Safeguarding FAQs

Q: The adult has capacity to make a choice about safeguarding; they are saying they would like me to take no further action – is this OK?

A: If the adult is

  • Making a free and informed decision (no evidence of coercion or duress)

  • Aware of options to reduce risks and agencies that can help if they chose to access them


  • The concern does not involve a worker or volunteer

  • The concern does not involve other adults who may not be able to protect themselves

You can respect their wishes and not raise a concern, however you must record this in detail in your records demonstrating the evidence to the questions above

If you are unsure seek advice from the SAO – 0114 2736870

Q: Is my role finished after I raise a concern?

A: It is likely that we will want to contact you to

  • Gather additional information about what was said/seen/disclosed

We may need to discuss

  • your relationship with the person, if you are a trusted person we may want you to be involved in a more detailed face to face discussion with the adult to explore the risks, their views on these and whether or not they want any help to reduce the risks to them (these are called “outcomes”)

  • use of your expertise – tissue viability assessments, impact of medication errors, capacity assessments, legal knowledge, commissioning or performance management information etc

  • your role in the on-going enquiry which will follow a planning meeting that you will be invited to ( this might include your role in a disciplinary( as an employer), completing a quality assurance visit (as a commissioner) etc

  • your attendance of an outcome meeting OR an overarching conference at the conclusion of the enquiry

Q: The adult is alleging they have been sexually or physically assaulted what should I do?

A: Establish if they want to contact the police? If the alleged offence happened very recently call 999, if not call 101

  • Preserve any forensic evidence – discourage bathing/changing clothing etc, take photos with their permission. Record accurately information about injuries, emotional state, physical state, what the adult is saying, time/date/whereabouts and what they are saying they want

  • Explore if they want/can be provided with alternative accommodation or if anything can be done to improve the security on their property

  • Explore if they want you to contact anyone

  • Establish if they need to be medically assessed by either a GP or by A&E

  • If they are a carer for children or another adult do alternative arrangements need to be made, if the adult is unable to do this contact the Local Authority to establish if the adult is open to a social care or other team

  • Record fully all of the information relating to the questions above as soon as possible.

Q: I have been asked to do a face to face conversation – what is this and why have I been asked?

A: You will have been asked to talk to the adult because

  • You are the worker/volunteer/organisation who knows the adult best , our experience is that adults prefer to talk to someone they know well and trust

The conversation will include

  • addressing the concerns raised either by themselves, their family or a worker about their safety and wellbeing

  • asking them to tell you how they or they with help from workers/organisations will be able to make them safer and reduce future risks

  • exploring if any children or other adults are at risk and what can be done to reduce the risks to them

  • agreeing what realistically can be done – e.g. if they are saying they want the police to lock them up for 10 years, you may need to explain that whilst they can be supported to make a complaint to the police this may not result in a criminal outcome etc

  • Recording the conversation and sharing this with the named social worker within the Local Authority.


You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response.

When should I use 101?

Use 101 to report crimes and concerns such as:

  • Your car has been stolen
  • Your property has been damaged
  • You suspect drug use or dealing in your neighbourhood

Or to:

  • Give the police information about crime in your area
  • Speak to the police about a general enquiry

You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.