make a written record of any causes for concern

  • avoid asking any questions which might at a future date be considered leading

  • abide by the ethical code and safeguarding guidelines of their professional associations (where applicable)

  • ensure that parents and carers are informed of any disclosures or evidence of abuse, where appropriate, and develop positive relationships where open discussions can be shared as required

  • take any concerns about welfare, including allegations of abuse to external clinical supervision (if applicable) and to a safeguarding lead in F4T

  • treat all children and young people with respect

  • operate within the organisation's principles, guidance and any specific procedures

  • challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations or suspicions of abuse to a safeguarding lead in F4T

  • remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned

  • be aware that physical contact with a child or young person may be misinterpreted

  • explore the appropriateness of working in the building alone with a child. In general, it is preferable for an adult or carer to remain in the building, but we understand that this may not always be possible or necessary.

  • Conduct appropriate Risk Assessments when children are known to have complex or severe physical needs.


Staff working with children must not:


  • have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people

  • jump to conclusions about others

  • either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues

  • rely on your good name or that of the organisation to protect you

  • believe “it could never happen to me”

  • take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach





In the case of a disclosure:


  1. Remain calm and listen carefully to what the child is communicating, allowing the child to express themselves freely and openly.

  2. Do not interrupt the child or ask leading questions.

  3. Collect as much detail as possible, for example - details of when and where an incident took place, the presence of others and if relevant how often it took place.

  4. Establish the location of any injuries, recording as much detail as possible, in the case of injuries a GP check-up will be required by Social Services as soon as possible.

  5. Leave the conversation at the point the child wishes to stop, avoid asking them to repeat themselves.

  6. As soon as possible make an accurate dated and timed record of the disclosure. Avoid any correction of inaccuracies you may feel have occurred in the child’s conversation. Take into consideration that these records may be used in a court of law.

  7. Do not agree to keep secret any information that a child may tell you where there are issues or suspicions that the child, or other, may have experienced abuse.

  8. Reassure the child that they have done the right thing to tell you and let them know what you need to do with the information.

  9. If appropriate share the disclosure with the parent or carer and inform them what course of action you need to follow i.e., who you need to contact etc.

  10. Contact the designated Safeguarding Lead, or in their absence the Deputy Safeguarding Lead.

  11. If appropriate, the designated Safeguarding Lead and the staff member/therapist are responsible for informing Children’s Social Care of the disclosure and this should be done at the earliest opportunity.

  12. Where uncertainty exists the staff member should have detailed discussions with their supervisor (if applicable) and designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Safeguarding Lead, and these should be recorded in full and include resulting actions.

  13. If the disclosure involves another member of staff or volunteer at F4T it is necessary to respond as above BUT if this is to the person against whom the allegation is being made then the matter should be reported to their line manager or to the Chair of Trustees.


In the case of an issue being pursued:


  1. Inform the parent/s or guardian/s of any child suspected of having been abused or any decision to report the matter to an outside agency, unless there is a clear allegation of parental/ carer abuse towards the child or we consider there are significant wider implications.

  2. Record suspected abuse and any resulting discussion or action on the database if the child is a client.

  3. The Safeguarding Lead or the member of staff will contact the relevant organisation (according to area of residence of child) in the case of allegations of abuse being made or evidence of abuse being apparent, following discussion with therapist. For contact numbers see section below ‘Contact Number’.

  4. It is important that everyone in the organisation is aware that the person who first encounters a case of alleged or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred. That is a task for the professional Safeguarding Children agencies following a referral to them of concern about a child.

  5. In the case of allegations against a member of F4T: a Safeguarding Lead will inform Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.

  6. Any individual employed by F4T, who has reason to believe a child is being abused in an external context, should notify the Safeguarding Lead.

  7. The organisation will ensure that as far as possible risks to children are eliminated within the building where the services are offered.


F4T is committed to supporting staff who are working with a child who discloses abuse or where there are suspicions of abuse.


