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Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility:


The purpose of this policy is to protect people, particularly vulnerable adults, and beneficiaries of assistance, from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with Adewunmipraise Foundation.  This includes harm arising from:

• The conduct of volunteers or personnel associated with Adewunmipraise Foundation 

• The design and implementation of Adewunmipraise Foundation’s programmes and activities

Definition of Abuse:

 Abuse is defined as any action that intentionally harms or injures another person.

The aims of adult safeguarding:

  • stop abuse and neglect where possible

  • prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse and neglect

  • safeguard people in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live

  • concentrate on improving life for the person concerned

  •  raise public awareness so communities play a role alongside professionals

  •  provide accessible information, advice and support about how to stay safe and how to raise a concern

  • address the cause of the abuse and neglect.

Who is adult safeguarding for?

Safeguarding duties seek to protect all adults who:

  • have needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority meets any of those needs), and are experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect, and as a result of those care and support, needs are unable to protect themselves from the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.

Types of Abuse:

Physical abuse

Types of physical abuse

  • Assault, hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, hair-pulling, biting, pushing

  • Rough handling

  • Scalding and burning 

  • Physical punishments

  • Inappropriate or unlawful use of restraint

  • Making someone purposefully uncomfortable (e.g. opening a window and removing blankets)

  • Involuntary isolation or confinement

  • Misuse of medication (e.g. over-sedation) 

  • Forcible feeding

  • Unauthorised restraint, restricting movement (e.g. tying someone to a chair) 

Possible indicators of physical abuse

  • No explanation for injuries or inconsistency with the account of what happened 

  • Injuries are inconsistent with the person’s lifestyle 

  • Bruising, cuts, welts, burns and/or marks on the body or loss of hair in clumps

  • Frequent injuries

  • Unexplained falls

  • Subdued or changed behaviour in the presence of a particular person

  • Signs of malnutrition 

  • Failure to seek medical treatment or frequent changes in GP

Domestic violence or abuse

Types of domestic violence or abuse

Domestic violence or abuse can be characterised by any of the indicators of abuse outlined in this briefing relating to: 

  • psychological 

  • physical 

  • sexual 

  • financial 

  • emotional. 

Domestic violence and abuse include any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. It also includes so called 'honour’ -based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Coercive or controlling behaviour is a core part of domestic violence. Coercive behaviour can include:

  • acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation

  • harming, punishing, or frightening the person

  • isolating the person from sources of support 

  • the exploitation of resources or money

  • preventing the person from escaping abuse

  • regulating everyday behaviour. 

Possible indicators of domestic violence or abuse

  • Low self-esteem

  • Feeling that the abuse is their fault when it is not

  • Physical evidence of violence such as bruising, cuts, broken bones

  • Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others

  • Fear of outside intervention

  • Damage to home or property

  • Isolation – not seeing friends and family

  • Limited access to money

Sexual abuse

Types of sexual abuse

  • Rape - attempted rape or sexual assault

  • Inappropriate touch anywhere

  • Non- consensual masturbation of either or both persons

  • Non- consensual sexual penetration or attempted penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth

  • Any sexual activity that the person cannot consent to

  • Inappropriate looking, sexual teasing or innuendo or sexual harassment

  • Sexual photography or forced use of pornography or witnessing of sexual acts 

  • Indecent exposure

Possible indicators of sexual abuse

  • Bruising, particularly to the thighs, buttocks and upper arms and marks on the neck 

  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothing

  • Bleeding, pain or itching in the genital area

  • Unusual difficulty in walking or sitting

  • Foreign bodies in genital or rectal openings

  • Infections, unexplained genital discharge, or sexually transmitted diseases 

  • Pregnancy in a woman who is unable to consent to sexual intercourse

  • The uncharacteristic use of explicit sexual language or significant changes in sexual behaviour or attitude 

  • Incontinence not related to any medical diagnosis

  • Self-harming

  • Poor concentration, withdrawal, sleep disturbance

  • Excessive fear/apprehension of, or withdrawal from, relationships

  • Fear of receiving help with personal care

  • Reluctance to be alone with a particular person

Psychological or emotional abuse 

Types of psychological or emotional abuse

  • Enforced social isolation – preventing someone accessing services, educational and social opportunities and seeing friends

  • Removing mobility or communication aids or intentionally leaving someone unattended when they need assistance

  • Preventing someone from meeting their religious and cultural needs

  • Preventing the expression of choice and opinion

  • Failure to respect the privacy

  • Preventing stimulation, meaningful occupation or activities

  • Intimidation, coercion, harassment, use of threats, humiliation, bullying, swearing or verbal abuse

  • Addressing a person in a patronising or infantilising way

  • Threats of harm or abandonment

  • Cyberbullying

Possible indicators of psychological or emotional abuse

  • An air of silence when a particular person is present

  • Withdrawal or change in the psychological state of the person

  • Insomnia

  • Low self-esteem

  • Uncooperative and aggressive behaviour 

  • A change of appetite, weight loss/gain

  • Signs of distress: tearfulness, anger

  • Apparent false claims, by someone involved with the person, to attract unnecessary treatment 

Financial or material abuse 

Types of financial or material abuse

  • Theft of money or possessions 

  • Fraud, scamming

  • Coercing a person who is benefiting from the charity for money or items belonging to them.

