Guide to safeguarding

1. What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse or neglect.

Abuse or neglect can often be prevented if concerns are raised as early as possible.

Abuse can include:

  • physical – use of force, and any action which results in pain or injury
  • psychological – emotional abuse, threats of harm, intimidation or harassment
  • neglect – failure to provide access to appropriate care and support, or withholding care such as ignoring medical, physical or emotional needs
  • financial – unauthorised and improper use of funds such as stealing, defrauding or coercing money or property
  • sexual – direct or indirect involvement in sexual activity without consent
  • organisational – repeated instances of poor care from bad systems or practices
  • discriminatory – hate crime or any form of harassment because of race, gender, sexuality, age, disability, religion
  • modern slavery – human trafficking which can include forced labour, forced marriage, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, drugs trade, benefit fraud and organ harvesting
  • domestic violence – an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by someone who is, or has been, an intimate partner or family member
  • self-neglect – a person who is unable to provide adequate care for themselves which has potentially serious consequences for their health and well-being

2. Our responsibilities

If you report a concern to us, we will:

  • listen to the person at risk to find out what they want to happen
  • support the person to have an advocate (someone to represent them)
    if they need one
  • respond professionally and sensitively and take your concerns
    seriously
  • talk to the police if a crime may have been committed
  • talk to other agencies that need to be involved
  • agree the best way of helping, including other types of support

There’s more detailed information about our responsibilities in the Sussex safeguarding adults policy and procedures.