Definitions of Abuse and Neglect in Children and Young People

Abuse & neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.


  1. Physical abuse

“Physical abuse may involve may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child...may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.”

  1. Emotional Abuse

“Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.


These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.”


  1. Sexual Abuse

“Sexual abuse ‘involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include noncontact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children”.


  1. Neglect

“Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

    • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home oraband onment)

    • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger

    • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)

    • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.


It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.”


  1. Child sexual exploitation

What is child sexual exploitation - Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. Young people in exploitative situations and relationships receive things such as gifts, money, drugs, alcohol, status or affection in exchange for taking part in sexual activities. Young people may be tricked into believing they're in a loving, consensual relationship. They often trust their abuser and don't understand that they're being abused. They may depend on their abuser or be too scared to tell anyone what's happening. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol before being sexually exploited. They can also be groomed and exploited online. Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs (Berelowitz et al, 2013). Child sexual exploitation can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults and involve multiple perpetrators.


Spotting the signs of child sexual exploitation:

Sexual exploitation can be very difficult to identify. Warning signs can easily be mistaken for ‘normal’ teenage behaviour. Young people who are being sexually exploited may:

    • go missing from home, care or education

    • be involved in abusive relationships, appearing intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations

    • hang out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other vulnerable peers

    • get involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership

    • have older boyfriends or girlfriends

    • spend time at places of concern, such as hotels or known brothels

    • not know where they are, because they have been moved around the country

    • be involved in petty crime such as shoplifting

    • have access to drugs and alcohol

    • have new things such as clothes and mobile phones which they can’t or won’t explain

    • have unexplained physical injuries.


  1. Harmful sexual behaviour

What is harmful sexual behaviour? Children and young people who develop harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) harm themselves and others.

HSB can include:

    • using sexually explicit words and phrases

    • inappropriate touching

    • using sexual violence or threats

    • full penetrative sex with other children or adults.


Sexual behaviour between children is also considered harmful if 1 of the children is much older – particularly if there is more than 2 years’ difference in age or if 1 of the children is pre-pubescent and the other isn’t (Davies, 2012). However, a younger child can abuse an older child, particularly if they have power over them – for example, if the older child is disabled (Rich, 2011).


Spotting the signs of harmful sexual behaviour:

It’s normal for children to show signs of sexual behaviour at each stage in their development. Children also develop at different rates and some may be slightly more or less advanced than other children in their age group. Behaviours which might be concerning depend on the child’s age and the situation. If you're unsure whether a child’s sexual behaviour is healthy, Brook provide a helpful, easy-to-use traffic light tool. The traffic light system is used to describe healthy (green) sexual behaviours, potentially unhealthy (amber) sexual behaviours and unhealthy (red) sexual behaviours


  1. Bullying and cyberbullying

What are bullying and cyberbullying?

Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It usually happens over a lengthy period of time and can harm a child both physically and emotionally. Bullying includes:

    • verbal abuse, such as name calling

    • non-verbal abuse, such as hand signs or glaring

    • emotional abuse, such as threatening, intimidating or humiliating someone

    • exclusion, such as ignoring or isolating someone

    • undermining, by constant criticism or spreading rumours

    • controlling or manipulating someone

    • racial, sexual or homophobic bullying

    • physical assaults, such as hitting and pushing

    • making silent, hoax or abusive calls. Bullying can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online


When bullying happens online it can involve social networks, games and mobile devices. Online bullying can also be known as cyberbullying.


Cyberbullying includes:

    • sending threatening or abusive text messages

    • creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos

    • 'trolling' - sending menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games

    • excluding children from online games, activities or friendship groups

    • setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child

    • encouraging young people to self-harm

    • voting for or against someone in an abusive poll

    • creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young person or cause trouble using their name.

