Safeguarding

We take the welfare of our customers very seriously and are involved in working in partnership with local services to help safeguard vulnerable adults and children from abuse.  

You may become aware that a vulnerable neighbour is being exploited or abused by an individual or a group, or you may witness a child being abused or neglected.  

There are ways in which you can report concerns and potentially make a difference to somebody’s life. Please see the below resources.  . 

If you are worried about someone and are unsure about who to contact regarding a specific issue, please do contact us on 0300 303 9848 or email  safeguarding@wvht.co.uk  and we will advise you where we can. 

Safeguarding Children

If a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999 straight away 

Child Abuse 

  • Child abuse is categorised as Physical, Sexual, Emotional and Neglect. It is also harmful for a child to live with or be exposed to Domestic Abuse. 

  • A child is aged 0 – 18

  • Harm to a child means ill treatment or damage to their health or development. Below are some examples of behaviours which would cause harm and where a child could need protection. 

Neglect 

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical needs or psychological needs, or both. Neglect can start during pregnancy because of the mother’s substance abuse, or if a partner is or has been violent to a mother during pregnancy. Neglect may also be present if a parent: 

  • Fails to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter. This would include throwing a young person out of the family home. It also includes neglectful property conditions that impact the child or children.  

  • Fails to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger.  

  • Doesn’t adequately supervise a child. This includes making unsuitable childcare-arrangements 

  • Doesn't allow the child access to appropriate medical interventions or treatment. 

Physical 

This could be threat of injury, or an actual physical injury, such as hitting or shaking a child. 

Emotional abuse 

Emotional abuse causes serious damage to a child's emotional health and development. 

Examples include: 

  • Withholding affection 

  • Telling a child that they are worthless, putting them down or deliberately scaring them. 

  • Preventing a child from taking part in normal social interaction  

  • Letting a child see or hear the mistreatment of someone else, for example, in a domestic abuse situation or witnessing a sibling being abused or neglected.  

  • Bullying, including cyber bullying, causing the child to feel frightened or in danger 

All forms of abuse involve some emotional ill-treatment. The abuse could be intentional or unintentional. 

Sexual abuse 

This is where a child is made to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they know what’s happening and whether or not there is a threat of violence. It may involve: 

  • Physical contact, for example, inappropriate touching or sexual assault 

  • Non-contact activities, such as showing children pornographic images or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet) 

  • Using young people in prostitution. All young people under 18 used in prostitution are victims of child sexual abuse 

  • Female genital mutilation. 

Domestic abuse 

If a child sees or hears domestic violence or abuse between their parents, this could, in itself, amount to child abuse. If you’re an adult victim of domestic abuse, and you aren’t willing to take action to protect yourself, this could lead the local authority having concerns about the harm this could cause your children. If the local authority is already investigating possible concerns about abuse of your child, it’s very important for you to tell them about the domestic abuse. This is so you can get the protection that both you and your child need. 

The effects of child abuse 

As well as the short-term impact of abuse, child abuse can lead to long-term and serious damage to a child. For example, it can lead to long-standing physical and mental health difficulties such as depression, eating disorders, substance misuse and self-harm. Children who have been abused may find it hard to trust other people – this could make it difficult for them to form healthy relationships in the future. For all these reasons, it’s very important to take steps to protect children from abuse where we can. 

What to do if you are worried about a child

If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, you can speak to the NSPCC about your concerns, you do not have to give your details if you wish to remain anonymous. Whether you want to report child abuse and neglect or aren't sure what to do, they will listen, offer advice and support and can take the next steps if a child's in danger. 

Please do not wait to report your concerns, it’s important for any child that you are worried about, that you act quickly. If a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999  straight away. 

NSPCC telephone lines are open Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm and 9am – 6pm at the weekend. You can also contact them online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

• Tel: 0808 8005000 

• Email: help@nspcc.org.uk 

• Report online at: www.nspcc.org.uk 

If a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999  straight away. 

Alternatively, you can contact the local authority Children’s Services: 

Cheshire West and Chester: Telephone: 0300 123 7047 option 1 - 8.30am to 5pm from Monday to Thursday & 8.30am – 4.30pm on Friday. 

Emergency Duty Team (out of hours) on 01244 977277 

Cheshire East: Phone 0300 123 5012 (8.30am till 5pm, option 3) or Out of Hours 0300 123 5022 

Warrington: 01925 443322 Out of Hours – 01925 44 44 00 

You can contact us for advice and signposting Monday to Friday 9 - 5 by calling 0300 303 9848 or email safeguarding@wvht.co.uk 

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Adult Abuse 

If you are concerned that a vulnerable adult is in immediate risk call 999 

Abuse of a vulnerable adult can take many forms and there are a variety of behaviours which could give rise to a safeguarding concern: 

  • Physical abuse - assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions 

  • Domestic abuse - psychological, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; ‘honor’ based violence and Female Genital Mutilation; forced marriage 

  • Sexual abuse - rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, non-consenting adult 

  • Psychological abuse - emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying 

  • Financial or material abuse - theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or Benefits 

  • Modern Slavery - slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude, Discriminatory abuse – harassment or slurs because of race,gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion 

  • Neglect and acts of omission - ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs; failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support and the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating 

  • Self-neglect - behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings, such as hoarding 

  • Organisational abuse - neglect and poor care within an institution or care setting 

Abuse can happen in the home, the community, within institutions such as care homes and be carried out by any person or persons. This might be family, friends, neighbours, paid staff, volunteers, carers, other service users or even complete strangers. 

Who does it affect? 

Adults may be considered vulnerable due to their care or support needs, for example: 

  • Frail due to age, ill health, physical disability, cognitive impairment or a combination of these 

  • Have a learning disability 

  • Have mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder 

  • Have a long-term illness/condition 

  • Users of substances or alcohol 

  • Unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support. 

Report a concern about a vulnerable adult or get help for yourself

If you are concerned for a vulnerable adult contact the relevant local authority below, in an emergency, call 999 

Cheshire West and Chester: 

• Community Access Team and Safeguarding: 0300 123 7034 

• Emergency Duty Team (out of office hours): 01244 977277 

Cheshire East: 

• Adults Social Care: 0300 123 5010 (8.30am – 5pm) 

• Out of Hours Team on 0300 123 5022 

Warrington: 

  • Warrington Adult Social Care First Response Team – 01925 443 322  

  • Out of Hours – 01925 44 44 00 

You can contact us for advice and signposting Monday to Friday 9 - 5 by calling 0300 303 9848 or email safeguarding@wvht.co.uk 

Professionals

To contact us regarding a family you are working with or for statutory information requests, please email safeguarding@wvht.co.uk.  

Where you are requesting information for assessments such as TAF or Child in Need, please attach proof of consent.