Safeguarding Policy – Adults

Safeguarding Procedure

  • 1. Procedure Purpose

    1.1 The procedure, with the associated policy, provides guidance for all Boxing Futures staff who may encounter concerns regarding the safeguarding and protection of adults, within the context of their work with Boxing Futures. The term ‘staff’ or ‘staff member’ references trustees, employees, volunteers, agents, students, and anyone working on behalf of Boxing Futures.

    1.2 The purpose of the procedure is to ensure that Boxing Future services are delivered in a safe and secure environment, where adults can thrive and develop, and all aspects of their welfare will be protected.

    1.3 This procedure aims to ensure that Boxing Futures works within the UK government legislation and guidelines and meets its duty of care in its work with adults.

    1.4 The procedure must also adhere to the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Adults Board within the geographical areas where we deliver.

    1.5 The procedure works to recognise and minimise the situations in which the abuse of adults might occur and to ensure that all staff and volunteers have a full understanding of safeguarding adult procedures and know how to respond when an adult protection issue arises.

    1.6 To ensure that, as far as possible, all staff working with adults are fit to be in that role and that all staff working for Boxing Futures and who work with adults agree to adhere to a code of conduct to ensure that appropriate boundaries are maintained when working with service users.

    1.7 To ensure that all staff are appropriately trained at induction and consistently receive ongoing training.

  • 2. Procedure Scope

    2.1 The procedure deals with the process required when there has been an alleged or suspected disclosure of abuse of a Boxing Futures service user by a member of its staff, another service user, or any other person.

    2.2 This procedure applies to all people who are over the age 18 and are deemed as an adult.
    *In cases where there is a suspicion that a child service user may be at risk of harm then please refer to the Safeguarding Procedure for Children and Young People.

    2.3 The procedure acknowledges that it is not only adults who abuse adults, but children and young people may abuse adults through bullying, abuse, exploitation, and humiliation.

  • 3. Purpose

    3.1 The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that Boxing Futures provides a safe and secure environment which protects all aspects of service user’s welfare.

    3.2 To ensure all staff understand and embed the 6 principles of the Care Act 2014 throughout Boxing Futures services and the work they undertake on behalf of Boxing Futures.

    3.3 This procedure aims to ensure that Boxing Futures works within UK government legislation and guidelines in relation to adult protection and meets its duty of care.
    The Care Act 2014 can be found here:
    The Care Act 2014

    3.4 This procedure must work within the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Adults Board within the geographical areas of service delivery.
    This procedure aims:

    3.5 To recognise and then minimise the situations in which the abuse of adults at risk might occur.

    3.6 To ensure all staff and volunteers have a full understanding of safeguarding adults at risk procedures and know how to respond when an adult protection issue arises.

    3.7 To ensure that all staff understand the implications of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

    3.8 To ensure as far as possible that all staff working with vulnerable adults are fit to be in that role.

    3.9 To ensure that all staff employed by Boxing Futures and who work with adults at risk agree to adhere to a code of conduct to ensure that certain boundaries are kept when working with service users. Staff are also given training at induction on safeguarding, which is updated every 2-3 years.

    3.10 The 6 principles of the Care Act 2014 are:
    Personalisation and the presumption of person-led decisions and informed consent.
    “I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process, and these directly inform what happens.”
    It is better to act before harm occurs.
    “I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.”
    Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
    “I am sure that the professionals will work for my best interests, as I see them, and they will only get involved as much as needed.”
    Support and representation for those in greatest need.
    “I get help and support to report abuse. I get help to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want and to which I am able.”
    Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
    “I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together to get the best result for me.”
    Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
    “I understand the role of everyone involved in my life.”

    3.11 Services provided by Boxing Futures should be appropriate to the adult at risk and not discriminate because of disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, culture, or lifestyle. The primary focus/point of decision making should be as close as possible to the adult at risk, and individuals must be supported to make choices. Adults at risk should be offered advocacy services as appropriate to their needs.

    3.12 Adults at risk should be given information, advice, and support in a form that they can understand and have their views included in all forums that are making decisions about their lives. All decisions taken by professionals about a person’s life should be timely, reasonable, justified, proportionate and ethical.

  • 4. Designated Safeguarding Officer

    4.1 The role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) is to:
    (a) Offer consultation and advice to staff should an adult safeguarding concern or an adult protection issue arise
    (b) Receive and record information from staff and volunteers who have an adult safeguarding concern or an adult protection issue
    (c) Assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate
    (d) Ensure the statutory adult protection agencies (London Safeguarding Adults Contacts at Appendix 3 and East of England Adult Safeguarding Contacts at Appendix 4) and have been contacted should they need to be consulted
    (e) Ensure a formal referral is made to the statutory adult protection agencies (London Safeguarding Adults Contacts at Appendix 3 and East of England Adult Safeguarding Contacts at Appendix 4) without delay should this be required
    (f) Keep the written policy and procedures up to date
    (g) Collate all abuse cases every 12 months and produce a report to:
    • analyse how each reported case was dealt with
    • ensure this procedure was followed in all cases
    • identify any themes emerging in abuse cases
    • identify any disincentives to reporting suspected or actual abuse
    • identify any potential service improvements which can be made.

    4.2 Where harassment or bullying has occurred, an investigation is carried out under the harassment and bullying policy.

    4.3 Where a victim or perpetrator is considered vulnerable and social services/CMHT do not wish to investigate, an internal protection panel is convened.

    The DSO at Boxing Futures is Jamie Weston (Programme Manager)
    The Deputy DSO is Andy Burley (Trustee).

  • 5. Roles and responsibilities of other Boxing Futures staff

    5.1 The Senior Management Team (SMT) will ensure that all staff and volunteers are familiar with policies relating to Safeguarding, know how to recognise abuse, including through the Definitions of Abuse at Appendix 1 and Categories and Indicators of Adult Abuse at Appendix 2, and how to report and respond to it.