Spotting the signs of bullying and cyberbullying It can be hard to know whether or not a child is being bullied. They might not tell anyone because they're scared the bullying will get worse. They might also think that the bullying is their fault. No one sign indicates for certain that a child’s being bullied, but you should look out for:

    • belongings getting ‘lost’ or damaged

    • physical injuries such as unexplained bruises

    • being afraid to go to school, being mysteriously 'ill' each morning, or skipping school

    • not doing as well at school

    • asking for, or stealing, money (to give to a bully)

    • being nervous, losing confidence or becoming distressed and withdrawn • problems with eating or sleeping

    • bullying others.


  1. Child trafficking What is child trafficking?

Child trafficking is child abuse. It involves recruiting and moving children who are then exploited. Many children are trafficked into the UK from overseas, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another. Children are trafficked for:

    • child sexual exploitation

    • benefit fraud

    • forced marriage

    • domestic servitude such as cleaning, childcare, cooking

    • forced labour in factories or agriculture

    • criminal exploitation such as cannabis cultivation, pickpocketing, begging, transporting, drugs, selling pirated DVDs and bag theft.


Children who are trafficked experience many forms of abuse and neglect. Physical, sexual and emotional abuse is often used to control them and they’re also likely to suffer physical and emotional neglect. Child trafficking can require a network of organised criminals who recruit, transport and exploit children and young people. Some people in the network might not be directly involved in trafficking a child but play a part in other ways, such as falsifying documents, bribery, owning or renting premises or money laundering (Europol,

2011). Child trafficking can also be organised by individuals and the children’s own families. Traffickers trick, force or persuade children to leave their homes. They use grooming techniques to gain the trust of a child, family or community. Although these are methods used by traffickers, coercion, violence or threats don’t need to be proven in cases of child trafficking - a child cannot legally consent to their exploitation so child trafficking only requires evidence of movement and exploitation.


Modern slavery is another term which may be used in relation to child trafficking. Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking (HM Government, 2014). The Modern Slavery Act passed in 2015 in England and Wales categorises offences of slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking (NCA, 2017). Spotting the signs of child trafficking Signs that a child has been trafficked may not be obvious but you might notice unusual behaviour or events. These include a child who:

    • spends a lot of time doing household chores

    • rarely leaves their house, has no freedom of movement and no time for playing

    • is orphaned or living apart from their family, often in unregulated private foster care

    • lives in substandard accommodation

    • isn't sure which country, city or town they're in

    • is unable or reluctant to give details of accommodation or personal details

    • might not be registered with a school or a GP practice

    • has no documents or has falsified documents

    • has no access to their parents or guardians

    • is seen in inappropriate places such as brothels or factories

    • possesses unaccounted for money or goods

    • is permanently deprived of a large part of their earnings, required to earn a minimum amount of money every day or pay off an exorbitant debt

    • has injuries from workplace accidents

    • gives a prepared story which is very similar to stories given by other children


There are also signs that an adult is involved in child trafficking, such as:


    • making multiple visa applications for different children

    • acting as a guarantor for multiple visa applications for children

    • travelling with different children who they’re not related to or responsible for

    • insisting on remaining with and speaking for the child

    • living with unrelated or newly arrived children

    • abandoning a child or claiming not to know a child they were previously with


  1. Female genital mutilation

What is female genital mutilation?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It's also known as female circumcision or cutting. The age at which FGM is carried out varies. It may be carried out when a girl is newborn, during childhood or adolescence, just before marriage or during pregnancy (Home Office et al, 2016). Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse. It's dangerous and a criminal offence. There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn't enhance fertility and it doesn't make childbirth safer. It’s used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health.


