What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect.

Everybody has the right to be safe no matter who they are or what their circumstances. We are all responsible for the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We must ensure that we are doing all we can to protect those most vulnerable. 

We take safeguarding seriously and have a policy which helps us to identify and take action where we think a vulnerable person might be at risk.

What am I looking for? 

Recognising abuse and neglect is not easy but you should alert relevant professionals so that they can take action where necessary.

You may have concerns about somebody’s wellbeing and you might not be sure if it is safeguarding. 

Sometimes a child or adult may disclose or allege abuse or you may see something that makes you believe that they could be at risk. This could include: -

  • Neglect and acts of omission including ignoring medical 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.
  • Physical abuse including hitting, pinching, deliberately giving too much medication or physically restraining someone in an inappropriate way.
  • Sexual abuse including any sexual act to which the vulnerable person has not consented and may not understand.
  • Psychological abuse (mental or emotional cruelty). This can happen where someone is isolated, verbally abused or threatened.
  • Exploitation – either opportunistically or premeditated, unfairly manipulating someone for profit or personal gain.
  • Financial abuse including taking another person’s money or possessions; pressure in connection with wills, property or financial transactions
  • Discriminatory abuse including any type of abuse aimed at a vulnerable adult because of e.g. their colour, religion, appearance or sexuality.
  • Organisational abuse - The mistreatment, abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult by a regime or individuals.
  • Domestic violence and abuse - Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
  • Self neglect can also be a safeguarding issue for example hoarding.

How do I raise a safeguarding concern? 

If you believe that someone is in immediate danger call 999. 

If there is no immediate danger then it is best to seek advice. You can contact your relevant local authority consultation line to talk through your concerns. 

Find your local consultation line and procedure below:

Bath and North East Somerset

Report an adult at risk

Report a child at risk

Bristol 

Report an adult at risk

Report a child

First Response: Call 0117 903 6444 – if it is an urgent referral with immediate risk of significant harm.

Otherwise report concerns about a child here

Outside office hours call the Emergency Duty Team on 01454 615165

Cornwall

Report a child at risk

Report a vulnerable adult

North Somerset

Report children and adults at risk

Plymouth

Report an adult at risk

Report a child at risk

Somerset

Consultation line for children's safeguarding

Report an adult at risk

Report a child at risk

Torbay and South Devon

Report an adult at risk

Report a child at risk