Safeguarding Adults Policy & Procedures

Including the Prevent Duty



Definition of Safeguarding Adults


On the 1st April 2015, a new law, the Care Act 2014, made lots of changes to Adult Social

Care including safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect.

There are no changes to how or who to report abuse or neglect. These remain exactly the same as under the old procedures.

The Care Act statutory safeguarding guidance, chapter 14 is issued by the Department of

Health and Activfirst’s new procedures are based around the national guidance.

Adult safeguarding needs to be empowering. It is vital that people have as much control and choice as possible, that their preferred outcomes are addressed and that the pace, meetings and protection plans are guided by their needs and circumstances.

The Care Act now places a statutory duty on all local authorities to safeguard any adult who has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

An adult with care and support needs may be:

  • An older person
  • A person with a physical or learning disability or a sensory impairment
  • Someone with mental health needs, including dementia or a personality disorder
  • A person with a long-term health condition
  • Someone who misuses substances or alcohol to the extent that it affects their ability to manage day-to-day living
  • A carer, providing unpaid care to a family member or friend

Previously an alert and now called a Section 42 Enquiry, if the local authority becomes aware of a situation that meets the above criteria, then it must make an enquiry. An enquiry should establish whether any action needs to be taken to prevent or stop abuse or neglect, and if so, by whom.

There are now six key national principles which should underpin all adult safeguarding work

  • Empowerment: People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent
  • Prevention: It is better to take action before harm occurs
  • Proportionality: The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
  • Protection: Support and representation for those in greatest need
  • Partnership: local solutions through services with their communities
  • Accountability: and transparency in delivering safeguarding

 Preventing and Minimising Abuse

Activfirst is committed to safer recruitment policies and safeguarding practices for paid staff and volunteers. Where appropriate this includes DBS and enhanced DBS disclosures for staff and volunteers, ensuring references are taken up and adequate training on Adult Safeguarding is provided for staff and volunteers.

Activfirst will work within the current legal framework for reporting staff that are abusers.

All staff and volunteers will be provided with training and information to enable them to develop the awareness; skills and abilities appropriate to their role within the Company and responsibilities regarding Safeguarding.

All staff and volunteers will be provided with information regarding the Company’s safeguarding policies and procedures during their induction period.

Staff will be provided with opportunity to discuss Safeguarding issues during their one to one meetings.

Prevent Duty

From July 1st, 2015 and as part of the Safeguarding and Prevent Duty, all staff have a duty to demonstrate and help develop values which underpin an awareness of social and moral responsibility in modern Britain.

The Prevent Strategy published by the Government in 2011, as part of the overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, places a duty on certain bodies to give “due regard to reduce the threat to the UK by preventing people from being drawn into terrorism”.


What is Extremism?


Extremism is defined as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”

British values: therefore, are defined as “democracy” and refer to everyone being expected to encourage respect to other people, taking particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.

Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly.

Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts.

People who behave abusively come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They may be doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, advocates, staff members, volunteers or others in a position of trust. They may also be relatives, friends, neighbours or people who use the same services as the person experiencing abuse.


Types / Indicators of Abuse


There are eight forms of abuse that should be used to describe the experience of adults at risk. These are listed below alongside possible indicators for each type of abuse.

Indicators are the suspicious signs and symptoms which draw attention to the fact that something is wrong. The presence of one or more indicators does not confirm abuse. However, a cluster of several indicators may indicate possible abuse and a need for further assessment. The lists of indicators are not exhaustive.

Any or all of these types of abuse may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance.

Physical abuse – including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions.

Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Any injury not fully explained by the history given
  • Injuries inconsistent with the lifestyle of the adult at risk
  • Bruises and/or welts on face, lips, mouth, torso, arms, back, buttocks, thighs
  • Clusters of injuries forming regular patterns or reflecting the shape of an article
  • Burns, especially on soles, palms or back; from immersion in hot water, friction burns, rope or electric appliance burns
  • Multiple fractures, lacerations or abrasions to mouth, lips, gums, eyes, external genitalia
  • Marks on body, including slap marks, finger marks
  • Injuries at different stages of healing
  • Misuse of medication
  • Forced marriage
  • Unauthorised deprivation of liberty

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 to which the adult at risk has not consented or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.

Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Significant change in sexual behaviour or attitude
  • Pregnancy in a woman who is unable to consent to sexual intercourse
  • Poor concentration
  • The adult at risk appears withdrawn, depressed, stressed
  • Unusual difficulty or sensitivity in walking or sitting
  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
  • Bruises, bleeding, pain or itching in genital area
  • Bruising to thighs or upper arms
  • Self-harming behaviour
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract or vaginal infection, ‘love bites’

Peer on Peer Abuse

Employees should be aware that learners are capable of abusing their peers. This is generally referred to as peer-on-peer abuse and can include, though not limited to, bullying, cyberbullying; sexual violence and sexual harassment; physical abuse; sexting; initiating/hazing type violence and rituals. Whilst employees need to be aware of the gendered nature of peer-on-peer abuse, all peer-on-peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.

Activfirst will not tolerate peer-n-peer abuse. Abuse is abuse and will not be passed off as banter. Every report of peer-on-peer abuse will be taken seriously and considered on a case-by-case basis, supported by other agencies, such as children’s social care and the police as appropriate. Employees must report such allegations.

Activfirst will make an immediate risk and needs assessment following the report of peer-on-peer abuse, including consideration of how to support and protect the victim and alleged perpetrator.

The risk and needs assessment will consider the victim, especially their protection and support; the alleged perpetrator; and all other learners and employees and any actions appropriate and proportionate to keep them all safe.

The response will be proportionate to the case and support for the victim and alleged perpetrator tailored on a case-by-case basis.

A proactive approach is adopted to preventing peer on peer abuse and includes;

  • Mandatory staff training
  • Learner awareness through personal development
  • Zero tolerance to peer-on-peer abuse articulated through policy statement, personal development, and training.

Learner on Learner Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

Sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Every report of sexual violence or sexual harassment will be taken seriously and considered on a case-by-case basis, supported by other agencies, such as children’s social care and the police as required. Employees must report such allegations.

An immediate risk and needs assessment following the report of sexual violence will be made. The risk assessment will consider the risk posed to all learners and employees and adequate measures will be put in place to protect them and keep them safe. Activfirst will consider the need for a risk assessment on a case-by-case basis for reports of sexual harassment.

The risk and needs assessment will consider the victim, especially their protection and support; the alleged perpetrator; and all other learners and employees and any actions appropriate and proportionate to keep them all safe.

A proactive approach is adopted to preventing learner on learner sexual violence and sexual harassment and includes

  • Mandatory staff training
  • Learner/apprentice awareness through personal development sessions
  • Zero tolerance to peer-on-peer abuse articulated through policy statement, personal development sessions and training.

Dealing with Concerns

Concerns should be reported to the Activfirst Designated Persons for Safeguarding

immediately and should also be recorded. Employees should provide as much detail as possible about the concern, clarifying the basic facts. If an alleged crime has been committed, it is necessary to gather the basic facts about the alleged perpetrator (including name, age, address, access to children and adults), but not take any action that might alert the alleged perpetrator.

A safeguarding cause for concern is an action, observation, disclosure or discussion that makes employees feel anxious about the safety or wellbeing of a learner.

If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a learner or the employees believe that a learner is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, contact must be made with the Activfirst Designated Persons for Safeguarding or a member of the Senior Management team.

Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Change in appetite
  • Low self-esteem, deference, passivity, and resignation
  • Unexplained fear, defensiveness, ambivalence
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Self-harming behaviour
  • Forced marriage
  • Unauthorised deprivation of liberty

Financial abuse – including theft, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits. This abuse can occur in isolation, but where there are other forms of abuse there is likely to be financial abuse occurring too.

Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Sudden unexplained inability to pay bills or maintain lifestyle
  • Unusual or inappropriate bank account activity
  • Lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney obtained when the adult at risk lacks the mental capacity to give consent
  • Carer withholding money
  • Recent change of deeds or title of property
  • Unusual interest shown by family or others in the adult at risk’s assets
  • Evasiveness from the person managing financial affairs

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.

Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Physical condition of the adult at risk, for example, bedsores, unwashed, ulcers
  • Clothing in poor condition, for example, unclean, wet, ragged
  • Inadequate physical environment
  • Inadequate diet
  • Untreated injuries or medical problems
  • Inconsistent or reluctant contact with health or social care agencies
  • Failure to engage in social interaction
  • Malnutrition when not living alone
  • Inadequate heating
  • Failure to give prescribed medication
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Failure to respond to an identified risk of harm

Discriminatory Abuse – including abuse based on a person’s race, sex, disability, faith, sexual orientation, or age; other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment or hate crime/hate incident.

Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Lack of respect shown to an individual
  • Signs of a sub-standard service offered to an individual
  • Repeated exclusion from rights afforded to citizens such as health, education, employment, criminal justice and civic status
  • Failure to follow the agreed care plans for discriminatory reasons, which can result in the person being placed at risk

Organisational Abuse –including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided on one’s 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 the Company.

The indicators for other forms of abuse will be relevant. However, the service provision context of Organisational abuse leads to additional signs and symptoms such as:

  • Inappropriate or poor care
  • Misuse or inappropriate use of medication
  • Neglect of service user(s)
  • Misuse of restraint or inappropriate restraint methods
  • Sensory deprivation e.g. denial of use of spectacles, hearing aid etc.
  • Lack of respect shown to personal dignity
  • Restricted access to toilet or bathing facilities
  • Restricted access to appropriate medical or social care
  • Lack of flexibility and choice, for example, mealtimes and bedtimes
  • Lack of personal clothing or possessions
  • Denial of visitors or phone calls
  • Lack of privacy
  • Lack of adequate procedures e.g. for medication, financial management
  • Controlling relationships between staff and service users
  • Poor professional practice
  • High number of complaints, accidents or incidents
  • An unauthorised Deprivation of Liberty
  • Non-adherence to the Mental Capacity Act


Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour, from neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings.

Possible signs include:

  • Little or no personal care: poor grooming, dirty or ragged clothes, unclean skin and fingernails
  • Refusing medication or refusing to stay on medication schedule, unwilling to accept medical care
  • Disoriented or incoherent: unable to focus, carry on normal conversation or answer basic questions about date, place, and time
  • Unsafe living conditions: Lack of food or basic utilities in the home, unclean living quarters, rodents or other vermin
  • Hoarding animals or trash, inability to get rid of unneeded items
  • Inability to manage finances and property: not paying bills, repeatedly borrows money, gives money or property away
  • Isolation: Little contact with family or friends, no social support

The Act also acknowledges and makes links with other types of abuse …

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Domestic violence
  • Modern Slavery
  • Honour based violence
  • Forced marriage

Increased Attention to Internet Abuse and Abuse Through the Wide Range of Social Media Platforms – E.g. Facebook, Instagram, Viber.

Activfirst acknowledges the raised concerns surrounding the use of internet technologies, as social media platforms have been identified as one of the most likely arenas for abuse.

  • Cyber bullying is a term used when someone is bullied through the use of interactive and digital technology such as mobile phones or computers. Different methods involved in the abuse include: text messaging, picture/videoing, phone call, email, chat room, instant messaging and through websites and blogs.  This modern form of abuse can make the victim feel like there is no escape because it is not always confined to the classroom. When dealing with adults, children and young people always ensure safe learning practices are adhered to, making sure they follow clear internet safety procedures at all times.