  • Preventing a person from accessing their own money, benefits or assets

  • Employees taking a loan from a person using the service

  • Undue pressure, duress, threat or undue influence put on the person in connection with loans, wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions

  • Arranging less care than is needed to save money to maximise inheritance 

  • Denying assistance to manage/monitor financial affairs

  • Denying assistance to access benefits

  • Misuse of the personal allowance in a care home 

  • Misuse of benefits or direct payments  in a family home

  • Someone moving into a person’s home and living rent-free without agreement or under duress

  • False representation, using another person's bank account, cards or documents

  • The exploitation of a person’s money or assets, e.g. unauthorised use of a car

  • Misuse of a power of attorney, deputy, appointees or other legal authority

  • Rogue trading – eg. unnecessary or overpriced property repairs and failure to carry out agreed repairs or poor workmanship

Possible indicators of financial or material abuse

  • Missing personal possessions

  • Unexplained lack of money or inability to maintain a lifestyle

  • Unexplained withdrawal of funds from accounts

  • Power of attorney or lasting power of attorney (LPA) being obtained after the person has ceased to have the mental capacity

  • Failure to register an LPA after the person has ceased to have the mental capacity to manage their finances so that it appears that they are continuing to do so

  • The person allocated to manage financial affairs is evasive or uncooperative

  • The family or others show an unusual interest in the assets of the person

  • Signs of financial hardship in cases where the person’s financial affairs are being managed by a court-appointed deputy, attorney or LPA

  • Recent changes in deeds or title to a property

  • Rent arrears and eviction notices

  • A lack of clear financial accounts held by a care home or service

  • Failure to provide receipts for shopping or other financial transactions carried out on behalf of the person

  • The disparity between the person’s living conditions and their financial resources, e.g. insufficient food in the house 

  • Unnecessary property repairs

Modern slavery

Types of modern slavery

  • Human trafficking

  • Forced labour 

  • Domestic servitude

  • Sexual exploitation, such as escort work, prostitution and pornography

  • Debt bondage – being forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to 

Possible indicators of modern slavery

  • Signs of physical or emotional abuse

  • Appearing to be malnourished, unkempt or withdrawn

  • Isolation from the community, seeming under the control or influence of others

  • Living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation and or living and working at the same address

  • Lack of personal effects or identification documents

  • Always wearing the same clothes

  • Avoidance of eye contact, appearing frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers

  • Fear of law enforcers

Organisational or institutional abuse

Types of organisational or institutional abuse

  • Run-down or overcrowded establishment

  • Withholding aid due to stigma, race, gender orientation, age,

  • Authoritarian management or rigid regimes

  • Lack of leadership and supervision

  • Abusive and disrespectful attitudes towards people using the organisation

  • Lack of respect for dignity and privacy 

  • Not providing adequate food and drink as agreed in a project

  • Not offering choice or promoting independence

  • Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs 

  • Failure to respond to abuse appropriately

  • Interference with personal correspondence or communication

  • Failure to respond to complaints

Possible indicators of organisational or institutional abuse

  • Lack of flexibility and choice for people using the service

  • Inadequate staffing levels

  • People being hungry or dehydrated

  • Poor standards of care

  • Lack of personal clothing and possessions and communal use of personal items

  • Lack of adequate procedures 

  • Poor record-keeping and missing documents

  • Absence of visitors

  • Few social, recreational and educational activities

  • Public discussion of personal matters

  • Unnecessary exposure during bathing or using the toilet

  • Absence of individual care plans

  • Lack of management overview and support 

Neglect and acts of omission

Types of neglect and acts of omission

  • Failure to provide or allow access to food, shelter, clothing, heating, stimulation and activity, personal or medical care

  • Providing care in a way that the person dislikes

  • Failure to administer medication as prescribed 

  • Refusal of access to visitors 

  • Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs 

  • Not taking account of educational, social and recreational needs

  • Ignoring or isolating the person

  • Preventing the person from making their own decisions 

  • Preventing access to glasses, hearing aids, dentures, etc.

