Baxendale’s Safeguarding Policy



  1. Purpose and Scope
  1. This policy provides guidance for all Baxi Partnership Limited (“Baxendale”) employees and subcontractors who may come across concerns regarding the safeguarding and protection of children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) within the context of their work.
  2. The policy is relevant to Baxendale delivery of consulting services.
  3. Baxendale will refer to and follow the safeguarding policies and processes required by our clients/commissioners during any client delivery work.
  1. Overview
  1. Everyone has a duty to ensure that children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) are safeguarded from harm whatever the role of the individual is within Baxendale.
  2. Project leads are responsible to assess the safeguarding risks on each client contract as part of project kick off stage. Any potential risks will be noted in the project risk register and appropriate mitigation actions will be triggered.
  3. Specific care will be taken on client delivery projects where our consultants may come into direct contact with children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) as service users.
  4. Project leads need to be aware of how consultants interact with children, young people and with adults at risk (of abuse or neglect), providing appropriate training on safe working practices and on creating safe environments.
  5. Consultants should be alert to any indications that a child or adult at risk may need to be safeguarded from harm and know who to contact if they have concerns.
  6. Project leads will be responsible for the conduct of any third-party contractors working on a client delivery project delivered by Baxendale. Third party contractors will be required to read Baxendale Safeguarding policy before engagement on Baxendale client projects.
  7. Project leads will specifically address any potential safeguarding issues with the third party contractors and they will ensure that the contractors are aware of relevant procedures.
  8. Project leads will assess and decide on the appropriateness of contractors’ suitability for project engagement in view of any potential safeguarding issues. Project risk log will be updated accordingly.
  9. Baxendale board recognize the significance of safeguarding and where safeguarding risks are identified the board will ensure these are recorded in the board risk register and followed up.
  10. Baxendale board is responsible to assess any actions that are required to safeguard children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) and include these in company strategic plan. As part of the plan Safeguarding and other related policies will be regularly reviewed and updated. All policies will be made available for all Baxendale employees to read and acknowledge via BreatheHR.
  11. Baxendale will work with the appropriate statutory bodies when an investigation into child abuse or safeguarding adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) investigation is necessary.
  12. For this policy to be effective it is essential that each Baxendale employee understands what safeguarding means, knows that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, knows the signs and symptoms of potential harm, how to access safeguarding procedures, advice, and guidance, and is committed to making an informed contribution to safeguard children, young people, and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect).
  13. Baxendale will ensure that consultants are appropriately trained for the roles they undertake. The training will ensure that the consultants are clear about their safeguarding responsibilities and that they are accountable to Baxendale safeguarding lead.
  1. Safeguarding
  1. Any allegations or concerns that children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) may be suffering harm should be raised with relevant project lead.
  2. If a child or adult is in immediate danger, the police should always be called by dialling 999.
  3. The project lead will raise the concern directly with their counterpart at client end and follow the client safeguarding guidance in accordance with their Safeguarding Policy.
  4. If there are concerns regarding the effectiveness and timeliness of our client in handling the safeguarding concern, the safeguarding team of the local authority in which the client project takes place should be contacted. The project lead will ascertain the correct contact details for local safeguarding team during the project kick off. These contact details will be stored in the project delivery folder and all team members will be made aware of these details.

Appendix 1 outlines Baxendale’s process for raising a Safeguarding concern but where applicable, Baxendale will follow and adopt the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures of the client/commissioner for whom they are contracted with.

  1. Children and young people at risk
  1. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is:
    • protecting children from maltreatment
    • preventing impairment of children’s health or development
    • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
  2. The definition of a child and/or young person for the purpose of this document is anyone under the age of 18 years.
  3. It should be noted that a child that has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital or in custody in the secure estate for children and young people, does not change his or her status or entitlement to services or protection under the Children Act 1989.
  1. Safeguarding adults at risk
  1. Adult safeguarding is working with adults with care and support needs to keep them safe from abuse or neglect.
  2. For individuals aged 16 and over Baxendale will refer to the Mental Capacity Act in decision making and safeguarding processes where applicable.
  3. For individuals aged 18 and over Baxendale will refer to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in decision making and safeguarding processes where applicable.
  4. Adult safeguarding is aimed at people with care and support needs who are experiencing, or may, be at risk of abuse or neglect.
  5. An adult at risk is a person who is or may be in need of care and support by reason of mental or other disability, age, or illness, and who is or may be unable to take care of him, her or themselves, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
  6. An adult at risk may therefore be a person who:
  • is elderly and frail due to ill health, physical disability, or cognitive impairment
  • has a learning disability
  • has a physical disability and / or sensory impairment.
  • has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
  • has a long-term illness/condition.
  • misuses substances or alcohol
  • is a carer, such as a family member/friend, who provides personal assistance and care to adults and is subject to abuse
  • is unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support.
  1. Signs of abuse