    5.2 SMT will ensure all staff and volunteers will have access to training that is appropriate to their level of responsibility and will receive management supervision that affords them the opportunity to reflect on their practice and the impact of their actions on others as well as clinical supervision if it is appropriate to their role.

    5.3 Further to this:
    (a) supporting any member of staff or volunteer who raised the concern
    (b) enabling and supporting relevant staff to play an active part in the Safeguarding Adults process
    (c) ensuring that any staff delivering a service to the adult at risk are kept up to date on a need-to-know basis and do not take actions that may prejudice an investigation.

    5.4 Senior Staff (including but not limited to the SMT) will:
    (a) ensure the alleged victim is made safe
    (b) ensure that any staff or volunteer who may have caused harm is not in contact with service users and others who may be at risk, for example, ‘whistle-blowers’
    (c) ensure that appropriate information is provided in a timely way.
    (d) make staff aware of their duty to report any allegations or suspicions of abuse to their line manager, or if the line manager is implicated, to another responsible person or to the local authority (including to the London Safeguarding Adults Contacts at Appendix 3 and East of England Adult Safeguarding Contacts at Appendix 4)
    (e) adhere to and operate within the Boxing Futures ‘whistle blowing’ policy and support staff that raise concerns.

    5.5 All staff and volunteers: Staff are responsible for ensuring the requirements of this procedure are followed.

    5.6 The priority should always be to ensure the safety and protection of the adult at risk. All staff and volunteers have a duty to act immediately on any concern or suspicion that an adult is being or is at risk of being abused, neglected or exploited and to ensure that the situation is assessed and investigated.

    5.7 Further to this, all staff have the responsibility to ensure that:
    (a) They understand the Definitions of Abuse at Appendix 1 and Categories and Indicators of Adult Abuse at Appendix 2.
    (b) Where abuse is discovered or suspected an Incident & Safeguarding Reporting Form (in the form attached in Appendix 5) is completed.
    (c) Where a client is in immediate danger or in need of emergency medical treatment or a crime has been committed or there is a need to protect forensic evidence, the emergency services are contacted.

    5.8 In terms of raising client awareness and keeping the issue of safeguarding ‘live’, all staff should:
    (a) Ensure safeguarding is discussed regularly in service user meetings.
    (b) Ensure safeguarding and client protection issues are raised periodically (at least six-monthly) as part of key work sessions.
    (c) Ensure any safeguarding concerns raised as part of needs assessment, support planning or risk assessment processes are raised with the line manager.

  • 6. Boxing Futures Safeguarding / Incident reporting procedure

    6.1 Boxing Futures defines a serious incident as.
    (a) Unexpected or avoidable death or severe harm of one or more clients, staff, or members of the public
    (b) a scenario that prevents, or threatens to prevent, an organisation’s ability to continue to deliver services, including data loss or property damage
    (c) allegations, or incidents, of physical abuse and sexual assault or abuse
    (d) loss of confidence in the service, adverse media coverage or public concern about the organisation
    (e) A never event – any serious incident which meets all the following criteria:
    *was wholly preventable (where existing guidance is available and should have been in place)
    *had the potential to cause serious harm or death (however harm or death is not required to have happened)
    *has occurred in the past whereby the risk of recurrence should have been resolved

    6.2 Adults admitted to Boxing Futures services should be informed of policies relevant to safeguarding adults at risk both verbally and in writing. Information should be available about the complaints procedures and confidentiality policies, and these should be available for service users.

  • 7. Recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers

    7.1 All staff must attend safeguarding training.
    (a) Induction includes familiarisation with all policies including Safeguarding as well as an e-learning module to be completed within 2 weeks of start date.
    (b) Safeguarding training for groups is undertaken within the first 3 months after the start date and repeated on a cyclical basis every 2 years.

    7.2 Boxing Futures uses within its employment framework, disciplinary and capability practices. Staff who do not meet Boxing Futures high expectations in terms of acting professionally, and to our code of conduct, will be subject to these practices.

  • 8. Allegations against staff

    8.1 Any allegation or suspicion of abuse by staff or volunteers should be reported to the line manager immediately.

    8.2 Allegations of abuse by a member of staff concerning adults at risk should be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO), to consider the concerns and decide on the most appropriate actions to be taken, including investigation.

    8.3 If appropriate, Boxing Futures will pass the staff member’s name onto the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) who will decide about whether the individual should be barred from working with children and/ or vulnerable adults.

    8.4 Staff reporting concerns at work (‘whistle blowing’) are entitled to protection under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

  • 9. Allegations against carers who are relatives or friends

    There is a clear difference between unintentional harm caused inadvertently by a carer and a deliberate act of either harm or omission, in which case the same principles and responsibilities for reporting to the police apply. In cases where unintentional harm has occurred this may be due to lack of knowledge or since the carer’s own physical or mental needs make them unable to care adequately for the adult at risk. The carer may also be an adult at risk. In this situation the aim of Safeguarding Adults at work will be to support the carer to provide support and to help make changes in their behaviour to decrease the risk of further harm to the person they are caring for.

  • 10. Abuse of trust

    10.1 A relationship of trust is one in which one person is in a position of power or influence over the other person because of their work or the nature of their activity. Where the person who is alleged to have caused harm is in a position of trust with the adult at risk, they may be deterred from making a complaint or acting out of a sense of loyalty, fear, of abandonment or other repercussions.

    10.2 Where the person who is alleged to have caused the abuse or neglect has a relationship of trust with the adult at risk because they are a member of staff, a paid employee, a paid carer, a volunteer or a manager or proprietor of an establishment, the organisation will invoke its disciplinary procedures as well as acting under the Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures. If a crime is suspected, reporting to the police should always be considered, and referral must be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) if they have been found to have harmed or put at risk of harm an adult at risk.

  • 11. Abuse by children

    If a child or children is/are causing harm to an adult at risk, this should be dealt with under the Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures yet will also need to involve the local authority children’s services.

