Feed a Friend – Safeguarding adults.
As a volunteer for Feed a Friend, you will be visiting vulnerable people in their homes. All organisations working with adults who are or may be at risk of abuse and neglect, must aim to ensure that they remain safeguarded from it. This should underpin every activity through consistent safeguarding adults work. As a representative of Feed a Friend, you are expected to read and understand the information below in order to help promote the well-being of all the ‘diners’ that are visited.
What is abuse?
Abuse can happen anywhere. It may happen at home, in a care home, hospital, day centre or in a public place. Anyone can be an abuser, but it is usually someone known to the person.
Abuse can take many forms and may include:
- Physical abuse
- Domestic abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Financial or material abuse
- Modern slavery
- Discriminatory abuse
- Organisational abuse
- Neglect or acts of omission
- Self neglect.
Signs of Abuse
In the course of a visit to a diner, you may become concerned that someone is being abused in a number of ways:
- the person may tell you
- the person may say something that worries you
- you may see something – an incident or an injury or other sign
You might see and/or hear something happen:
- someone being bullied or intimidated
- someone being made to feel frightened or unhappy
- someone in a situation of unnecessary risk
The person or somebody else might say something that gives cause for concern, for example:
- another Feed a Friend volunteer
- family member
- member of the public
There might be physical signs or unexplained or unusual injuries:
- slap marks
- black eyes
- burns or scalding
- cigarette marks
- torn, stained or blood stained clothes
There may be other signs such as:
- inappropriate, dirty or soiled clothes
- no food or drink available for the person
- bills not being paid or services, e.g. telephone cut off
- shortage of money
The person might say things or behave in a way that causes you concern:
- the person may seem unhappy or distressed
- the person may appear frightened, anxious or agitated without an obvious cause, or in relation to certain people
- sleeping problems
- constant visits to the toilet without a medical reason
- other unexplained changes in how the person behaves
The behaviour of another colleague (volunteer) or other person might cause concern:
- dismissive or intolerant attitude
- task / routine orientated rather than person focused
- not a team player; insists on doing tasks on their own or in their way; secretive about contact with clients
- oversteps professional boundaries with clients and colleagues, maybe overfriendly; neglects professional development
You may not know. It is enough that you are worried
Concerned about an adult?
If you are concerned that an adult is being abused or neglected:
In an emergency situation call the Police on 999.
If you think there has been a crime but it is not an emergency, call the Police on 101.
If you are concerned about yourself or another adult who may be being abused or neglected, contact Adult Social Care in the area in which the person lives, on the numbers below:
- Reading 0118 937 3747
- West Berkshire 01635 519005
- Wokingham 0118 974 6800
- Out of normal working hours, contact the Emergency Duty Team 01344 786 543
You should also contact Feed a Friend without delay – full contact details are available on the website.
- Stay calm and listen
- Take what you are being told seriously
- Offer support to help them stop the abuse happening
- Be aware that medical or other evidence might be needed
- Make a written note of what you have been told
- Contact Adult Social Care in your local Council without delay.
- Press the person for more details
- Assume that someone else will take action
- Contact the alleged abuser
- Promise to keep it a secret
What Will Happen Next?
Trained staff will carry out a careful and sensitive enquiry. What happens then will depend on the wishes of the person concerned and the seriousness of their situation. If they are in danger, ensuring their safety will be of utmost importance.
Information and advice will be offered so that the person can make an informed choice about any practical help they need or action they wish to take. If they are unable to make an informed choice, care will be taken to support or protect them.
Anyone may need help to stay safe at some time in their life, but some people with care and support needs may be more vulnerable. In the Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham there are schemes and advice to help people keep safe.
Safer Places Scheme
The Safer Places scheme aims to provide vulnerable people, and particularly those with a learning disability, with a safe place to go to where help can be summoned if they are feeling scared or upset while out on their own in the community. It is supported by the Police and other local organisations. If you believe this is required, please flag to Feed A Friend staff who will contact the relevant people.
Vulnerable people can request a card where they can write their name and the phone number of their trusted person. They carry this card with them and if needed, they can show this card to the Safe Place staff who will make the phone call for them to someone they trust, who will either come and collect them or advise them on what they need to do. If you believe this is required, please flag to Feed A Friend staff who will contact the relevant people.