The main forms of abuse are divided into the following categories:

  • Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
  • Emotional abuse – including intentional and continual emotional damaging treatment of an individual, which affects their emotional development and well-being
  • Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence.
  • Sexual abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
  • Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
  • Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Modern slavery, serious organised crime – slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. People are bought and sold for sexual exploitation, forced labour, street crime, cannabis cultivation, grooming and pimping, domestic servitude, forced marriage or even the sale of organs and human sacrifice.
  • Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
  • Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
  • Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
  • Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding. It involves no other perpetrator.
  • Sexual Exploitation – this covers exploitative situations where a person receives ‘something’ as a result of them performing or having performed on them, sexual activities.
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) – is a procedure where the female genital organs are injured or altered without any medical reason
  • Radicalisation – the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.

Children may be vulnerable to neglect and abuse or exploitation from within their family and from individuals they come across in their day-to-day lives. These threats can take a variety of different forms, including:

  • sexual, physical and emotional abuse;
  • neglect;
  • domestic abuse, including controlling or coercive behaviour;
  • exploitation by criminal gangs and organised crime groups;
  • trafficking;
  • online abuse;
  • sexual exploitation and
  • the influences of extremism leading to radicalisation.

Children, young people and adults at risk can be influenced by those who would seek to radicalise them. Baxendale will refer to “Prevent guidance” should any of our consultants come across the potential cases of radicalisation during our client delivery work. All consultants should recognise the risk of radicalisation as a safeguarding issue and respond to signs of this as they would to other abuse.

Appendix 2 provides further information on how to recognise and identify potential signs of types of abuse for children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) and is not an exhaustive list.

  1. What this means for our work

Baxendale employees will, while carrying out their work duties, endeavour to safeguard children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) by:

  • reporting in a timely way any concerns or suspicions that a child or young person, or an adult is being or is at risk of being abused.
  • following Baxendale and / or client procedures to report any safeguarding concerns to designated safeguarding lead.
  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with colleagues.

Baxendale will:

  • provide effective management for employees through line management and training.
  • ensure senior management commitment and accountability to safeguard and promote the welfare of children/young people and of adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) .
  • ensure that any procedures relating to the conduct of staff are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner.
  • follow safe recruitment practices.
  • respond to allegations against staff.

Baxendale project leads will pay specific attention to projects where Baxendale staff are likely to come into contact with:

  • Adults at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • Children and young people to understand risks to children in accessing social networking sites and to prevent sexual and criminal exploitation of children and young people.
  • Child on child bullying and children missing from care.
  • The need to transport young people or adults at risk.
  • Where applicable; adults with disability to prevent the risk of exploitation

The project leads, supported by the Baxendale Safeguarding lead will:

address risks in relation to the above scenarios in the project risk log at the start of the project. Appropriate mechanisms are in place before starting a project that may include any of the above individual / activities.

Appendix 3 outlines the procedure for responding to harm and abuse and/or allegations when there is no equivalent policy or procedure in place at client/commissioner end when dealing with Safeguarding issues relating to children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect).

  1. Safe Recruitment

Baxendale is committed to safe recruitment practices:

  • pre-employment vetting which involves establishing full employment histories;
  • proof of identity;
  • satisfactory references;
  • health questionnaire;
  • checks of qualifications;
  • asylum and immigration checks;
  • criminal record checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Baxendale has a standalone recruitment policy which includes safer recruitment provisions.


  1. Safeguarding Training


All new members of staff will:

  • receive induction training (when relevant to their role) which should include how to identify and report safeguarding concerns within the appropriate levels of confidentiality.
  • be expected to undertake awareness raising / training on safeguarding children and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) with care and support needs at a level appropriate to their role
  • undertake safeguarding refresher training when required

All managers who participate in recruitment and selection will undertake the appropriate training. For those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) this should also include the safer recruitment element.

  1. Roles and responsibilities

Ami Dhillon, Consultant, is the designated Safeguarding Lead at Baxi Partnership Limited. They are responsible for ensuring that there are effective safeguarding arrangements for children, young people and adults at risk (of abuse or neglect); that policies and procedures are in place and that they are robust, up to date and fit for purpose.

