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Explain how to support others during the safeguarding process

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The safeguarding process can be traumatic for all involved so it is important that all suspicions or disclosures of harm, abuse and neglect are dealt with swiftly. All individuals involved should be informed of what the process will entail, along with estimated timescales for their completion. They should also be reassured that it will be managed competently and professionally.

If an individual tells you that they want to make a disclosure of abuse but want you to keep it confidential, you should explain that you are duty-bound to share information with others where harm or a risk of harm has occurred. However, you should reassure them that you will do everything you can to keep them protected and that their disclosure will be treated sensitively and taken seriously. It is important that you listen to them and ask open rather than leading questions. You should record everything that you have been told and report it to your safeguarding lead immediately. Apart from those that need to know, you should respect the individual’s privacy and avoid talking about the disclosure with anyone else. You should also ensure the individual’s immediate safety.

If it has been alleged that a member of staff is responsible for harm, abuse or neglect, it will need to be investigated, which can be upsetting for the employee (especially if they are innocent), so you will need to reassure them that they will be treated fairly but the process is necessary to protect vulnerable individuals. You may need to reassign them or give them some time off work whilst the investigation is conducted to protect all parties.

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