  • 12. Responding to Individual Safeguarding Concerns

    12.1 Recognising: Recognising refers to the responsibility of any staff to be aware of the possibility that abuse of a service user may have taken place – or is likely to take place – and to act.

    12.2 A concern that a service user/adult at risk is, or could be, experiencing abuse may have arisen either from:
    (a) A direct disclosure by the service user/adult at risk
    (b) A complaint or expression of concern by a staff member, service user, member of the public, carer or other professional
    (c) An observation of the behaviour of the service user /adult at risk by a staff member

    12.3 Dealing with a disclosure:
    Do not:
    • Ask leading questions
    • Use your own words to describe events
    • Ask ‘why?’
    • Investigate
    • Judge or comment on what has been said
    • Promise confidentiality
    Instead, ensure you:
    • Listen but clarify if necessary
    • Stay calm and reassure
    • Make accurate notes using their words
    • Inform your line manager and safeguarding lead
    • Consult the local Police Central Referral Unit
    • Confirm that you may need to share what you have been told
    • Seek support for yourself

    12.4 Respond: if a staff member suspects or receives a report of actual or potential abuse, it is expected that they will:
    (a) Deal with immediate needs
    (b) Take reasonable steps to ensure that the adult at risk is in no immediate danger
    (c) Sensitively seek the adult at risk views on what has happened and how they wish to proceed
    (d) Give the service user information about the Safeguarding Adults process and how that could help to make them safer
    (e) Support the service user to ask questions about issues of confidentiality
    (f) Explain how the adult at risk will be kept informed and supported
    (g) Discuss what could be done to ensure the adult at risk’s safety
    (h) If it is felt the adult at risk may not have the capacity to understand the relevant issues and to decide, it should be explained to them as far as possible, given the person’s communication needs. They should also be given the opportunity to express their wishes and feelings.
    (i) Seek medical intervention as appropriate
    (j) Contact the Police if it is believed that a crime has (or is alleged to have been) been committed.
    (k) Tell your line manager of the concerns/complaint immediately.
    (l) Tell another manager of a higher grade, instead of your line manager, if your line manager is implicated in the abuse or is unavailable.

    12.5 Record: An accurate record should be made at the time of the disclosure or discovery giving details of the incident and/or the grounds for suspecting abuse using appropriate processes and Incident & Safeguarding Reporting Form (in the form attached in Appendix 5).

    12.6 Within 24 hours of the disclosure of alleged abuse, a decision should be made whether any outside body should be informed (i.e the Police, CMHT or Social Services or the Duty team if the service user is or might be defined as an adult at risk).If a referral to Adult Social Services or other organisations is suitable, prior to a consultation with the local Police Central Referral Team, please consider the:
    (a) Vulnerability of the individual
    (b) Their mental capacity
    (c) Nature and extent of the abuse (please be aware that clients might at first report seemingly minor issues to ‘test’ staff reaction/response)
    (d) The intent of the person alleged to be responsible for the abuse
    (e) The reliability of the reporting process (e.g.: whether anonymous)
    (f) Length of time abuse has been occurring
    (g) Whether it was a solo event or part of a long-standing relationship or pattern
    (h) Impact of the abuse on the individual and/or on others
    (i) The illegality of the alleged perpetrator(s) actions
    (j) Risk of repeated or increasingly serious acts involving this or other clients/adult at risk
    (k) Whether the client/adult at risk gives permission for further action

    12.7 All allegations or incidents of service user abuse should be taken seriously, investigated and generate a response. The extent of the investigation and formality of the response will be dictated by the seriousness of the abuse, the vulnerability and mental capacity of the victim and perpetrator, and whether staff or volunteers are implicated in the alleged abuse.

  • 13. If the Alleged Perpetrator is a Boxing Futures staff member

    The steps set out in point 12 should be followed as a matter of course. Additionally, staff receiving reports of this type should immediately discuss the matter with the Director of Operations as part of an initial screening process to decide if there appears to be any substance to the allegations. If so, they should:
    (a) Ensure that any investigation and action taken is additionally compatible with the organisation’s Disciplinary Policy.
    (b) Decide if there is an on-going risk of further abuse or of pressure being brought to bear on the person making the allegation. If it is felt that this is possible, the staff member should be either suspended or reassigned to other duties while an investigation takes place.
    (c) Support should be offered to both the service user and the staff member during the investigation process.
    (d) Ensure that the staff member and/or their representative are kept fully up to date on the progress of any investigations and associated actions.
    (e) Agree a sensitive message for other staff, stakeholders, and service users regarding the absence of the staff member under investigation.
    (f) Inform the relevant local authority / organisation funding the scheme in which the staff member is employed that an allegation has been made against a member of staff and keep them updated on progress with the investigations.
    (g) If the allegation is unfounded then the issue is included into the service user’s support plan. It may be that the service user has made the allegation because they didn’t like the staff member or was unhappy with something the staff member did. They may need support around expressing their needs and/or dissatisfaction in more appropriate ways.

  • 14. Information sharing

    14.1 Information will be shared within and between organisations in line with the principles set out below.
    (a) Adults have a right to independence, choice, and self-determination. This right extends to them being able to have control over information about themselves and to determine what information is shared. Even in situations where there is no legal requirement to obtain written consent before sharing information, it is good practice to do so.
    (b) The person’s wishes should always be considered, however, protecting adults at risk establishes a general principle that an incident of suspected or actual abuse can be reported more widely and that in so doing, some information may need to be shared among those involved.
    (c) Information given to an individual member of staff belongs to Boxing Futures and not to the individual staff member; therefore, they should not give a personal assurance of confidentiality to an adult at risk.
    (d) An organisation should obtain the adult at risk’s written consent to share information and should routinely explain what information may be shared with other people or organisations.
    (e) Difficulties in working within the principles of maintaining the confidentiality of an adult should not lead to a failure to take action to protect the adult from abuse or harm.
    (f) Confidentiality must not be confused with secrecy, that is, the need to protect the management interests of an organisation should not override the need to protect the adult.