  • Failure to ensure privacy and dignity 

Possible indicators of neglect and acts of omission

  • Poor environment – dirty or unhygienic

  • Poor physical condition and/or personal hygiene

  • Pressure sores or ulcers

  • Malnutrition or unexplained weight loss 

  • Untreated injuries and medical problems

  • Inconsistent or reluctant contact with medical and social care organisations

  • Accumulation of untaken medication

  • Uncharacteristic failure to engage in social interaction

  • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing 


Types of self-neglect 

  • Lack of self-care to an extent that it threatens personal health and safety

  • Neglecting to care for one’s hygiene, health or surroundings 

  • Inability to avoid self-harm 

  • Failure to seek help or access services to meet health and social care needs 

  • Inability or unwillingness to manage one’s personal affairs

Indicators of self-neglect 

  • Very poor personal hygiene

  • Unkempt appearance

  • Lack of essential food, clothing or shelter 

  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration 

  • Living in squalid or unsanitary conditions

  • Neglecting household maintenance

  • Hoarding 

  • Collecting a large number of animals in inappropriate conditions

  • Non-compliance with health or care services 

  • Inability or unwillingness to take medication or treat illness or injury

Safeguarding vulnerable adults is a part of the wider role of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect specific vulnerable adults who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm. As adults and/or professionals or volunteers, everyone has a responsibility to safeguard vulnerable adults and promote their welfare.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable adults – and in particular, protecting them from significant harm - depends upon effective joint working between agencies and professionals that have different roles and expertise. Some of the most vulnerable adults and those at greatest risk of social exclusion will need coordinated help from health, education, social care, and quite possibly the voluntary sector and other agencies, including justice services.

For those vulnerable adults who are suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm, joint working is essential, to safeguard and promote their welfare and – where necessary – to help bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against them. All volunteers and professionals should:

  • be alert to potential indicators of abuse or neglect;

  • be alert to the risks which individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to vulnerable adults;

  • Share and help to analyse information so that an assessment can be made of the individual's needs and circumstances;

  • contribute to whatever actions are needed to safeguard and promote the individual's welfare;

  • take part in regularly reviewing the outcomes for the individual against specific plans; and

  • work co-operatively with parents and/or other carers unless this is inconsistent with ensuring the individual's safety.

As one of its major activities, the organisation seeks to serve the needs of vulnerable adults, promoting holistic development to pregnant women, mothers and single-parent families. In doing so the charity takes seriously the welfare of all vulnerable adults who come onto its premises or who are involved in its activities. The organisation aims to ensure that they are welcomed into a safe, caring environment with a happy and friendly atmosphere.

The organisation recognises that it is the responsibility of each one of its staff, paid and unpaid, to prevent the neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse of vulnerable adults and to report any abuse discovered or suspected. The organisation recognises its responsibility to implement, maintain and regularly review procedures, which are designed to prevent and to be alert to such abuse.

The organisation is committed to supporting, resourcing and training those who work with vulnerable adults and to providing supervision. The organisation is committed to maintaining good links with the statutory social services authorities.


For reasons of consistency and practicality, the charity's procedures for safeguarding vulnerable adults will be the same as those for safeguarding children and young people except where the law, or the specific circumstances of an individual's need require otherwise.

How to report:

If you suspect any form of abuse this has to be reported immediately. You should report an actual or alleged incident promptly. This means as soon as is reasonably possible after it happens, or immediately after you become aware of it.

If something does go wrong, you should take immediate action to:

  • prevent or minimise any further harm, loss or damage

  • report it in writing and verbally to the safeguarding Lead contact- Omowunmi Gidigbi ( or 07939913905.

  • We will then:

  • Aim to immediately safeguard the individual.

  • Report to necessary contacts such as Social Services, Care Services, the NHS and other organisations that may be involved with the individual.

  • report it to the police (and/or other relevant agencies) once it has been suspected that a crime has been committed, and to any other regulators the charity is accountable to.

  • Inform volunteers, members, the public, the media and other stakeholders, such as funders

  • Review what happened and prevent it from happening again – this may include reviewing internal controls and procedures, internal or external investigation and/or seeking appropriate help from professional advisers responsibility for reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission rests with the charity’s trustees.

The responsibility for reporting serious incidents rests with the charity’s trustees. However, if you feel that the organisation has not addressed the incident correctly or the suspected abuse is by one of the trustees or chair, you should report your concerns directly to the police (999)  and the Charity Commission (0300 066 9197).

Reviewing the Policy and Procedure

This policy and procedure will be reviewed every year, this will include checking telephone numbers, the accuracy of personnel details, and any updates required by a change in local or national.

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