Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to search

Safeguarding & Vulnerability Policy & Procedures



Procedure to Respond to and Report Concerns about Adults at Risk

If any person reasonably suspects or is told that an adult at risk is being, has been or is likely to be abused they must take action. Some actions may constitute a criminal offence. Under no circumstances must an alleged abuser be alerted, directly or indirectly, as important evidence may be lost. Formal investigation will be carried out by the Police or Adult Social Care Services.

If a concern is actually raised by the adult at risk the following may help you to respond appropriately:

  • Listen and acknowledge what is being said
  • Be reassuring and calm
  • Be aware that the person’s ability to recount their concern or allegation will depend upon age, culture, language, and communication skills and disability
  • Do not promise full confidentiality
  • Ask their consent to take up their concerns
  • Explain what you will do next
  • If they do not agree consult with your Diocesan Vulnerability and Safeguarding Officer
  • Try to encourage and support them to share their information
  • Give them your contact detailed and those of the Diocesan Vulnerability and Safeguarding Officer
  • Give them a time-scale for when and how you and/or the Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator will contact them again. Never leave an adult at risk to wait to hear from someone without any idea of time-scale or place
  • Do not contact the adult about whom an allegation or concerns are being raised to tell them about the information. You could be putting an adult at risk in serious danger, eg where there is domestic violence taking place
  • Where the concerns or allegation are about another adult in a position of trust within the Church do not inform the person in question as you might prejudice any police investigation. Always contact the Diocesan Vulnerability and Safeguarding Officer immediately

If the concerns are raised by another person then follow from observations made by a member of the Church, make notes of the information and contact the Diocesan Vulnerability and Safeguarding Officer immediately for consultation about what actions to take. If the information about abuse towards an adult at risk is given by the abuser himself or herself to a member of the Church (clergy or laity) the person who receives the information must make it clear to the person that the information has to be passed on.