What is safeguarding? 
Safeguarding means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect and applies to children, young people and adults at risk (aged 18 and over with care and support needs). 

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and it is important to know the signs of a potential safeguarding concern and who to report this to. Your report could make all the difference to improving the safety of a member of our community. 

What should I look out for? 
It is difficult to know if what you are seeing is a safeguarding concern, but it is always better to raise your concern for a safeguarding professional to assess. You may see something in others that makes you concerned for their safety. Some examples of things to watch out for are: 

Physical abuse

  • No explanation for injuries or inconsistency with the account of what happened.Frequent injuries or unexplained falls. 
  • Change of behaviour in the presence of a particular person.
  • Signs of malnutrition.

Domestic abuse

  • Physical evidence of violence for example bruising, cuts, clumps of hair missing.
  • Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others.
  • Damage to the home.
  • Isolation and limited access to money. 

Sexual abuse

  • Bruising around thighs, buttocks, upper arms and marks on the neck.
  • Unusual difficulty in walking / sitting.
  • Uncharacteristic use of explicit sexual language or changes in sexual behaviour / attitude.
  • Fear of help with personal care. 

Emotional abuse

  • Withdrawal or change in the psychological state of someone. 
  • Change of appetite, and weight loss or gain.

Financial / material abuse

  • Unexplained lack of money.
  • Missing personal possessions.
  • If someone is shopping for the person, a failure to provide receipts. 

Neglect / self-neglect

  • Dirty or unhygienic home.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Inadequate clothing.
  • Unwillingness to take medication. 

Modern Day Slavery

  • Acting as if they are being coerced or controlled by another person.
  • Limited in where they can go (victims are not often ‘locked up’ but their ability to move around can be restricted) or being held in isolation.
  • Abusive working and / or living conditions, including having to work excessive amounts of overtime.
  • Being distrustful of the authorities

How to report any concerns 
If you think someone is in immediate danger, please phone the emergency services on 999.

If you are concerned about someone but there is no immediate danger you can contact your local authority safeguarding team. For Maidenhead the contact details are: 

  • 01628 683744 during normal office working hours
  • Emergency Duty Team on 01344 351999 for outside of office hours  

If your concern is for a resident of Housing Solutions, you can contact us to raise your concern to safeguarding@housingsolutions.co.uk or by contacting our call centre on 01628 543101