Safeguarding children and adults at risk of abuse or neglect policy and procedure

Recognition of abuse including neglect and bullying

Important rule

It is important to remember that many children and adults will exhibit some of these signs and indicators at some time, and the presence of one or more should not be taken as proof that abuse is occurring. There may well be other reasons for changes in behaviour such as a death, or the birth of a new baby in the family, relationship problems between parents/carers, etc.

However, you should always report anything that causes you to suspect that abuse may be happening in order for appropriate action to be taken to ensure the welfare and safety of children and adults.

Recognising abuse

Recognising abuse is not easy, and it is not the responsibility of our staff, elected members or volunteers to decide whether or not abuse has taken place or if there is significant risk. The council/authority has a responsibility to act if it believes it may be happening.

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child or adult. Somebody may abuse a child or adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and adults may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger for example via the internet. They may also be abused by an adult or adults, or by another child or children.