The role of the Safeguarding Lead is to:

  • Take responsibility for dealing with concerns about the safety of children, young people or adults at risk (of abuse or neglect) during client projects or commissioned work and follow Baxendale’s policies and procedures;
  • Maintain a clear, factual, dated record of contact with each child, young person or adult engaged with for reporting and accuracy processes
  • Inform Director or Board Member with overall Safeguarding responsibility of concerns raised and processes followed, ensuring records of concern and action are discussed, signed off and actioned appropriately;
  • Liaise with relevant agencies and the Local Safeguarding Children Board/Social Care where appropriate about concerns
  • Ensure the Safeguarding Policy is available to all individuals engaging with Baxendale upon request
  • Supporting staff and volunteers when an incident has occurred.

Project leads are responsible to ensure that safeguarding processes and checks are applied throughout the duration of the project. They are responsible to communicate the importance of safeguarding to the project team. Project team members are responsible to bring any safeguarding concerns to the attention of the project lead as soon as possible.

  1. Whistleblowing

We aim always to conduct our business with the highest standards of integrity and honesty. We expect all our employees and workers to maintain the same standards in everything they do. We therefore encourage anyone to report any perceived wrongdoing by the business or its employees, workers, contractors or agents that falls short of these business principles as per our separate Whistleblowing Policy.

  1. Quality assurance

This policy will be reviewed annually and immediately if there are any changes in the national legislation in relation to safeguarding.

Safeguarding processes and policies will be included in the internal audit for the purpose of ISO annual review. Any lapses in the quality of safeguarding arrangements will be reported to the directors via the annual management review. Outcomes of the internal audit will be incorporated into the continuous improvement plan and the company strategic plan. 

 Appendix 2

Types of Abuse for Children and Adults at Risk

Children and Young People:

A person or persons may abuse or neglect a child either by inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Child abuse includes the impact of witnessing ill treatment of others, such as being exposed to domestic abuse. Abuse or harm may consist of a single or repeated act and can occur in a family or in residential care or in the community, including artistic and sporting activities and can also occur online. Children may be abused by a person or persons (including adults and other children) known to them or by strangers. It can occur within a relationship of trust and can happen to a child regardless of their age, gender, race, disability or ability, sexual orientation, religion or socio-economic status.

Some children and young people however are at increased risk from harm and abuse, including those with disabilities or special educational needs; young carers; those frequently missing from home; those subject to familial/parental substance misuse, mental health issues or domestic abuse; those misusing substances themselves; those who have been in local authority care or who are privately fostered. Babies under the age of one are also at particular risk.

The following information is adapted from the NSPCC, Ann Craft Trust and the Social Care Institute of Excellence and is relevant to all four nations, even where the specific form of harm or abuse is not specifically referenced in legislation. Where possible signs or indicators are listed it is important to remember that these indicators alone do not mean someone is experiencing harm or abuse.

Main types of abuse

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is the intentional causing of physical harm to a child or young person, this can include:

  • Hitting, with hands or using an object to hit with, slapping, punching pinching.
  • Shaking, throwing, pushing, shoving and kicking.
  • Biting and scratching.
  • Burning and scalding.
  • Fabricating or deliberately inducing illness.

Any of these actions can cause (Signs):

Bruising, broken bones, sickness and physical illness, burns or scalds, bit marks or cuts and scratches, sight issues, internal injuries, head injuries, brain damage, death.

Emotional abuse

Emotional Abuse is the intentional and continual emotional damaging treatment of a child or young person, which affects their emotional development and well-being, this can include:

  • The lack of love, affection and attention.
  • Withdrawing love, affection and attention.
  • Criticising, humiliating, name calling a child or young person.
  • Call them names, shouting using sarcasm
  • Scapegoating and constantly blaming a child or young person.
  • Not allowing them social interaction or family contact.
  • Allowing them to witness upsetting events.
  • Not recognising achievement or pushing too hard to achieve
  • Not allowing them to be individual and develop

Any of these actions can cause (Signs):

Struggles to manage or control emotions, lack confidence and low self-esteem, difficulties in maintaining or creating relationships, lack social skills, extreme outbursts.

The signs may vary depending on the age of the child

 Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is any sexual behaviour and activity with a child or young person under the age of 16, or any non-consensual sexual behaviour with a young person aged 16-18. Sexual abuse can be either ‘contact’, where actual physical contact happens, or ‘non-contact’ where a child your young person is subject to witnessing sexual activity or behaviour. Sexual abuse can happen online or in person.

