The current lockdown restrictions mean that right now, vulnerable children and adults may be particularly isolated. This means that the family, community and professional networks they usually rely on may be unavailable or hard to access. However, safeguarding is everyone’s business. Neighbours, volunteers and professionals – like pharmacists, shop and supermarket workers or anyone who might still be interacting with members of the public – can play a vital role in keeping adults and children safe.
The Home Office, in collaboration with a number of other Government departments, has produced information and guidance for those who are still operating in communities and may not be trained to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect. The guidance covers signs to spot and what to do if there is a concern.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have produced a FAQ document to accompany their Safeguarding Factsheet. It is designed to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time, and is split into two sections:
Advice for those organising a community volunteer group, and
Advice for individuals wanting to assist those in their local community
The purpose of this briefing is to assist senior leaders, such as members of Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs), as well as commissioners, practitioners and operational managers who are working across relevant sectors and agencies in this field, to support people who are homeless and at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect. This is a complex area of safeguarding adults’ practice. It requires an integrated whole system response. The intention is that the briefing will support and improve practice and encourage debate about policy and service development.
There are 11 sections in this briefing. Particular focus is given to working with people experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness. The eleven sections include an outline of relevant law and a summary of learning from safeguarding adult reviews. Effective practice is explored through a focus on working with individuals, the multi-agency and multi-disciplinary team around the person, organisations around the team, and governance.
The briefing forms part of a sector-led improvement project. The briefing concludes with a list of resources and identifies how the project will be taken forward to further inform policy, service and practice development.
At a local level Homelessness is a priority for the HSAB this year, with the HSAB Housing subgroup working on the production of Homelessness guidance, as well as campaign materials being designed by the Stakeholder subgroup for circulation to raise awareness of the links between homelessness, abuse and safeguarding.
The 2018/19 Annual Report, and summary/infographic, for the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB) has now been published and can be viewed below. This will be the last such report published by the HSCB as local safeguarding has now transferred to the Safeguarding Partners and Relevant Agencies (September 2019). These documents provide an overview of safeguarding activity carried out between April 2018 and March 2019.
The first joint NHS England and NHS Improvement Safeguarding Accountability and Assurance Framework (SAAF) has just been published. This framework builds on its predecessor by strengthening the NHS commitment to promoting the safety, protection and welfare of children, young people and adults.
This framework has been developed in partnership with other organisations and professional bodies. It is intended to clarify the roles and responsibilities of those we work with in a system that is developing rapidly. In addition, it provides the flexibility needed at local level to support professional practice and the partnerships needed to promote healthy behaviours to keep individuals and communities safe from harm.