Safeguarding means protecting children and vulnerable adults from harm or abuse. Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and children and vulnerable adults need to be kept safe from illness, abuse, physical harm and injury and their physical and mental wellbeing should be protected.
Information about safeguarding children and vulnerable adults will be found in this section.
We work alongside Rochdale Borough Council and other agencies to provide services to safeguard children in our borough.
Professionals rely on people to help alert them that children may be suffering or in need. We also aim to support families that would benefit from extra help with parenting their children so that children are not put at risk.
Everyone can help by being aware of children around them and alerting services to even the smallest concerns.
What to do if you are worried about a child
There are a number of things you can do if you are worried that a child may be suffering, or at risk of suffering harm.
- If you are a child or young person, you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 to talk about any problem - counsellors are always there to help you sort it out. It is free and confidential.
- Speak to your (or the child’s) GP, health visitor, school nurse or other health professional so that you can share your concerns. You could also speak to the child’s teacher. All professionals have guidelines on how to act when children are at risk. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.
- Call children’s social care (social services) in Rochdale on 0845 226 5570 and ask to talk to someone about your worries.
- If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
All concerns about children are taken very seriously - do not worry that your concerns may be dismissed or ignored. You could help to end a child’s suffering by your actions.
Further information, including safeguarding procedures, can be found on the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board website.
Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Adults Board expects all providers and commissioners of services for adults in Rochdale to adhere to safeguarding procedures and to recognise and respond to abuse of vulnerable adults. An adult is a person who is over the age of 18.
What is abuse?
Abuse is when someone does something to another person that causes harm, puts him or her at risk of harm, or negatively impacts on his or her quality of life. Abuse may be deliberate or the result of ignorance or lack of training. It can happen once or occur on a regular basis. Abuse may be a criminal act.
Who might be at risk of abuse?
This information is about adults, ie people who are over 18 years of age. Some adults may be more at risk than others. These include:
- People who, because of age or illness, depend on others for care
- People with mental ill health
- People with a learning or physical disability
- People with sight or hearing impairment or loss
- People with dementia
- People with long term health needs
- People who misuse drugs or alcohol
Abuse can take many forms, including:
- Physical abuse - being hit or injured on purpose
- Sexual abuse - involvement in sexual activity that is unwanted or not understood. This may include human trafficking and sexual exploitation of a person
- Emotional - intimidation, threats, humiliation, verbal or psychological abuse or being prevented from receiving services or support
- Neglect - not providing food, clothing, attention or care. Failure to provide appropriate access to health and social care, withholding aids or equipment
- Discriminatory - treating people differently or worse than you would wish to be treated because they are older, frail, confused or otherwise vulnerable
- Financial/material - theft or misuse of money, property or personal possessions, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance
- Misuse of medication - giving medication inappropriately, overdosing or withholding medication
Signs and symptoms of abuse may include:
- Injuries, bruises or weight loss
- Behaviour changes such as being withdrawn or depressed
- Self harm
- Changes in appearance
- Shortage of money for no apparent reason
- A carer who is unwilling to let other people have contact with the person
What to do if you are worried that an adult is being abused
If you have concerns that a person is being abused, you should make a referral through Rochdale Borough Council Adult Care Access and Enablement Team on 0844 264 0867.
If you or an adult you know is in immediate danger contact the police on 999.
For more information, see:
- Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Adults Board website
- Rochdale Borough Council website
- Rochdale Adult Care website
- Adult safeguarding leaflet