Patterns of Abuse

Patterns of abuse vary and reflect very different dynamics. These include:

  • Serial abuse in which the perpetrator seeks out and ‘grooms’ vulnerable individuals (sexual abuse usually falls into this pattern as do some forms of financial abuse)
  • Long term abuse – may occur in the context of an on-going family relationship such as domestic violence between spouses or generations
  • Opportunistic abuse – such as theft occurring because money has been left around;
  • Situational abuse – arises because pressures have built up and/or because of difficult or challenging behaviour
  • Neglect of a person’s needs because those around him or her are not able to be responsible for their care, for example if the carer has difficulties attributable to such issues as debt, alcohol or mental health problems
  • Institutional abuse which features poor care standards, lack of positive responses to complex needs, rigid routines, inadequate staffing and an insufficient knowledge base within the service
  • Unacceptable ‘treatments’ or programmes which include sanctions or punishment such as withholding of food and drink, seclusion, unnecessary and unauthorised use of control and restraint or over-medication
  • Failure of agencies to ensure staff receive appropriate guidance on anti-racist and anti-discriminatory practice
  • Failure to access key services such as health care, dentistry, prostheses
  • Misappropriation of benefits and/or use of the person’s money by other members of the household
  • Fraud or intimidation in connection with a will or property or other assets

Abuse can take place in any context. It may occur when an adult at risk lives alone or with a relative; it may also occur within nursing, residential or day care settings, within hospitals or other places previously assumed safe, or in public places.

Activfirst’s Designated Person for Safeguarding Adults


Activfirst has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any Safeguarding concerns. In their absence, a second designated person will be available for staff and where required delivery partners to consult with.

The designated person for Safeguarding Adults within Activfirst is:


Angela Mulligan (designated person)

Tel no. 01262 602598

Mobile no: 07487 876457


Karen Clarkson(2nd designated person)

Tel no: 01262 602598

Mobile no: 07496 018377

The roles and responsibilities of the designated person(s) are:

  • To ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have concerns that someone may be experiencing or has experienced abuse or neglect.
  • To ensure that concerns are acted on, clearly recorded and referred to Adult Social Care or the Police, or the out of hours’ team, using the contact details in Pages 10 & 11, following the Safeguarding Adults Multi-Agency Policy and Procedure for their area where necessary.
  • To follow up any concerns and ensure the issues raised have been addressed and evidenced in the Safeguarding Log
  • To reinforce the utmost need for confidentiality and to ensure that staff and volunteers are adhering to good practice with regard to confidentiality and security.
  • To ensure that disciplinary procedures are coordinated with any other enquiries taking place as part of the ongoing management of any allegation against Activfirst Staff.


Responding to People Who Have Experienced / Experiencing Abuse


Activfirst recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect. Anyone who has contact with adults and hears disclosures or allegations or has concerns about potential abuse or neglect has a duty to pass them on appropriately.

How to respond if you receive a concern:

  • Reassure the person concerned
  • Listen to what they are saying
  • Record what you have been told/witnessed as soon as possible
  • Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief
  • Tell them that the information will be treated seriously
  • Don’t promise to keep it a secret
  • Don’t start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions
  • Don’t confront the alleged abuser
  • Inform the designated person. Follow Flow chart.

If you witness abuse, or abuse has just taken place follow the Activfirst Safeguarding Process on page 14 to 16.

All situations of abuse or alleged abuse will be discussed with the designated person. The alleged victim will be told that this will happen.

Lack of access to the necessary information should NOT delay the referral.


Managing Allegations Made Against Member of Staff or Volunteer


Activfirst will ensure that any allegations made against a member or members of staff or volunteer will be dealt with swiftly.

Where a member of staff or volunteer is thought to have committed a criminal offence the police will be informed. If a crime has been witnessed the police should be contacted immediately.

Where the allegation involves alleged abuse of a vulnerable adult, a referral should be made using the referral form for each area. An example of a copy for Activfirst is attached at the end of this document

The safety of the individual(s) concerned is paramount and it should be ensured that they are safe and away from the person(s) who are the alleged perpetrators.

The designated person will liaise with the Senior Management Team to discuss the best course of action and to ensure that the Activfirst Disciplinary Procedures are coordinated with any other enquiries taking place as part of the ongoing management of the allegation.

Managing Disclosures of Abuse


If Organisations working with Activfirst are in a position where Adults may disclose abuse has occurred or might happen, it is important that our employees understand basic principles in managing such a disclosure.

