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We are strongly committed to ensuring that adults at risk are protected from abuse and that any concerns are thoroughly and fairly investigated.

Safeguarding is everybody’s business, it is essential that everyone is alert to the possibility of abuse and reports it immediately if they suspect it may be happening.

What can you do if you suspect abuse is happening?

If you suspect abuse is happening to you or someone you know, it is essential that you do something about it. Tell someone you trust, or someone who provides you/the person concerned with help or care, such as a trusted relative, friend or neighbour, doctor, community nurse, hospital nurse, or other health professional, home care assistant, member of staff.

What do we mean by Safeguarding adults?

‘Safeguarding adults’ is the term often used when talking about the abuse of adults who are vulnerable or ‘at risk’.

Under section 42 of the Care Act 2014, safeguarding enquiries must be made if an adult appears to:

  • Have needs for care and support (whether or not these are being met)
  • Be experiencing, or be at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • Be unable to protect him/herself from the risk of / experience of abuse or neglect as a result of those care needs

Types of abuse

There are ten main types of abuse:

  • Physical – this could include hitting, slapping, punching etc
  • Financial – this includes theft, deception and withholding your belongings
  • Emotional / Psychological – this type of abuse might involve bullying, threats or humiliation
  • Neglect – being left without food, heating, medication or personal care etc
  • Sexual – rape and other sexual acts to which the person has not given consent
  • Organisational – covers neglect and poor practice within an institution or specific care setting, or in one’s own home. Can be through neglect or poor professional practice resulting from policies/culture/systems
  • Discriminatory (including hate crime) – being treated unfairly because of age, race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability etc
  • Modern slavery – covers human trafficking/forced labour/domestic servitude, forcing individuals into a life of abuse or inhumane treatment
  • Self neglect – covers a wide range of behaviour such as neglecting to care for one’s own health/hygiene/surroundings/hoarding, etc
  • Domestic violence and abuse – includes psychological/physical/sexual/financial/emotional abuse/’honour’ based violence, forced marriage including female genital mutilation (FGM). Domestic abuse not just about intimate partners – it can involve any family members

What happens if abuse or neglect is reported to us?

Our staff are committed to handling concerns as quickly, effectively and courteously as possible. We work closely with other agencies to investigate all reported concerns and help and support the person involved.

Making Safeguarding personal

We will always try to ensure that the person affected by abuse is fully involved in the whole process of safeguarding.

This means that you will be provided with support and information, consulted throughout the process, encouraged to make your own decisions and to identify what you need to make yourself feel ‘safe’.

You will be asked what you want to happen and how you can be helped to keep yourself safe.

If the person involves lacks mental capacity to make decisions around their own safeguarding, a Best Interests Decision, will be made on their behalf, and this may involve an independent advocate.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) apply to people in care homes and hospitals who lack capacity for a specific decision, and as a result have had some element of their liberty limited.  The DoLS procedure protects a person receiving care by checking and ensuring that the deprivation of liberty is appropriate and in their best interests. Where appropriate the person receiving care will nominate an important person for us to consult about any DoLS application, or they will be provided with an independent advocate.

Useful contacts

North Somerset: Care Connect – 01275 888801

Bristol: Care Direct – 0117 922 2000

South Gloucestershire:  01454 868007

Out of Hours: 01454 615165

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Sirona care & health provides children’s services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.  We work closely with other agencies to provide care and support where it is needed and to ensure that appropriate actions are taken in response to an allegation/incident of a child at risk.

Safeguarding children is everybody’s business and means promoting the welfare of children and protecting them from harm.  Child protection means protecting each and every child from any kind of abuse including emotional, physical, sexual or neglect.  If you have a concern about the safety and wellbeing of a child, you must report it.

What to do if you have a concern

If you are worried or concerned that anyone under 18 (including an unborn baby) is being abused or neglected, please report it (contact numbers for the relevant Children’s Social Care Duty Teams are listed below).

What do we mean by Safeguarding children?

Safeguarding means:

  • Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • Preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child.  Somebody may abuse a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.

Abuse can occur in a family, or in an institution or community setting.  It may be from someone known to the child, or more rarely, by a stranger, for example, via the internet.

  • Physical – such as hitting, slapping, punching or the fabrication of illness
  • Emotional – this type of abuse might involve bullying, threats or humiliation
  • Neglect – being left without food, lack of adequate supervision, not protecting a child from other forms of abuse, or not attending to health needs
  • Sexual – sexual acts including rape, or exposing children to sexual material which could be face to face or virtually via the internet

If you have a concern you will need to call the relevant Children’s Social Care Duty Team

If you have a concern, please call

South Gloucestershire – Access & Response (ART): 01454 866000
Bristol – First Response: 0117 9036444
North Somerset – Referral & Assessment Team (via the Single Point of Access – SPA): 01275 888808
BNSSG Emergency Social Care Out of Hours Duty Team: 01454 615165

If a child is at risk of immediate harm please call 999