    14.2 Decisions about what information is shared and with whom will be taken on a case-by-case basis. Whether information is shared with or without the adult at risk’s consent, the information shared should be:
    (a) necessary for the purpose for which it is being shared
    (b) shared only with those who have a need for it
    (c) be accurate and up to date
    (d) be shared in a timely fashion
    (e) be shared accurately
    (f) be shared securely.

    14.3 All information must be treated in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

  • 15. Consent

    15.1 One of the principles of The Care Act 2014 is Empowerment – in practice this means ‘no decision about me, without me’. A referral cannot be made if the service user is deemed to have capacity and does not consent to the referral.

    15.2 Staff need to respect the service users right to make decisions even if they are ‘un-wise’ decisions or not within the service users’ best interest to help safeguard themselves.

    15.3 There are several circumstances where a staff member can reasonably override such a decision, including:
    (a) the person lacks the mental capacity to make that decision
    (b) other people are, or may be, at risk, including children
    (c) sharing the information could prevent a crime
    (d) the alleged abuser has care and support needs and may also be at risk
    (e) a serious crime has been committed
    (f) staff are implicated
    (g) the person has the mental capacity to make that decision, but they may be under duress or being coerced
    (h) the risk is unreasonably high and meets the criteria for a multi-agency risk assessment conference referral (MARAC)
    (i) a court order or other legal authority has requested the information.

    15.4 The service user or adult at risk should normally be informed of the decision to refer and the reasons, unless telling them would jeopardise their safety or the safety of others.

  • 16. Independent Advocacy

    16.1 People must be involved in decisions made about them and their care and support. No matter how complex a person’s needs, local authorities are required to help people express their wishes and feelings, support them in weighing up their options, and assist them in making their own decisions.

    16.2 Boxing Futures staff may have a role to play in supporting the adult at risk with participating in this process. We recognise that the Boxing Futures staff member could be the only consistent adult support that the service user has.

  • 17. Involving the adult at risk

    The identification of risk should usually be undertaken with the person who has been harmed unless doing so is likely to increase the risk of harm or puts other people at risk.

    17.1 Vital interest
    If the adult at risk has the mental capacity to make informed decisions about their safety and they do not want any action to be taken, this does not preclude the sharing of information under Safeguarding Adults procedures with relevant professional colleagues. This is to enable professionals to assess the risk of harm and to be confident that the adult at risk is not being unduly influenced or intimidated and is aware of all the options. This will also enable professionals to check the safety and validity of decisions made. It is good practice to inform the adult at risk that this action is being taken unless doing so would increase the risk of harm.

    17.2 Best interest
    If an adult at risk lacks capacity to make informed decisions about maintaining their safety and they do not want any action to be taken, professionals have a duty to act in their best interests under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This would automatically trigger a Safeguarding Adults referral.

    17.3 Public interest
    If the adult at risk has the mental capacity to make informed decisions about maintaining their safety and they do not want any action to be taken, staff have a duty to share the information with relevant professionals to prevent harm to others. This will automatically trigger a Safeguarding Adults referral.

    17.4 Making Safeguarding Personal
    The adult at risk will have views about what is an acceptable level of risk to them and about balancing the risks to maintain the lifestyle or contacts they wish. There may be a balance to be struck between the benefits of achieving safety and the loss of contact with someone whom they value. A person with mental capacity may choose to live in a situation which is seen as unsafe by professionals if the alternatives they are being offered are unacceptable to them. They do not, however, have a right to make decisions about the protection other people may need where they may also be at risk from the same person, service or setting. Adults at risk need to be able to make informed choices from the information they are given. To do this, they may need support in a variety of ways such as the help of a family member or friend, an advocate, a language interpreter or other communication assistance or aid.

    17.5 Deciding not to refer
    If the adult at risk has capacity and does not consent to a referral and there are no public or vital interest considerations, they should be given information about where to get help if they change their mind or if the abuse or neglect continues and they subsequently want support to promote their safety.
    (a) The referrer must assure themselves that the decision to withhold consent is not made under undue influence, coercion, or intimidation.
    (b) A record must be made of the concern, the adult at risk’s decision and of the decision not to refer, with reasons. A record should also be made of what information they were given.

    17.6 Ongoing support of the adult at risk
    It is important that when a case of abuse has occurred that staff provide ongoing support to the adult at risk. The adult at risk may wish to talk about the abuse events. The support staff can discuss the events with them to help them come to terms with what happened and decide how it can be prevented in the future.

    17.7 Repeat Allegations
    (a) Supporting an adult at risk who makes repeated allegations.
    (b) An adult at risk who makes repeated allegations that have been investigated and are unfounded should be treated without prejudice. Each allegation must be responded to under these procedures. A risk assessment must be undertaken, and measures taken to protect staff and others and every individual incident must be recorded.

  • 18. Responding to family members, friends and neighbours who make repeated allegations

    Allegations of abuse made by family members, friends and neighbours should be investigated without prejudice. However, where repeated allegations are made and there is no foundation to the allegations and further investigation is not in the best interests of the adult at risk, then deal with these allegations should be treated as vexatious or persistent complaints.

  • 19. Responsibilities to those who are alleged to have caused the harm

    19.1 Adults who are alleged to have abused an adult at risk have the right to be assumed innocent until the allegations against them are proved on the evidence. Whether they are a member of staff, a volunteer or a relative or a carer, they also have the right to be treated fairly and their confidentiality respected.

    19.2 What information is shared with them and when, should be decided at the strategy discussion or meeting. They have a right to know in broad terms what the allegations are that have been made against them unless the police advice otherwise. They should be provided with appropriate support throughout the process. If the person causing harm is also an adult at risk, they should be provided with appropriate support.

