For more information about safeguarding vulnerable adults from abuse, please click here for the link to St Helens Council website.

There is a separate website for safeguarding children, including a wide range of topics related to keeping your child safe. There is a specific section for parents & carers - click here

click here for the link to the St Helens Safeguarding Children Board website.

Everyday vulnerable adults are physically, emotionally, financially or sexually abused, discriminated against or
neglected by others. Every day people witness this but do and say nothing.

When a person reports the abuse of a vulnerable adult, this called a “safeguarding alert”. The number of safeguarding alerts made continues to grow.

It is everyone’s responsibility to report abuse. Recognition of risk of harm or harmful behaviour is critical to the
protection of people. Communities and carers have a very important role in protecting people who may be unable to protect themselves. The majority of safeguarding alerts are made either by social care staff or health staff, however family members make the highest numbers of alerts outside of the social care and health environment. Carers are often well placed to see and say something about their concerns and we encourage alerts from carers if they have any concerns about anybody they care for.

Who is a vulnerable adult?
A vulnerable adult is anyone aged 18 or over who is, or may be in need of, community care services or need other people or family members to support them
People who may be included in a definition of a “vulnerable adult”:
• People with learning disabilities
• People with physical disabilities
• People with sensory impairment
• People with mental health needs, including dementia
• People who are physically or mentally frail.

What is abuse?
Any behaviour towards a person that deliberately or unknowingly causes them harm, endangers their life or violates their rights is abuse. Abuse may be a deliberate act or may be unintentional and someone failing to act appropriately due to lack of knowledge or appropriate training, such as misapplication of drugs or incorrect manual handling techniques being used in order to transfer a person from one place to another.
Abuse may be a single incident or could be part of a systematic pattern.

Who abuses?
Anyone could be an abuser but often they are well known to the vulnerable adult, such as a member of the family, a friend or neighbour or a work colleague.

Abusers can also be people in a position of trust or power such as professional health and social care workers or voluntary helpers.

What must I do if I suspect abuse?
You may be concerned about something the person you care for tells you or you may see or hear something happening to them that makes you feel worried or uncomfortable.
Carers can help us to understand and know what is going on and about the risks faced by the person they support and know well. Carers are often well placed to spot distress and offer support during a safeguarding investigation where this is appropriate.
Safeguarding adults is everybody’s business.

If you have concerns that someone you care for may be suffering from or at risk of abuse you can call 01744 676600 now. The line is available 24 hours, 7 days a week

What will happen next?
Your call will be taken seriously and your concerns will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence. In response to your call, trained staff will carry out a careful and sensitive enquiry. A member of staff will visit to listen to your concerns and will ask you some necessary questions to ensure that they fully understand the person’s circumstances. The person dealing with the report will work with the person who is being abused to help them to make any decisions. They will provide help and support in taking action to end the abuse and enable them to ensure that it does not happen again. What happens then will depend on the wishes of the person and the seriousness of their situation.



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