Activfirst can assist by offering:

  • Advice in line with the LSAB’s guidance on how practitioners and volunteers should respond (listening with an open mind, not asking probing questions, never stopping an adult recalling significant events, making a record, never promising secrets and advising the organisation to report the matter to their Adult Social Care Team.)

  • Raising awareness of Local Authority contacts, Emergency Duty Team, Police Family Protection Team and Local Authority Designated Officer contact details

  • Advice to seek consent for referral – discuss the concerns with the adult. This only being done where such discussion and agreement seeking will not place the adult at an increased risk of significant harm


Recruitment and Selection of Staff and Volunteers


Activfirst will take appropriate safeguarding measures when screening potential staff and volunteers to work with adults. These will include:

  • Staff working with adults will undertake Safeguarding Training

  • All staff to read and understand the Safeguarding Adults Policy and for this to be reviewed to ensure up-to-date knowledge is acquired.
  • Application forms for employment and for volunteer work to include details of previous employment, any convictions for criminal offences (including spent convictions), agreement for enhanced DBS checks, permission to contact two referees, including their current or most recent employer (which should be taken up.)
  • The potential staff member/volunteer will be interviewed for their suitability for any vacant post
  • Staff and volunteers will have a period of induction where they will complete any induction training (Activfirst’s current model of meeting with the team, understanding roles and responsibilities and awareness of the current policies will be key in fulfilling this requirement)




Staff and Volunteer Self-Protection


Adherence to guidelines on self-protection for staff and volunteers working with adults can avoid vulnerable situations where false allegations can be made.

  • In the event of an injury to an adult, accidental or not ensure that medical attention is sought and that the event is recorded and witnessed by another adult in the Company’s accident book
  • Written records are kept of any allegations an adult makes against staff and volunteers and these are reported in line with the Safeguarding Adults Policy
  • If an adult touches a staff member or volunteer inappropriately, record what happened immediately and inform the designated person


Recording and Managing Confidential Information

Activfirst is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information around Safeguarding Adults issues should be shared only with those who need to know.

All allegations/disclosures/concerns should be recorded in writing. The information should be factual and not based on opinions, record what the person tells you, what you have seen and witnesses if appropriate.

The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with data protection.

Disseminating/Reviewing Policy and Procedures

Activfirst will ensure that the Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures are reviewed annually by the SMT. The designated person for Safeguarding Adults will be involved in this process and can recommend any changes.

It may be appropriate to involve learners in the review and parents/careers need to be informed of any significant changes.

The designated person will also ensure that any changes are clearly communicated to staff and volunteers.


Local Authority Contacts



Make a referral to Hull City Council Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: 01482 616092
  • Out of hours: Tel 01482 247111
  • Opening times Monday – Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm and Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30pm


Make a referral to East Riding Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: (01482) 861103
  • between 8.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am – 4.30pm on Friday or:
  • Out of hours’ enquiries, contact the emergency duty team
    Tel: (01377) 241273.


Make a referral to Doncaster Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Adult Contact Team – 01302 737391
  • Between 08:30 & 17:00 Monday – Friday:
  • Between 16:30 & 08:30 and 24 hours at weekends and on Bank Holidays:
  • Emergency Social Services Team – 01302 796000.


Make a referral to North Lincolnshire Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: 01724 297979 who will signpost you to the appropriate Safeguarding Manager
  • Out of hours: 01724 298160.


Make a referral to North East Lincolnshire Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Telephone: 01472 232244 (office hours) or
  • 01472 256256 (Single Point of Access – 24 hours)


Make a referral to North Yorkshire Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: 0845 0349410
  • Out of hours: 0845 0349417



Make a referral to York Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: 01904 555111
  • Out of hours: 0845 034917



Make a referral to Barnsley Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: 01226 775656 (24 HOURS)


Make a referral to Rotherham Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: 01709 822330
  • Out of hours: 01709 336080


Make a referral to Sheffield Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: 01142 734908 (24 HOURS)


Make a referral to Kirklees Council Adult Social Care by contacting:

  • Tel: 01484 414933 (24 HOURS)