  • 20. Contributing to Domestic Homicide Reviews / Safeguarding Adult Reviews

    20.1 Boxing Futures may be asked to contribute to multi-agency reviews to look at the role it played in its support to adults who may have died or suffered continued and significant abuse despite multi-agency involvement.

    20.2 If Boxing Futures is asked to contribute, it will be as open and honest as possible thereby assisting the process that is being under-taken. Boxing Futures will also ensure that any recommendations that are made as part of this process, are implemented and the reasons for this, communicated to staff. This will ensure that Boxing Futures role in the process reflects the need to learn and change to further develop its safeguarding processes.

  • 21. Policy Approval

    This policy was approved on 27th October 2023.

    Review date: October 2024.


  • Appendix 1 - Definitions of Abuse

    Abuse – To the Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures the term abuse is defined as: a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons which results in significant harm. (DH, 2000)

    Adult at Risk – The term ‘adult at risk’ has replaced ‘vulnerable adult’. This is because the term ‘vulnerable adult’ may wrongly imply that some of the fault for the abuse lies with the adult abused. The term ‘adult at risk’ is used as an exact replacement for ‘vulnerable adult’, as used throughout No secrets. An adult aged 18 years or over ‘who is or may need community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age, or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’ (DH, 2000). This definition is taken from the current Department of Health guidance to local partnerships.

    Consent – It is always essential in safeguarding to consider whether the adult at risk is capable of giving informed consent. If they are, their consent should be sought. This may be in relation to whether they give consent to:
    • An activity that may be abusive – if consent to abuse or neglect was given under duress, for example, as a result of exploitation, pressure, fear or intimidation, this apparent consent should be disregarded
    • A Safeguarding Adults investigation going ahead in response to a concern that has been raised. Where an adult at risk with capacity has decided that they do not want action to be taken and there are no public interest or vital interest considerations, their wishes must be respected. The person must be given information and can consider all the risks and fully understand the likely consequences of that decision over the short and long term
    • The recommendations of an individual protection plan being put in place
    • An interview
    • Certain decisions and actions taken during the Safeguarding Adults process with the person or with people who know about their abuse and its impact on the adult at risk.

    If, after discussion with the adult at risk who has mental capacity, they refuse any intervention, their wishes will be respected unless:
    • There is a public interest, for example, not acting will put other adults or children at risk
    • There is a duty of care to intervene, for example, a crime has been or may be committed.

    Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) – Article 5 of the Human Rights Act states that ‘everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his or her liberty [unless] in accordance with a procedure prescribed in law’. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards is the procedure prescribed in law when it is necessary to deprive of their liberty a resident or patient who lacks capacity to consent to their care and treatment to keep them safe from harm (definition from SCIE website-

    The Mental Capacity Act 2005 allows restraint and restrictions to be used – but only if they are in a person’s best interests. Extra safeguards are needed if the restrictions and restraint used will deprive a person of their liberty. These are called the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

    The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards can only be used if the person will be deprived of their liberty in a care home or hospital. In other settings the Court of Protection can authorise a deprivation of liberty. Care homes or hospitals must ask a local authority if they can deprive a person of their liberty. This is called requesting a standard authorisation. There are six assessments which must take place before a standard authorisation can be given. If a standard authorisation is given, one key safeguard is that the person has someone appointed with legal powers to represent them. This is called the relevant person’s representative and will usually be a family member or friend.

    MARAC (multi-agency risk assessment conference) is a regular local meeting to discuss how to help victims at high risk of murder or serious harm. A domestic abuse specialist (IDVA), police, children’s social services, health and other relevant agencies all sit around the same table, they talk about the victim, the family and perpetrator, and share information. The meeting is confidential. Together, the meeting writes an action plan for each victim. They work best when everyone involved understands their roles and the right processes to follow (definition from

    Mental Capacity – The presumption is that adults have mental capacity to make informed choices about their own safety and how they live their lives. Issues of mental capacity and the ability to give informed consent are central to decisions and actions in Safeguarding Adults. All interventions need to consider the ability of adults to make informed choices about the way they want to live and the risks they want to take. All decisions taken in the Safeguarding Adults process must comply with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

    Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) framework is to reduce the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders to protect the public, including previous victims, from serious harm. The responsible authority (i.e. the police, prison, and probation services) has a duty to ensure that MAPPA is established in each of their geographic areas to ensure the risk assessment and management of all identified MAPPA offenders (primarily violent offenders on licence or mental health orders and all registered sex offenders). The police, prison and probation services have a clear statutory duty to share information for MAPPA purposes other organisations have a duty to co-operate with the responsible authority, including the sharing of information.

    Significant Harm – In determining what justifies intervention and what sort of intervention is required, no secrets use the concept of ‘significant harm’. This refers to:
    • Ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical)’
    • The impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health and/or
    • The impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.
    The importance of this definition is that in deciding what action to take, consideration must be given not only to the immediate impact on and risk to the person, but also to the risk of future, longer-term harm. Seriousness of harm or the extent of the abuse is not always clear at the point of the alert or referral. All reports of suspicions or concerns should be approached with an open mind and could give rise to action under the Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures.


    The existence of any one factor from the following lists should not be taken on its own as being an indicator that abuse is occurring. Rather it should be viewed as an alert to the need to make a further assessment and to consider other factors associated with the person’s situation.
    In many cases, an assessment will be necessary to exclude the possibility that the physical/mental signs or behavioural changes that are causing concern are indicative of a physical or mental illness or substance misuse rather than of mistreatment or abuse.
    Some adults at risk may reveal abuse by talking about or drawing attention to physical signs or, where verbal communication is limited or confused, displaying certain actions or gestures. Staff need to be alert to these signs and consider what they might mean.