Contact sexual abuse includes:

  • Sexual touching of any part of a child’s body, whether they’re clothed or not
  • Using a body part or object to rape or penetrate a child
  • Forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, including touching, kissing and oral sex
  • Making a child undress or touch someone else

Non-contact sexual abuse:

  • Exposing or flashing
  • Showing pornography
  • Exposing a child to sexual acts
  • Making them masturbate
  • Forcing a child to make, view or share child abuse images or videos
  • Making, viewing or distributing child abuse images or videos
  • Forcing a child to take part in sexual activities or conversations online or through a smartphone

Any of these actions can cause (Signs):

Avoiding being alone with people or a person, sexualised behaviour, nightmares, changes in mood, seem distant, angry, depression, becoming secretive, hiding what they are doing on smartphones. Physical signs include unexplained pain, itching, bruising, or bleeding in or near genital areas and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections of pregnancy.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a specific type of sexual abuse that involves children or young people being given things (e.g. gifts, drugs, money, status and affection), in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people who are sexually exploited are often ‘groomed’, meaning they are tricked into trusting their abusers and believe themselves to be in consensual relationships with them. Other times abusers use violence, intimidation or financial abuse to control young people.

CSE can happen in person or online and can cause (Signs):

Inappropriate sexual behaviour, fear of certain people or places, secretive behaviour, changes in mood/character, having unexplained money or possessions, and the physical signs of sexual abuse outlined above.


Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s or young person’s physical and or psychological needs which can result in the damage to their health or development, and includes the neglect of unborn children. Neglect can be further categorised, as physical, emotional, medical or educational neglect.

This includes:

  • Failing to provide adequate care
  • Failing to meet basic needs, food, clothing, shelter
  • Not protecting them from harm or danger
  • Not providing adequate supervision
  • Failing to access adequate medical assistance or care
  • Abandonment
  • Not ensuring they receive an education

Any of these actions can cause (Signs):

Poor appearance or hygiene, health and development problems constant hunger or dehydration and/or stealing food, inappropriate or inadequate clothing, signs of malnutrition, untreated illnesses or injuries and frequent nonattendance at school or medical/other appointments.

Financial Abuse *

(*Financial abuse is only specifically referenced as a main form of abuse in Welsh legislation/policy)

Financial abuse in relation to children and young people could include:

  • Children or young people working without pay
  • Education Maintenance Allowance being taken by family without the child or young person’s consent
  • The child or young person’s belongings sold or taken
  • Misuse of allowances/grants for the child or young person’s care


(* Exploitation is only specifically referenced as main form of abuse in Northern Irish legislation/policy)

Exploitation is the intentional ill-treatment, manipulation or abuse of power and control over a child or young person; to take selfish or unfair advantage of a child or young person or situation, for personal gain. It may manifest itself in many forms such as child labour, slavery, servitude, engagement in criminal activity, begging, benefit or other financial fraud or child trafficking. It extends to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of children for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation can be sexual in nature.


Other forms of harm and abuse

 Online/digital abuse

 Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the internet. It can happen across any device that’s connected to the web, like computers, tablets and mobile phones and can happen anywhere online, including: social media; text messages and messaging apps; email; online chats; online gaming; live-streaming sites. Children can be at risk of online abuse from people they know or from strangers. It might be part of other abuse which is taking place offline or might only happen online.

There are different types of online abuse including such as: cyberbullying; emotional abuse; grooming; sexting; sexual abuse; sexual exploitation.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by an intimate partner, ex-partner or family member, experienced by someone aged 16 or over. Domestic abuse can include instances of physical, sexual, emotional/psychological and financial abuse. Being in a household where domestic abuse is taking place can seriously harm children and young people (regardless of if they are known to have witnessed any abusive incidents) and experiencing domestic abuse in this way is therefore a form of child abuse.

So called ‘Honour-Based Violence’ (HBV)

HBV is a collection of practices which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and / or community by breaking their honour code. Most victims of HBV are women or girls, although men and boys may also be at risk.

Triggers for HBV for children and young people can include: Perceived inappropriate clothing or make up; Perceived unsuitable romantic relationships (including inter-faith, inter-ethnicity or gay or lesbian relationships); Kissing or intimacy in a public place; refusing an arranged marriage; Loss of virginity; Pregnancy outside of marriage; Alcohol or drug use.

Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is one where either one or both people do not or cannot consent to the marriage, and pressure or abuse is used. It is illegal in the UK and is recognised as a form of domestic and child abuse and as an abuse of human rights. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage in which both parties consent to the assistance of their parents or a third party in identifying a spouse but are free to choose whether to enter the marriage or not.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family) and/or financial (for example withholding or stealing money). In some cases, people may be taken abroad without knowing that they are to be married. When they arrive in that country, their passport(s)/travel documents may be taken to try to stop them from returning to the UK.

Possible indications of forced marriage risk are: Siblings having been forced to marry, or the early marriage of siblings; Unreasonable restrictions of movement, e.g. being kept at home or being monitored when out of the house; Sudden announcement of engagement to a stranger; Persistent absence from, or request for extended leave from school or work; Fear of not returning, or actual failure to return, from holidays/visits to country of origin/parents’ country of origin.

 Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM is a procedure where the female genital organs are injured or altered without any medical reason. It is typically a traumatic and violent act for the victim. The practice can produce severe pain and may result in immediate and/or long-term health consequences, including mental health problems, difficulties in childbirth, causing danger to the child and mother; and/or death. FGM is prevalent in 30 countries. These are concentrated around the Atlantic coast to the Horn of Africa, in areas of the Middle East, and in some regions of Asia, but FGM can also occur in the UK. The age at which FGM is carried out varies considerably according to the community. The procedure may be carried out shortly after birth, during childhood or adolescence, just before marriage or during a woman’s first pregnancy.

Potential indication of FGM risk include: A female child having a close female relative who has undergone FGM; A female child’s father coming from a community known to practise FGM; a Family indicating that there are strong levels of influence held by elders in bringing up female children;  A family believing FGM is integral to cultural or religious identity; A girl confiding to a professional that she is to have a ‘special procedure’ or to attend a special occasion to ‘become a woman’; Announcement of a long holiday to a girl’s/woman’s country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent; A girl talking about FGM in conversation; A girl from a practising community is withdrawn from Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education or its equivalent.

Potential signs FGM may have occurred include: A girl or woman suddenly having difficulty walking, sitting or standing; A girl or woman has frequent urinary, menstrual or stomach problems;  A girl or woman being reluctant to undergo any medical examinations; A girl or woman asking for help, but not being explicit about the problem; A girl talking about pain or discomfort between her legs.

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is defined as the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation. It is a crime under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and includes holding a person in a position of slavery, servitude forced or compulsory labour, or facilitating their travel with the intention of exploiting them soon after.

Someone is in slavery if they are: Forced to work, through coercion, or mental or physical threat; Owned or controlled by an ’employer’, through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse; Dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’; Physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.

Possible indicators that a child is the object of modern slavery include: Having few or no personal possessions; not being allowed or able to speak for themselves; Poor living conditions, e.g. dirty, overcrowded; being cared for by an adult that is not their parent or legal guardian; A number of unrelated children found at one address; Frequent movement of children from a premises.


Radicalisation is the process through which a person comes to support or be involved in ‘extremist’ ideologies. There is no official definition of an ‘extremist’, but the purposes of this policy the Oxford Dictionary definition shall be used: ‘A person who holds extreme political or religious views, especially one who advocates illegal, violent, or other extreme action’ (Oxford Dictionary). In some circumstances radicalisation can result in a person becoming drawn into terrorism and is in itself a form of harm to children.

Indicators of radicalisation can include: A person isolating themselves from family and friends; Talking as if from a scripted speech; Unwillingness or inability to discuss their views; A sudden disrespectful attitude towards others; Increased levels of anger; Increased secretiveness, especially around internet use.

Adult at Risk:


  •  Someone over the age of 18 who has a need for care and support
  • Someone who is currently experiencing, or is at risk of, neglect or abuse
  • Someone who is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect, or the risk of it.

