Safeguarding adults in need of care and support

We believe safeguarding is everyone’s business. Safeguarding is a specific activity that is undertaken to protect children and adults in need of care and support who are suffering or are at risk of suffering harm.

Adult safeguarding is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while, at the same time, ensuring the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including in regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action.

The aims of adult safeguarding are to:

• stop abuse or neglect wherever possible
• prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs
• safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control over how they want to live
• promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned
• raise public awareness so that communities, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
• provide information and support in accessible ways to help adults understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or wellbeing of an adult
• address what has caused the abuse.

An ‘Adult at risk’ (previously known as ‘Vulnerable Adult’) who requires safeguarding is someone aged over 18 who:

• has needs for care and support (i.e could or do receive a service from the local council to meet their support needs)
• is experiencing, or is 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.

Examples of potential ‘Care and Support’ needs include (but are not limited to):

• people with learning, physical sensory and communication disabilities
• people with mental health needs
• people with drug or alcohol dependencies
• people with certain types of physical illness
• people with dementia
• people who are frail due to age or other factors
• people who are homeless

We operate a confidential service but if it is assessed that an adult at risk is being abused or likely to suffer abuse, then confidentiality can be breached within procedural guidelines. (See Confidentiality Policy) In this event, a volunteer support worker/staff member is expected to discuss the action they propose to take with the service user beforehand.

If it is assessed that an adult with care and support needs is at risk of harm through abuse or neglect and the details of the adult with care and support needs are known, the designated local agency in that area should be contacted following discussion and agreement of any actions with the Designated Adult at risk Protection Officer Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

No referrals will be made to external agencies in respect of suspected abuse of an adult with care and support needs without prior discussion and agreement with the SARSAS Designated Adult at risk Protection Officer, DSL unless it is an emergency situation.


Whistleblowing is the reporting of suspected wrongdoing or dangers in relation to our activities. This includes bribery, fraud or other criminal activity, miscarriages of justice, health and safety risks, damage to the environment and any breach of legal or professional obligations to the people who use our service, employees, or the wider community.

SARSAS aims to encourage and enable our staff and volunteers to raise their concerns and to do so without fear of victimisation or discrimination and will respond to all such concerns in accordance with our Whistleblowing Policy. Where a raised concern specifically relates to the safety of an adult at risk. the terms of this safeguarding policy and procedures will be applied.

Read our full safeguarding adults policy.

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