    1 Physical Abuse
    1.1 Types of physical abuse:
    (a) Assault, hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, hair-pulling, biting, pushing
    (b) Rough handling
    (c) Scalding and burning
    (d) Physical punishments
    (e) Inappropriate or unlawful use of restraint
    (f) Making someone purposefully uncomfortable (e.g., opening a window and removing blankets)
    (g) Involuntary isolation or confinement
    (h) Misuse of medication (e.g., over-sedation)
    (i) Forcible feeding or withholding food
    (j) Unauthorised restraint, restricting movement (e.g., tying someone to a chair)
    1.2 Possible indicators of physical abuse
    (a) No explanation for injuries or inconsistency with the account of what happened
    (b) Injuries are inconsistent with the person’s lifestyle
    (c) Bruising, cuts, welts, burns and/or marks on the body or loss of hair in clumps
    (d) Frequent injuries
    (e) Unexplained falls
    (f) Subdued or changed behaviour in the presence of a particular person
    (g) Signs of malnutrition
    (h) Failure to seek medical treatment or frequent changes of GP
    1.3 Unlawful or inappropriate use of restraint or physical interventions and/or Deprivation of liberty is physical abuse. Someone is using restraint if they use force, or threaten to use force, to make someone do something they are resisting, or where a person’s freedom of movement is restricted, whether they are resisting or not.

    2 Domestic Violence or Abuse
    2.1 Types of domestic violence or abuse
    (a) Domestic violence or abuse can be characterised by any of the indicators of abuse relating to:
    • psychological
    • physical
    • sexual
    • financial
    • emotional.
    (b) 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.
    2.2 Coercive or controlling behaviour is a core part of domestic violence. Coercive behaviour can include:
    (a) acts of assault, threats, humiliation, and intimidation
    (b) harming, punishing, or frightening the person
    (c) isolating the person from sources of support
    (d) exploitation of resources or money
    (e) preventing the person from escaping abuse
    (f) regulating everyday behaviour.
    2.3 Possible indicators of domestic violence or abuse:
    (a) Low self-esteem
    (b) Feeling that the abuse is their fault when it is not
    (c) Physical evidence of violence such as bruising, cuts, broken bones
    (d) Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others
    (e) Fear of outside intervention
    (f) Damage to home or property
    (g) Isolation – not seeing friends and family
    (h) Limited access to money

    3 Sexual Abuse
    3.1 Types of sexual abuse:
    (a) Rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault
    (b) Inappropriate touch anywhere
    (c) Non- consensual masturbation of either or both persons
    (d) Non- consensual sexual penetration or attempted penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth
    (e) Any sexual activity that the person lacks the capacity to consent to
    (f) Inappropriate looking, sexual teasing or innuendo or sexual harassment
    (g) Sexual photography or forced use of pornography or witnessing of sexual acts
    (h) Indecent exposure
    3.2 Possible indicators of sexual abuse:
    (a) Bruising, particularly to the thighs, buttocks and upper arms and marks on the neck
    (b) Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
    (c) Bleeding, pain or itching in the genital area
    (d) Unusual difficulty in walking or sitting
    (e) Foreign bodies in genital or rectal openings
    (f) Infections, unexplained genital discharge, or sexually transmitted diseases
    (g) Pregnancy in a woman who is unable to consent to sexual intercourse
    (h) The uncharacteristic use of explicit sexual language or significant changes in sexual behaviour or attitude
    (i) Incontinence not related to any medical diagnosis
    (j) Self-harming
    (k) Poor concentration, withdrawal, sleep disturbance
    (l) Excessive fear/apprehension of, or withdrawal from, relationships
    (m) Fear of receiving help with personal care
    (n) Reluctance to be alone with a particular person

    4 Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
    4.1 Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. Children in exploitative situations and relationships receive something such as gifts, money, or affection because of performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them.
    4.2 Boxing Futures staff should be aware that adults who were victims of CSE could have issues with their physical and emotional health.

    5 Psychological or Emotional Abuse
    5.1 Types of psychological or emotional abuse
    (a) Enforced social isolation – preventing someone accessing services, educational and social opportunities and seeing friends
    (b) Removing mobility or communication aids or intentionally leaving someone unattended when they need assistance
    (c) Preventing someone from meeting their religious and cultural needs
    (d) Preventing the expression of choice and opinion
    (e) Failure to respect privacy
    (f) Preventing stimulation, meaningful occupation, or activities
    (g) Intimidation, coercion, harassment, use of threats, humiliation, bullying, swearing or verbal abuse
    (h) Addressing a person in a patronising or infantilising way
    (i) Threats of harm or abandonment
    (j) Cyber bullying
    5.2 Possible indicators of psychological or emotional abuse
    (a) An air of silence when a particular person is present
    (b) Withdrawal or change in the psychological state of the person
    (c) Insomnia
    (d) Low self-esteem
    (e) Uncooperative and aggressive behaviour
    (f) A change of appetite, weight loss/gain
    (g) Signs of distress: tearfulness, anger
    (h) Apparent false claims, by someone involved with the person, to attract unnecessary treatment

    6 Financial or Material Abuse
    6.1 Types of financial or material abuse
    (a) Theft of money or possessions
    (b) Fraud, scamming
    (c) Preventing a person from accessing their own money, benefits, or assets
    (d) Employees taking a loan from a person using the service
    (e) Undue pressure, duress, threat, or undue influence put on the person in connection with loans, wills, property, inheritance, or financial transactions
    (f) Arranging less care than is needed to save money to maximise inheritance
    (g) Denying assistance to manage/monitor financial affairs
    (h) Denying assistance to access benefits
    (i) Misuse of personal allowance in a care home
    (j) Misuse of benefits or direct payments in a family home
    (k) Someone moving into a person’s home and living rent free without agreement or under duress
    (l) False representation, using another person’s bank account, cards, or documents
    (m) Exploitation of a person’s money or assets, e.g., unauthorised use of a car
    (n) Misuse of a power of attorney, deputy, appointee ship or other legal authority
    (o) Rogue trading – eg. unnecessary or overpriced property repairs and failure to carry out agreed repairs or poor workmanship
    6.2 Possible indicators of financial or material abuse
    (a) Missing personal possessions
    (b) Unexplained lack of money or inability to maintain lifestyle
    (c) Unexplained withdrawal of funds from accounts
    (d) Power of attorney or lasting power of attorney (LPA) being obtained after the person has ceased to have mental capacity
    (e) Failure to register an LPA after the person has ceased to have mental capacity to manage their finances, so that it appears that they are continuing to do so
    (f) The person allocated to manage financial affairs is evasive or uncooperative
    (g) The family or others show unusual interest in the assets of the person
    (h) Signs of financial hardship in cases where the person’s financial affairs are being managed by a court appointed deputy, attorney, or LPA
    (i) Recent changes in deeds or title to property
    (j) Rent arrears and eviction notices
    (k) A lack of clear financial accounts held by a care home or service
    (l) Failure to provide receipts for shopping or other financial transactions carried out on behalf of the person
    (m) Disparity between the person’s living conditions and their financial resources, e.g., insufficient food in the house
    (n) Unnecessary property repairs