Spotting the signs of female genital mutilation - A girl at immediate risk of FGM may not know what's going to happen. But she might talk about or you may become aware of:

    • a long holiday abroad or going 'home' to visit family

    • relative or cutter visiting from abroad

    • a special occasion or ceremony to 'become a woman' or get ready for marriage

    • a female relative being cut – a sister, cousin or an older female relative such as a mother or aunt

    • missing school repeatedly or running away from home


A girl who has had FGM may:

  • have difficulty walking, standing or sitting • spend longer in the bathroom or toilet

  • appear withdrawn, anxious or depressed

  • have unusual behaviour after an absence from school or college

  • be particularly reluctant to undergo normal medical examinations

  • ask for help, but may not be explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear


j) Radicalisation

Refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups. (Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales, issued on 12th March 2015 and revised on 16th July 2015, definition)


Role of the Safeguarding Lead

The named Safeguarding Lead at F4T is Ally Read. Their role is to:


  1. Ensure that the organisation's Safeguarding Children policy and procedures are implemented and followed.

  2. Contact the relevant organisation (according to area of residence of child – see contact telephone number list at end of this document) in the case of allegations of abuse being made / evidence of abuse being apparent, following discussion with therapist. The Safeguarding Lead should either do this directly themselves or support/work with the staff member/therapist to do this.

  3. Assist staff members to ensure that appropriate information is available at the time of referral.

  4. Be aware of the relevant Local Safeguarding Partners and be familiar with local procedures.

  5. Liaise with children’s service authorities and other agencies, as appropriate.

  6. Keep relevant people within the organisation informed about any action taken and any further action required, for example, disciplinary action against a member/s of staff.

  7. Ensure that an individual case record is maintained of the action taken by the organisation, the liaison with other agencies and the outcome.

  8. Provide information and advice on Safeguarding Children within the organisation.

  9. Advise the organisation of Safeguarding Children training needs.

  10. Deal with the aftermath of an incident within the organisation.

In the absence of the named Safeguarding Lead, staff should talk to one of the Deputy

Safeguarding Officer.


Safeguarding lead will:

  1. Monitor the application of this policy.

  2. Ensure that staff and volunteers attend the level of training in Safeguarding Children appropriate to their role.

  3. Talk through the issues and concerns with your staff and support liaison with the Patient and Family Support Social Workers or the Head of Social Care and Psychological Support to ensure there is a clear plan in place on what action to take.


Employment and Training of Staff/Volunteers

We recognise that some people who work or seek to work with children could pose a risk to children and to help prevent such risks F4T will operate the following procedures:


  1. All staff working with children or in contact with children will require an enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) check. Trustees will also require an enhanced DBS check. All other staff and Student Placements (over 18) will require either an enhanced or a basic DBS check, depending on their role within the organisation.

  2. People who are known to have offended against children, will be excluded from employment or volunteering opportunities with F4T.

  3. In addition to DBS clearance all staff will have an interview, and references from two professionals will be taken up before appointment.

  4. Induction training will include safeguarding Children and vulnerable adults.

  5. All staff will be required to attend training courses on both the Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. The levels of training required for different members of the organisation are as follows:

Online training – for staff, adult placement students and trustees who come into contact with children or adults who may talk to children and are due for a renewal every three years.



Working with other agencies and professionals

F4T Safeguarding Children Policy is accessible and available to parents/carers, staff and other relevant organisations.


Staff at F4T will work with the Local Safeguarding Partners and other relevant agencies/organisations to ensure that their policies and practice remain up to date and appropriate within the context of their working environment.

3. Policy for working with vulnerable adults

3.1 Definitions:


A “vulnerable adult” is a person 18 years of age or older:

who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness



who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself (self neglect)



is unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation


Disability includes sensory impairment, physical impairment, learning difficulties etc.


A Carer - Refers to a relative or friend on whom a vulnerable adult is significantly dependent for his/her care. Unpaid carers may themselves be vulnerable. They may be at risk of injury or harm by the vulnerable person; they may be at risk of losing emotional control in the care relationship.


3.2 Vulnerability due to mental or other disability, age or illness or self neglect




  • F4T provides counselling for people who may be vulnerable due to being affected by a diagnosis of cancer or other life-threatening conditions, mental health issues, learning disabilities, dementia or head injury, or may care for someone affected by the above.


