Safeguarding Alert – advice for adults
If a you or someone else reports abuse, this is called making a Safeguarding Alert.
A Safeguarding Coordinator will then work with you and other people to understand risks to your safety and to keep you safe.
The Safeguarding Coordinator will be a person from Adult Social Care or an NHS organisation. They will be a senior person such as a Team Manager or Senior Practitioner.
Making plans to help you
The Safeguarding Coordinator will decide how best to help you. The first step will be to make a plan to help. This will include two main things:
- A plan to keep you safe
- A plan to investigate the concerns.
To make these plans, the Safeguarding Coordinator may need to arrange a meeting or they may decide to contact people individually instead. Your views will be included within any plans made.
A plan to keep you safe
The Safeguarding Coordinator will work with you and other people to put together a plan that keeps you safe. This is called a Protection Plan.
If the plan involves changes to the support or care you receive, then this plan will be agreed with you. You can say what help or support you need.
Sometimes a plan is needed to keep other people safe as well. In these situations the plan may not need your agreement.
The Protection Plan will need to be kept under review to make sure it is working.
If you have the mental capacity to make decisions about your safety, you can decide whether to accept the help or not. If you have been assessed as not having mental capacity to make a particular decision, it will be made in your best interests in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
A plan to investigate the concerns
The Safeguarding Coordinator will need to arrange for an Investigation into the allegations or concerns.
An Investigation is needed to find out the facts about what has happened. This will help others understand how to keep you safe in the future.
A Safeguarding Investigating Officer may need to talk to you about what has happened. If they need to meet with you, then you can have someone sit in with you for support. The Safeguarding Investigating Officer may be a Social Worker, Nurse or a Manager in a service that you go to. The Safeguarding Investigating Officer will also need to talk to other people involved and look at records as part of the Investigation.
Reviewing the Investigation
When the Investigation is completed it will be necessary to review the findings and consider if there are any changes needed to your Protection Plan.
Sometimes the Safeguarding Coordinator will be responsible for these decisions, taking your views and wishes into account. On other occasions there will be a Case Conference Meeting. Any plan about your support or care will need to be agreed with you.
A Case Conference Meeting is held where it is helpful for all concerned to meet and discuss the findings of the Investigation and how to support you to be safe. People who are either involved in the Investigation or involved in supporting you to be safe will be invited. You will also be invited and you can ask someone to come and support you. There will be an Independent Case Conference Chair for the meeting who can help check that you have been given all the support you need.
The Chair may need to agree some review dates, so that we can check with you how the Protection Plan is working and how you feel about it. If you have questions at any time, the Safeguarding Investigating Officer or Safeguarding Coordinator will be happy to answer your questions.
Stages of the Safeguarding Procedures
The safeguarding procedures are made up of a number of stages. This brief summary explains what each stage involves.
They will also consider if any actions are needed urgently to help keep you safe from harm.
The term ‘raising a concern’ is used to describe the responsibility of workers and volunteers in organisations that provide care and support to tell their manager when they first suspect that someone is being abused or at risk of abuse. The manager will need to decide whether to make a Safeguarding Alert and because of this they are called the Alerting Manager in the procedures.
A Safeguarding Alert can however be made by any person. It might be made by the person who is at risk, a friend or family member, a member of the public, a paid carer, a volunteer or anyone else. Making a Safeguarding Alert just means reporting the concerns to be addressed within the safeguarding procedures.
A Safeguarding Alert is made by contacting Adult Social Care – see concerned?
A Safeguarding Alert will be reviewed by a Safeguarding Coordinator. A Safeguarding Coordinator is a person within the NHS or Adult Social Care with overall responsibility for the safeguarding procedures. The Safeguarding Coordinator will be a senior person, often they will be a Team Manager or Senior Practitioner.
The Safeguarding Coordinator will need to decide whether the best way of helping you is by using the safeguarding procedures, if so they will refer the concerns into the safeguarding adult procedures. However, alternatively they may advise you of a more appropriate way to provide you with support.
If the Safeguarding Coordinator decides that the best way to help you is by using the safeguarding procedures, the Safeguarding Coordinator will hold a meeting (called a Strategy Meeting) or contact people individually to get their views (called a Strategy Discussion).
The Safeguarding Coordinator will need to consider whether you are still at risk and whether there are any actions that are needed to keep you safe.
The Safeguarding Coordinator will also need to decide the most appropriate way of investigating the concerns/allegations. It is important to find out exactly has happened, so that we understand how best to keep you safe in the future.
A Safeguarding Investigating Officer will be appointed to carry out the investigation as agreed within the Strategy Meeting/Discussion.
If there is a need to review how the Investigation is being undertaken, there may be a need for a Strategy Review Meeting. This can be useful in order to make changes to the plan.
Case Conference Stage:
When the Investigation is completed it will be necessary to consider the findings. It will be necessary to decide whether there is evidence that abuse has occurred, to the assess risk to you (and others) and to review your Protection Plan. Any plan about your support or welfare will need to be agreed with you.
Sometimes the Safeguarding Coordinator will be responsible for these decisions, taking your views and wishes into account. On other occasions there will be a Case Conference Meeting. Any plan about your support or care will need to be agreed with you
A Case Conference Meeting is held where it is necessary for all concerned to meet and discuss the findings of the investigation and how to support you to be safe. People who are either involved in the Investigation or involved in supporting you to be safe will be invited. You will also be invited and you can ask someone to come and support you. There will be an Independent Case Conference Chair for the meeting who can help check that you have been given all the support you need.
We may need to agree some review dates, so that we can check with you how the Protection Plan is working and how you feel about it.