Learn, Do Not Copy!

Identify sources of information and advice about own role in safeguarding and protecting individuals from abuse, including whistle blowing

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2021 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

The training you undertake as a care worker (including studies towards your Care Certificate or Diploma) will stand you in good stead for ensuring that you are able to identify and respond to abuse appropriately.

However, there may be times when you need additional information, support and guidance relating to safeguarding and protecting individuals from abuse and neglect, especially if it is to do with your own organisational policies and procedures or those of the local authority.

Some sources of information and advice include:

  • your manager
  • your co-workers, especially more experienced members of staff
  • other professionals including social workers, advocates, GPs etc.
  • your organisation’s policies and procedures e.g. safeguarding, whistleblowing etc.
  • additional training
  • the Care Quality Commission
  • your local authority
  • professional bodies e.g. Royal College of Nursing, British Association of Occupational Therapists etc.
  • Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
  • Registered Manager’s Meetings (run by Skills for Care)

Whistleblowing is the act and process of reporting unsafe or illegal workplace practices. Whistleblowing can be performed internally or externally to other agencies – for minor infringements, a discussion with your manager will usually be sufficient but for more serious concerns, or if your organisation does not take your concerns seriously, you may need to contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or the Police.

Your organisation should have a whistleblowing policy and procedure, which you should follow when reporting concerns. You may also obtain advice about whistleblowing from CQC.

Providing a whistleblower has a genuine concern and a reasonable belief that their disclosure is in the public interest, they are protected from repercussions, such as being treated unfairly by their organisation. CQC allows disclosures to be made anonymously.

You should also be able to recognise the scope of your role in relation to safeguarding and seek support when situations are beyond your experience and expertise.

Unless you are in a specialised safeguarding role and have the relevant training, you should not attempt to investigate suspicions or allegations of abuse or neglect yourself, but instead, pass your concerns on to the relevant person(s) or agencies. This may be your manager, an internal safeguarding lead or an outside agency such as the police, social services or CQC.

Your local authority’s safeguarding adults team may be able to provide guidance when you have a safeguarding concern that you are not sure how to handle. CQC can also offer advice relating to safeguarding and whistleblowing.

For medical concerns, you may need to obtain information and advice from a health professional, such as GPs or community nurses.

And for criminal issues, the Police should be able to assist.