  • The policy and procedures have been developed to assist staff in recognising if and when there is a need to act in the case of a client’s vulnerability


  • F4T is committed to supporting any staff who is working with a vulnerable client in need of external support


  • Staff have a responsibility to be aware and alert to signs that all is not well with a vulnerable person. No action should be taken without discussion with the Safeguarding Lead(or the Deputy Safeguarding Leads in the absence of the Safeguarding Lead) However, if there is evidence of immediate or imminent serious risk and a delay in taking action is likely to lead to increased probability of serious risk to the client or other or a serious crime, then staff would be expected to take immediate appropriate action which would usually but not exclusively involve calling the emergency services on 999.


  • F4T recognises that some vulnerable adults may be subject to abuse and /or neglect


Legal Framework

  • Mental Capacity Act 2005

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006





  1. Discuss any concerns with the client, where possible and appropriate. Encourage the client themselves to address the issue if appropriate.

  2. Discuss any concerns about the client’s welfare with the Safeguarding Lead. In the absence of the Safeguarding Lead please discuss with the Deputy Safeguarding Leads.

  3. Agree any appropriate actions to take.

  4. Complete the “Add Risk Issues” tab on the CiviCRM database. Ensure the notes are factual and record what was said by the client, when the concern was discussed with the safe guarding lead and all actions taken. This may be an ongoing document that is added to over a number of hours or days.

  5. If the client is unable to address the issue themselves, inform the client of any decision to report the matter to an outside agency and if possible get the client’s permission.

  6. The safe guarding lead will contact the relevant social services department (according to area of residence of the client) if appropriate.

  7. For contact numbers see below.

3.3 Vulnerability in cases of neglect or abuse


Significant harm and threshold guidance


Significant harm can be experienced by vulnerable adults who are unable to protect themselves, to claim their own human and civil rights and have to rely on others support or actions to have those rights.


Abuse can be defined as:


  • ‘A violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by an act, or a failure to act, on the part of another person or persons.

  • Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts.

  • It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or failure to act or it may occur when a vulnerable person is manipulated.


In assessing seriousness, the following factors need to be considered:


  • The vulnerability of the individual.

  • The mental capacity of the individual and ability to consent to the process.

  • The nature and extent of the abuse.

  • The length of time it has been occurring.

  • The impact on the individual.




Social services departments have been designated as the lead agencies with responsibility for co-ordinating a response to allegations or concerns of abuse.


  1. Record any concerns / allegations / disclosures as soon as possible after a session, using client language as much as possible. Use list format for concerns.

  2. Discuss any concerns about a client’s welfare, including allegations of abuse with the Safeguarding Lead who will follow guidelines and agree appropriate actions. In the absence of the Safeguarding Lead please discuss with the one of the Deputy Safeguarding Leads

  3. Record suspected abuse and any resulting discussion or action on the “Add Risk Issue” tab on the database.

  4. The Safe guarding lead will contact the relevant social services department (according to area of residence of the client) in the case of allegations of abuse being made / evidence of abuse being apparent, following discussion and with the support of the deputy safe guarding lead. Detailed referral arrangements may differ between B&NES, Wiltshire, and Somerset. For contact numbers see section 4 below ‘Contact Details’

  5. It is important that everyone in the organisation is aware that the person who first encounters a case of alleged or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred. That is a task for professional agencies following a referral to them of concern about an individual.

  6. Safeguarding Lead should work within the following guidelines for reporting allegations or suspicions of abuse:


    • as soon as possible, if the vulnerable person is at risk of serious physical harm, or a serious criminal act has taken place, and evidence will need to be kept safe. In these instances, it may be appropriate to call the police on 999.

    • within one working day, if it relates to a specific incident which is, or may be still going on, or may happen again

    • within seven Days if it is a more general concern, which does not indicate immediate harm.