This may include a person who:

  • Is elderly or frail
  • Has a mental illness, including dementia
  • Has a physical or sensory disability
  • Has a learning disability
  • Has a severe physical illness
  • Has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or whose use of drugs or alcohol is causing them harm
  • Is homeless
  • Is experiencing domestic abuse, which could include coercive control, or is deemed at risk of experiencing it in the near future.
  • Is a victim of modern slavery
  • Is being sexually exploited by gangs, or an individual. Or, is at risk of being exploited due to several known risk factors
  • Is victim of forced marriage, or is liable to be forced into marriage against their will in the near future
  • Is an asylum seeker

Adult Abuse may involve:

  • Physical abuse
  • Domestic violence or abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Female Genital mutilation
  • Radicalisation
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Organisational or institutional abuse
  • Neglect or acts of omission
  • Self-neglect

Appendix 3

 Procedure for responding to harm and abuse

This policy and all nation specific policies and procedures are based on the 4R’s approach to support staff to Recognise, Respond, Refer and Record:

  • Recognise any concerns for a child, young person or adult at risk that you are working with, this may be welfare/wellbeing or child protection.
  • Respond appropriately to any concerns using Baxendale or client/commissioner policy and procedures
  • Refer – this will be the responsibility of the designated Safeguarding Lead following discussion with staff and others. This may include calling local statutory services or the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000
  • Record –ensure accurate and timely record-keeping for use by internal and external agencies as necessary.

Additionally, there are two further R’s to consider:

  • Revisit – once a concern has been raised, have you checked in or followed up to ensure progress, or any further information needed.
  • Reflect – what learnings are there as an individual and as a team from individual and collective incidents? Ensuring there is time to discuss what happened and how things were handled to consider if anything different needed next time.


Staff may become aware of, or suspect, harm or abuse when they:

  • Witness a harmful or abusive act;
  • Are told directly by a child, young person or adult or someone else about harm or abuse
  • Are told something indirect by a child, parent or carer or someone else that leads to suspicion of harm or abuse to the child, young person or adult
  • See suspected evidence of harm or abuse (for example, an unexplained physical injury, lack of appropriate clothing or furniture or drug paraphernalia);
  • Recognise indicators or harm and abuse;
  • Recognise a pattern of concerns over time (for example, a pattern of missed appointments)


Your exact responsibilities if you become aware of, or suspect harm or abuse will depend on your role, however, following must always be adhered to:

  • Ask open, non-leading questions to gain clarity on what has been heard. Remember you are not ‘investigating’ so keep questions to the minimum necessary to ensure a clear and accurate understanding;
  • Show empathy and affirm feelings, ensure the person speaking up feels they are being listened to and supported;
  • Re-assure that they are being courageous in ‘telling’;
  • Treat the allegation/concern seriously and share the information with your Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible;
  • Do not make value judgements about an alleged abuser/s and what has taken place;
  • Explain that information will be passed on to another member of staff and explain that this is important to keep them safe
  • Other than with the relevant professionals, do not share information about the concern of harm and abuse to anyone other than the person who made the disclosure. E.g. if the child made the disclosure do not discuss it with the parent and vice versa;
  • Write down exactly what you have been told. Always try to use the exact language used by the person who made the disclosure.
  • Remember that the individuals welfare is paramount and ‘trumps’ confidentiality and the wishes of parents/carers
  • If the person who makes the disclosure decides to ‘withdraw’ at this point, they should be reassured they can have further discussions about it at any point in the future and they should also be given alternative sources of support. However, they must also be told that what they have disclosed will be passed on;
  • Ask for support.  It is recognised that dealing with concerns about harm and abuse can be stressful or upsetting for everyone, and so receiving appropriate support is essential.

 Referring (making a ‘safeguarding referral’)

As above, any concern about harm or abuse to a child, young person or adult must be shared as soon as possible with the Safeguarding Lead. The nature of the concern will be assessed, and a decision made as to the most appropriate course of action.

It is best practice to make safeguarding referrals with the knowledge, consent and participation of the person who has made the disclosure. However, people may refuse consent or be resistant to the sharing of Safeguarding information for many reasons, including:

  • Fear or mistrust of social services or other agencies;
  • Fear of losing control;
  • Fear of the abuser (if relevant) and of reprisals;
  • Fear of their ability to parent being questioned (if relevant).

Reassuring them that the primary reason for sharing the information is for the protection and wellbeing of the individual may help alleviate these concerns.  However, consent is not needed to make a child safeguarding referral or to appropriately share information about harm or abuse to a child as the welfare of the child is paramount.


A clear record of all safeguarding concerns must be kept including how the issue was disclosed, or why it was suspected.

As in some cases, it is ongoing events and not a specific disclosure or single incident which leads to concern, all record keeping must also be accurate and up to date. In such instances, a ‘chronology’ of concerns may need to be recorded.

A chronology is:

  • A summary of events key to the understanding of need and risk, extracted from comprehensive case records and organised in date order;
  • A summary which reflects both strengths and concerns evidenced over time;
  • A summary which highlights patterns and incidents critical to understanding of need, risk and harm.