    7 Modern Slavery
    7.1 Types of modern slavery
    (a) Human trafficking
    (b) Labour exploitation (usually involves unacceptably low wages, poor working conditions, some form of coercion meaning the victim cannot freely leave the employment).
    (c) Domestic servitude
    (d) Sexual exploitation, such as escort work, prostitution, and pornography
    (e) Debt bondage – being forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to
    (f) Criminal exploitation (victims are often coerced into committing crime for someone else’s’ gain)
    (g) Other forms of exploitation, such as organ or tissue removal, forced begging and illegal adoption.
    7.2 Possible indicators of modern slavery
    (a) Signs of physical or emotional abuse
    (b) Appearing to be malnourished, unkempt or withdrawn
    (c) Isolation from the community, seeming under the control or influence of others
    (d) Living in dirty, cramped, or overcrowded accommodation and or living and working at the same address
    (e) Lack of personal effects or identification documents
    (f) Always wearing the same clothes
    (g) Avoidance of eye contact, appearing frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers
    (h) Fear of law enforcers

    8 Discriminatory Abuse
    8.1 Types of discriminatory abuse
    (a) Unequal treatment based on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation (known as ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010)
    (b) Verbal abuse, derogatory remarks or inappropriate use of language related to a protected characteristic
    (c) Denying access to communication aids, not allowing access to an interpreter, signer, or lip-reader
    (d) Harassment or deliberate exclusion on the grounds of a protected characteristic
    (e) Denying basic rights to healthcare, education, employment, and criminal justice relating to a protected characteristic
    (f) Substandard service provision relating to a protected characteristic
    8.2 Possible indicators of discriminatory abuse
    (a) The person appears withdrawn and isolated
    (b) Expressions of anger, frustration, fear, or anxiety
    (c) The support on offer does not take account of the person’s individual needs in terms of a protected characteristic

    9 Organisational or Institutional Abuse
    9.1 Types of organisational or institutional abuse
    (a) Discouraging visits or the involvement of relatives or friends
    (b) Run-down or overcrowded establishment
    (c) Authoritarian management or rigid regimes
    (d) Lack of leadership and supervision
    (e) Insufficient staff or high turnover resulting in poor quality care
    (f) Abusive and disrespectful attitudes towards people using the service
    (g) Inappropriate use of restraints
    (h) Lack of respect for dignity and privacy
    (i) Failure to manage residents with abusive behaviour
    (j) Not providing adequate food and drink, or assistance with eating
    (k) Not offering choice or promoting independence
    (l) Misuse of medication
    (m) Failure to provide care with dentures, spectacles or hearing aids
    (n) Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious, or ethnic needs
    (o) Failure to respond to abuse appropriately
    (p) Interference with personal correspondence or communication
    (q) Failure to respond to complaints
    9.2 Possible indicators of organisational or institutional abuse
    (a) Lack of flexibility and choice for people using the service
    (b) Inadequate staffing levels
    (c) People being hungry or dehydrated
    (d) Poor standards of care
    (e) Lack of personal clothing and possessions and communal use of personal items
    (f) Lack of adequate procedures
    (g) Poor record-keeping and missing documents
    (h) Absence of visitors
    (i) Few social, recreational, and educational activities
    (j) Public discussion of personal matters
    (k) Unnecessary exposure during bathing or using the toilet
    (l) Absence of individual care plans
    (m) Lack of management overview and support

    10 Neglect and Acts of Omission
    10.1 Types of neglect and acts of omission
    (a) Failure to provide or allow access to food, shelter, clothing, heating, stimulation, and activity, personal or medical care
    (b) Providing care in a way that the person dislikes
    (c) Failure to administer medication as prescribed
    (d) Refusal of access to visitors
    (e) Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious, or ethnic needs
    (f) Not taking account of educational, social, and recreational needs
    (g) Ignoring or isolating the person
    (h) Preventing the person from making their own decisions
    (i) Preventing access to glasses, hearing aids, dentures, etc.
    (j) Failure to ensure privacy and dignity
    10.2 Possible indicators of neglect and acts of omission
    (a) Poor environment – dirty or unhygienic
    (b) Poor physical condition and/or personal hygiene
    (c) Pressure sores or ulcers
    (d) Malnutrition or unexplained weight loss
    (e) Untreated injuries and medical problems
    (f) Inconsistent or reluctant contact with medical and social care organisations
    (g) Accumulation of untaken medication
    (h) Uncharacteristic failure to engage in social interaction
    (i) Inappropriate or inadequate clothing

