'We have a legal responsibility to look after everyone who comes through out doors - and we will!'

In a strange way, the safeguarding of children is easier than the safeguarding of adults, simply because we have a legal duty to act immediately if we have concerns for the welfare of a child. It is important to understand that you do not necessarily need to see a child to have concerns for its welfare, but that any concern must be investigated, recorded and if needs be, acted upon.  

It is very rare in Build on Belief projects that child safeguarding is an issue, but the safeguarding of vulnerable adults is something we all need to keep in the back of our minds. We work with a very vulnerable group of people, who often have physical and mental health difficulties as well as problems with their substance use. Many of them are at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder and have problems with housing and finance, and the combination of all the above means that problems inevitably arise. 

The safeguarding of adults can be a little trickier than that of children. An adult has the right to refuse an offer of help, and the right to live their life in the manner they choose, and therefore we can only act if we believe they, or someone else, is at serious risk of harm.

It is easy to think of safeguarding as protecting individuals against physical or sexual violence, but in truth financial abuse, emotional abuse or simple neglect is far more common.

Our safeguarding training is intended to help staff and volunteers to recognize potential signs of abuse, and think about the interventions they might need to consider. It is intended to teach them how to hold difficult conversations with service users, and how to manage and report their concerns for the welfare of others. 

This workshop takes you through the signs that might indicate a safeguarding issue, the legal responsibilities involved, the best way of supporting a vulnerable person, and the reporting procedures and referral pathways that are used to help someone in trouble.

Don't panic! There are always staff on hand to deal with any issues that might arise, and most safeguarding concerns are dealt with in a quick and simple fashion. Remember, by learning to spot potential signs of abuse you might safe someone's life. You will certainly change it for the better.