Handling a Safeguarding Concern or Disclosure


  • Safety first!…………you may feel uncomfortable, depending on what action you may need to take; but doing nothing is not an option
  • Take allegation seriously/explain confidentiality
  • Be calm, non-judgemental, use active listening skills to ….’clarify’ or ‘summarise’ – be attentive, reassuring and supportive
  • Explain that you must inform your manager, (unless your manager is the alleged abuser)
  • Dependant on the situation you may need to inform the Emergency Services e.g. Ambulance and/or Police (if criminal activity has taken place

Report, Retain, and Record factual information

  • Report to Line Manager as a matter of urgency
  • Use & record actual words of service user
  • Record time, date, location & name of any witnesses
  • Record as accurately as you can what has happened
  • Inform appropriate Responsible Person within your organisation A.S.A.P but within a maximum of 24 hours



  • Show shock, disbelief or be judgemental
  • Clean or remove potential evidence (please discourage until Police arrive)
  • Stop people talking or talk over the person
  • Probe/Ask questions or press for details
  • Try to contact the alleged abuser
  • Chat inappropriately with other colleagues


Raising a Concern

You should always raise your concerns with your line manager unless your line manager is the alleged abuser, then you should speak to either their line manager or your organisations designated Adult Safeguarding lead person.

However to raise a concern outside of your organisation or group –

  • The adult at risk must have mental capacity and consent to sharing the information.
  • Other people may be at risk of abuse from the same person or organisation, (In the Public Interest)
  • When the adult at risk does not have mental capacity or it fluctuates/loss of capacity (In their Best Interest)
  • If information cannot be shared you should offer support and protection to reduce the risk. Mental Capacity and consent is a complex area of expertise and you should consider speaking to a adult safeguarding professional but not revealing the adult at risks details or seek legal advice on behalf of your organisation on how to proceed.

If you are not sure that a safeguarding intervention is necessary you can seek further support from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Customer Service Centre on 01482 39 39 39.

To raise a concern complete the online concern form on the Safeguarding Adults Board website.

Contact East Riding Safeguarding Adults Board (external website)

Return to the Safeguarding Adults Page