    11 Self-neglect
    11.1 Types of self-neglect
    (a) Lack of self-care to an extent that it threatens personal health and safety
    (b) Neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health, or surroundings
    (c) Self-Injurious Behaviour – inability to avoid self-harm
    (d) Failure to seek help or access services to meet health and social care needs
    (e) Inability or unwillingness to manage one’s personal affairs
    11.2 Indicators of self-neglect
    (a) Very poor personal hygiene
    (b) Unkempt appearance
    (c) Lack of essential food, clothing, or shelter
    (d) Intentionally damaging or injuring their body
    (e) Malnutrition and/or dehydration
    (f) Living in squalid or unsanitary conditions
    (g) Neglecting household maintenance
    (h) Hoarding
    (i) Collecting many animals in inappropriate conditions
    (j) Non-compliance with health or care services
    (k) Inability or unwillingness to take medication or treat illness or injury

    12 Radicalisation
    12.1 “Radicalisation” refers to the process by which a person supports terrorism or forms of extremism leading to terrorism. During that process it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being drawn into terrorist-related activity.
    12.2 Boxing Futures works together with local authorities and local police and in the instance that there is suspicion of radicalisation or extremism in a service user it is reported to the appropriate authorities. Frontline staff are encouraged to complete an online government training programme, which enables specific understanding of how to identify individuals who may be at risk of radicalisation and what to do to support them.
    12.3 Staff are also encouraged to attend PREVENT training through the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board. The aim of the government’s Prevent strategy is to safeguard vulnerable individuals who are at risk of radicalisation and relies on intelligence coming from community leaders. PREVENT training also available online at

    13 Hate crime
    Hate crime is defined by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) as any incident that is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be racist, homophobic, Transphobic, or due to a person’s religion, belief, gender identity or disability. It should be noted that this definition is based on the perception of the victim or anyone else and is not reliant on evidence.

    14 Mate crime
    The term is generally understood to refer to the befriending of people, who are perceived by perpetrators to be vulnerable, for the purposes of taking advantage of, exploiting and/or abusing them. This can be associated, but not exclusively, with people with a learning disability, learning difficulties or mental health conditions. The perpetrator is likely to be perceived as a close friend, a carer or a family member and will use this relationship for exploitation. If it becomes suspected that a service user is a victim of mate crime, the member of staff should follow the safeguarding procedures to ensure this is reported appropriately.

    15 Cuckooing
    Cuckooing is a form of crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person to use it as a base for drug dealing. Cuckooing is becoming an increasingly common problem, linked to Organised Criminal Networks (gangs) and can put the vulnerable person at great risk of further exploitation.

    16 Cyber Bullying and Online-Safety
    16.1 Cyber bullying is any form of bullying, which takes place online or through a mobile phone. It is an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual using electronic forms of contact against a victim who cannot easily defend himself/herself.
    16.2 Boxing Futures recognises that adults at risk could experience cyber bullying, particularly through social media websites as well as gaming forums and online dating sites.
    16.3 Problems include (but are not restricted to):
    (a) Abusive, defamatory, or humiliating comments
    (b) Distribution of intimate pictures
    (c) Child exploitation
    (d) Use of photos to cause distress, fear, or humiliation
    (e) Hijacking or cloning e-mail accounts
    (f) Stolen identity
    (g) Threats
    (h) Blackmail
    (i) Rumours and gossip
    (j) Sexting

    17 Inappropriate Restraint
    Boxing Futures DO NOT practice any form of restrictive or physical intervention.

    18 Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
    18.1 FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is a criminal offence, including taking a child abroad to have FGM, according to the FGM Act of 2003, amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015, section 73.
    18.2 Boxing Futures staff are to report any suspicion of FGM to the police, including reports girls that state that they have undergone FGM, or any physical signs noted by staff that FGM may have been carried out. Reporting should be carried out within a month of suspicion, and in accordance with government guidelines:
    These are the main forms of abuse – however it is important to note that both children and adults can be at risk to multiple forms of abuse where 2 or more forms are occurring or have occurred at the same time.

  • Appendix 3 - London Safeguarding Contact List
    Name Address/Contact Telephone Number
    Islington Safeguarding Adults Board Access Service
    020 7527 2299
    Islington Emergency Duty Team N/A 020 7226 0992
    Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) N/A 020 7527 8120
    Camden Council – Safeguarding Adults N/A 020 7974 4000 Option 1
    Hackney Safeguarding Adults Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, E8 1DY 020 8356 5782
    Out of Hours:
    020 8356 2300
    Safeguarding Adults Board Newham London Borough of Newham, Newham Dockside, 1000 Dockside Road, London, E16 2QU 0203 373 3620/7164

    For a list of Adult Safeguarding contacts for London and throughout the UK please visit: Current Safeguarding Teams contacts – All nations.pdf (

    Name Address Telephone Number
    Peterborough City Council (Child & Adult) Duty Social Worker Town Hall, Bridge St, Peterborough, PE1 1HF 01733 864180
    Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Safeguarding Children & Adults Board N/A Peterborough: 01733 864170

    Cambridgeshire: 0345 045 1362

    Bedford Borough Safeguarding Adults Board N/A 01234 276222
    Bedford Out of Hours Emergency Team N/A 0300 300 8123
    PCC Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team Town Hall, Bridge St, Peterborough, PE1 1HF 01733 234724
    Peterborough City Hospital Edith Cavell Campus, Bretton Gate, Peterborough, PE3 9GZ 01733 678000
    Peterborough Minor Illness & Injury Unit City Care Centre, Thorpe Rd, Peterborough, PE3 6DB 01733 847100
    Thorpe Wood Police Station Peterborough Thorpe Wood, Longthorpe, Peterborough,
    PE3 6SD
    01480 456111
  • Contacting us

    If you have any questions about this policy, please contact us:

    • Email:
    • Call: 0300 102 4452
    • Write to us at our office address:
      Boxing Futures Ltd,
      12 Crusader Court, Harrier Way, Eagle Business Park, Peterborough, PE7 3PU

    Or you can contact us about our Safeguarding Policy here:

  • About Boxing Futures

    This website is owned and operated by Boxing Futures Ltd

    We are a charity registered in United Kingdom No.1162086

    Our registered office is:
    Anzo Group, 25 Golden Square, London W1F 9LU