Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults - A Quick Guide for Staff

It is important that children, young people and vulnerable adults are protected from abuse, neglect or significant harm. It is the responsibility of all Newcastle City Learning (NCL) employees to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults participating on Training Programmes and/or any other activities within NCL. Employees should report any allegations or concerns regarding the welfare of these groups using the following guidelines. 


What is abuse and when is a person at risk?


For children and young people this includes:


  • Physical abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm.
  • Emotional abuse which is the persistent emotional maltreatment so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development.
  • Sexual abuse which involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child/young person is aware of what is happening.
  • Neglect consisting of the persistent failure to meet a child’s or young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, which is likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development.

For vulnerable adults abuse can mean:


  • Physical abuse including hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions.
  • Sexual abuse including rape, sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the victim has not consented, could not consent to or was pressurised into consenting to.
  • Psychological abuse including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, verbal abuse, isolation, or withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
  • Discriminatory abuse including racist, sexist, religious abuse or abuse that is based on a person’s disability.
  • Financial abuse including fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Neglect including ignoring physical or medical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate services or the withholding of necessities of life.


What to do if:

A young person or vulnerable adult discloses abuse to you


Take the disclosure seriously and never dismiss the allegation of abuse.  Provide a quiet and supportive environment to help the person feel at ease.  Remember that an allegation of abuse or neglect may lead to a criminal investigation and asking leading questions or attempting to investigate the allegations yourself may cause problems for any subsequent court proceedings.


Do not make promises regarding confidentiality.  Explain to the person at the outset that you will need to report the disclosure and share the information with the Designated Safeguarding Manager.  The Designated Safeguarding Lead will, where possible respect the wishes of the individual; however, information will be shared with external agencies where it is judged that a person is at risk of suffering significant harm.


Report the disclosure to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately by telephoning 0191 2773502/07812788967. Complete the Concern Form and forward to the Designated Safeguarding Lead within 24 hours.  The Designated Safeguarding Lead will identify the appropriate next steps and keep in contact with you to ensure that our Duty of Care is fulfilled.


What to do if:

You are concerned a young person or vulnerable adult may be at risk


  • Contact your nominated manager and Designated Safeguarding Manager for advice and guidance
  • Make and keep a record of your concerns and forward to the Designated Safeguarding Lead within 24 hours
  • Discuss your concerns with the young person if appropriate
  • Phone police if appropriate


What to do if:

A young person or vulnerable adult accuses you or another member of staff of abuse


  • Contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead for advice and guidance
  • Make and keep a record of the accusation and actions taken and forward to the Safeguarding officer within 24 hours