Categories of Vulnerabilities in Adults (over 18 years old):


Physical abuse - including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, inappropriate sanctions

Sexual abuse - including rape, sexual assault, sexual acts to which a person has not consented, could not consent or was pressurised into consenting


Psychological abuse - including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, emotional and or physical isolation, withdrawal from services or supportive networks, or political/religious radicalization.


Financial or material abuse - including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with, preparation of wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.


Neglect and acts of omission - including 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.


Discriminatory abuse - including racist, sexist, abuse that is based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.


Domestic Abuse – all the above forms of abuse can take place in a domestic setting


Institutional abuse – and poor professional practice. Repeated instances of poor care may be an indication of more serious problems and this is sometimes referred to as “Institutional abuse”. This may take the form of isolated incidents of poor or unsatisfactory professional practice at one end of the spectrum, through to pervasive ill treatment or gross misconduct at the other and is often witnessed as the needs of the service provider taking priority over the needs of the patient.


Hate crime – when someone discriminates, harasses or attacks another person verbally (including by email or on social networking sites) or physically, and the crime is committed because of the attacker's prejudice against a particular group of people. While hate crime is more often verbal than physical, it does not mean it is not serious or very upsetting for the person being harassed. Hate crime includes violence or harassment against people because of their race, gender, sexuality, religion, refugee or asylum seeker status or disability.


Who abuses vulnerable adults?


Anyone can abuse a vulnerable person. This includes:

  • Partners

  • Relatives

  • Friends and neighbours

  • Other users of a service

  • Someone paid to provide a health or social care service

  • Volunteers

  • Strangers


Most abusers are people already known to the vulnerable adult but some people will deliberately exploit or harm individuals who they see as easy targets.


Where can the abuse take place?


Abuse can take place anywhere. This includes:

  • A person’s own home

  • A friend or relative’s home

  • A hospital

  • A care home

  • A day service

  • An educational establishment

  • A public place

4. Social Media / Communication Statement


Staff and volunteers are not permitted to have any private communication with young people or vulnerable adults who have at any time been involved with F4T, through any form of social media or direct communication (i.e. phone, text, email, letter). Any communication must be agreed by F4T.


Staff and volunteers should be aware of their digital footprint - the information about a person that exists on the internet as a result of their online activity – and take steps to avoid being found by young people and vulnerable adults involved with F4T on social media by selecting strict privacy settings, using a different display name and choosing an appropriate display picture.

5. Contact Details


5.1 Internal Contact Numbers

Designated Safeguarding Lead – Allyson Read (Director) – 07876457412


Deputy Safeguarding officer – Juantelle Matthews - 07739277595


5.2 External Contact Numbers



Somerset Safeguarding Children Partnership - 0300 123 2224, Out of Hours 0300 123 2327 - Follow instructions and email or phone through referral


Bath and North East Somerset

BATHNES Children and Families Duty Assessment Team (Bath & North East Somerset Council) - 01225 396 312/3, Out of Hours 01454 615165

Disabled Children’s Team and services for the hospital for BANES and other local authority children: 01225 825307

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) - 01225 396810, Monday – Friday office hours

(for managing allegations or safeguarding concerns against staff)

Bath & North East Somerset Community Safety and Safeguarding Partnership (BCSSP) - - follow onscreen instructions.

Bath and North East Somerset Council, Virgin Care Adult Safeguarding Team – 0300 247 0201 -



Wiltshire multi agency safeguarding hub (MASH) - 0300 456 0108, Out of Hours 0300 4560100

Follow instructions, click on MASH Inter-agency referral form and email to



5.3 Useful sources of information

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (July 2018, HM Government)

‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (March 2015, HM Government)

‘Keeping Children Safe in education’ (July 2015, HM Government)

‘Information Sharing’ (July 2018, HM Government)

Local Safeguarding Children Board websites for Somerset, BANES and Wiltshire

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