Keeping safe and protecting vulnerable adults from harm and abuse
All adults should be able to live free from fear or harm and have their rights and choices respected.
To help people who may be being abused or suspect that abuse is happening, we have published 'Keeping Safe and Protecting Adults' which you can download from this page. It gives more information about types of abuse and what to do if you suspect abuse. You can also visit the York Safeguarding Adults website
What is adult abuse?
There are many different types of abuse, see the document on this page. It may:
- be physical or sexual
- involve taking money without permission
- include bullying or humiliating
- include not allowing contact with friends and family
- involve withholding food or medication
Abuse can be the result of a single act or may continue over many months or years. Abuse can be accidental, or a deliberate act.
An abuser may be – a relative, a partner, someone paid to provide care and services, a volunteer, a neighbour, a friend or stranger.
Abuse can happen anywhere:
- at home
- in a care home
- in hospital
- in sheltered housing
- in supported living centres
- at day centres and other day services
- outside in a public place
How can I tell if abuse may be happening?
Adult abuse is not always easy to identify as sometimes the nature of the abuse is not visible and/or often the person being abused is afraid to speak out. However, there are some more common signs of abuse which if seen may suggest that abuse has occurred. You can download the pdf document 'Signs & Symptons of Abuse' for more detailed inforamtion.
Which adults are vulnerable to abuse?
Some adults are less able to protect themselves than others and some have difficulty making their wishes and feelings known. This may make them vulnerable to abuse. They may also be vulnerable because they are in need of community care services due to mental health problems, physical or learning disability, age or illness.
In York we are working together with the Police, local Councillors, Health and local independent and voluntary sector organisation to improve and develop further services to keep vulnerable adults safe. We are all committed to preventing the abuse of adults and responding quickly when abuse is suspected.
How can I report adult abuse?
If you are being abused, or you suspect someone else is being abused contact us on (01904) 555111 or North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 247.
By reporting abuse you are alerting the council or the police to concerns which may affect more than one person.
There is a form which has been designed to help anyone who may suspect abuse is happening and wants to report it. The form is called the Alerters Form, see document attached to this page, and is a useful guide to the information that we or the Police will need to know when an incident of abuse is reported. You should also give your name so that we can keep you informed. We will not share your name without your permission. We will then investigate your concerns and take appropriate action. You can also share your concerns with a Doctor, Nurse or Health Worker, Housing Officer or advice centre (CAB) and ask them to contact us for you.
Adults in care
If you are concerned about the quality of care provided by a nursing home, residential home, or domiciliary provider you should contact the Care Quality Commission on tel: 0300 061 6161. See the Care Quality Commission website for more information.
How do we respond to adult abuse?
In 2007, The City of York Council endorsed the Multi-Agency Policy and Procedures for Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults. This framework is intended to ensure a consistent response so that various agencies can work together more effectively. This policy is available to download on the right hand side of this page.
What is ‘No Secrets’?
This is government guidance issued in 2000, encouraging social services authorities to work with other agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure protection of vulnerable adults. In 2008, the government began a national consultation exercise to review the No Secrets guidance. The consultation has recently ended and any recommendations for changes are expected later this year.
What is the York Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board?
Prior to 2008, there was a City of York and North Yorkshire Adult Protection Committee with the main objective 'to protect adults from abuse by effective inter-agency working'. As part of a review of the multi-agency policy, it was recognised that the interests of people in York would be better served by a local multi-agency group. So, in 2008, the York Safeguarding Adults Board was set up, with the remit to safeguard vulnerable adults from abuse and harm by effective inter-agency working. The Board membership is made up of lead officers from social services, the police, health, housing, the independent care sector, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Care Quality Commission and voluntary organisations. It meets quarterly to consider new developments in adult protection, review the way that the policy is carried out locally and to agree appropriate funding and training.
Help for adults
- Carer's assessment of need
- Disabled bus pass
- Educational benefits
- Home care service
- Out of hours social services support
- Safeguarding vulnerable adults
- Residential care
- Respite care
- Sheltered housing
- Support for adults with HIV
- Supporting people team
Documents to download
For additional information please see the 'Protecting vulnerable adults from harm and abuse' documents in the downloads section of this page.