Safeguarding vulnerable adults and children
Safeguarding means looking out for and trying to protect others in our community who are vulnerable or may be at risk of harm. If you think that someone is at risk, you must raise an alarm. Everyone can make a difference.
Abuse can be:
- Physical - being slapped, pushed or punched.
- Sexual - being touched inappropriately or forced to have sex.
- Emotional - being shouted at, humiliated or threatened with harm.
- Financial - having money and valuables taken without permission, being prevented from accessing own money or being pressured to give or leave money or things in a will.
- Neglect - not being given support that's needed to stay well; for example, not getting medicine, adequate food and/or drink.
- Discrimination - being treated badly because of age, disability, race or religion.
- Self-neglect - an adult who doesn't look after themselves, their home or health.
- Domestic abuse - which could incorporate all of the above forms of abuse and could include coercive control.
Abuse can happen anywhere.
- at home or at work
- in a care home, day centre, hospital
- in any public place
Anyone can be an abuser.
- a partner, relative, carer
- neighbours and friends
Signs of abuse
- changes in behaviour
- changes in appearance
- changes in lifestyle, routine or circumstances
- injuries which occur regularly
- unusual difficulty with finances
- over-emphasising that everything is OK
- seeking attention
- appearing to be frightened
- changing in eating habits
If you spot any of these signs talk to the person when they are on their own to see if you can help - they may be experiencing other problems (like illness or depression).
Report Abuse - make it stop
Adult abuse and neglect
If you are being abused, or are concerned about a vulnerable adult:
- Safeguarding Adults - 0118 937 3747 / 01344 786 543 out of hours)
If you are concerned about a child or young person:
- Children's Single Point of Access - 0118 937 3641
If you are experiencing domestic abuse:
- BWA Helpline - 0118 950 4003
- National Domestic Violence helpline: 0808 2000 247
In an emergency
If someone is in danger:
- Police 999
Looking after someone can be stressful and lonely and may push you to your limits. If you are worried you might harm the person you care for, please call the Adults Safeguarding Team or MASH on the numbers above.
West Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Board
The Board brings together key agencies (like social care, health, police, probation, fire and rescue, drug and alcohol teams) to protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect and keep them safe.
For information and advice visit www.sabberkshirewest.co.uk
Berkshire West Safeguarding Children's Partnership
Berkshire West Safeguarding Children Partnership (BWSCP), (formerly Reading Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB)), is the final decision-making body, overseeing the multi-agency plan to protect children and safeguard their welfare in Berkshire West.
For information and advice visit https://www.berkshirewestsafeguardingchildrenpartnership.org.uk/scp
Page last reviewed: November 2023