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Safeguarding

Safeguarding is the term we use for how we will keep the most vulnerable people in our communities safe from harm.

We have clear and effective policies to ensure our homes and communities are safe and secure. We ensure that we adhere to legislation and work effectively with partner agencies to address any safeguarding concerns.

We are committed to keeping our customers safe and protected from any kind of abuse and neglect. One Vision Housing (OVH) recognises the harmful effect that abuse and neglect has not just on the victim, but also on their families and the wider community.

Whenever we suspect that abuse is taking place or we are informed about safeguarding concerns, we will work closely with other agencies to ensure victims are supported and appropriate action is taken against those responsible.

For adults (18 years old or over):

  • The misuse of power by one person over another, which has a large impact on a person’s independence and health and wellbeing
  • Likely to prevent a person (who may be dependent on others for their basic needs) exercising choice and control over the fundamental aspects of their life. This can cause humiliation and loss of dignity

For children (under 18 years old):

  • Inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent harm
  • Abuse in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to the child or more rarely, by a stranger
  • Sexual abuse by adults or children, also referred to as child sexual exploitation, is when a child is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities with or without physical contact (could be online)

Types of abuse

Physical

Physical abuse may or may not cause physical injury. It can include pushing, shaking, pinching, slapping, punching, force-feeding, burning, scalding, drowning or suffocating.

Warning signs: Physical injuries which have no satisfactory explanation or where there is definite knowledge or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted with intent or through lack of care.

Sexual

Sexual abuse can include making inappropriate comments, signs and gestures, unwanted sexual contact or coercing people into watching pornographic material. It’s also any sexual act with a person who has not provided consent, has been pressured into consenting or is incapable of
providing consent.

Warning signs: There may be bruising, self-inflicted injuries or sudden changes in behaviour.

Neglect

Neglect is the failure (deliberate or unintentional) to provide help or support that is necessary to carry out activities of daily living or meeting basic physical and/or psychological needs.

Warning signs: Poor physical condition, weight loss, dehydration, poor condition of accommodation, inadequate or dirty clothing.

Psychological or emotional

This may include the use of threats, fear or bribes to take away a vulnerable person’s choices or preventing them from following their own beliefs. For children it may be persistent emotional ill treatment conveying that they are worthless or unloved.

Warning signs: Freedom of movement may be restricted, they may be denied access to aids such as glasses, hearing aids or appear frightened or subdued.

Other types of abuse

This could include discriminatory abuse, whereby someone is targeted because of a disability or perceived vulnerability.

Institutional abuse may involve a forced schedule of activities against a person’s preferred lifestyle.

Financial abuse may involve the exploitation or inappropriate use of a person’s finances.

How do you report abuse?

If you feel you are a victim of abuse or may know someone who is, don’t hesitate to report it.

You can report abuse or suspected abuse to:

  • The police
  • Health and social care professionals (e.g. a social worker, nurse or doctor)
  • Organisations listed in the ‘Useful contacts’ section within this booklet
  • Your Neighbourhood Services Officer or a member of our staff by
    calling 0300 365 1111

How will we support you?

If we suspect abuse is taking place, we are duty bound to pass on this information to the appropriate local authority to investigate and take further action.

If you report abuse direct to us, we will:

  • Listen to you and take your concerns seriously
  • Treat all information you provide us with confidentially
  • Keep you informed of any action we are going to take
  • Provide you with support and advice
  • Take any necessary steps to ensure you are not in immediate danger from harm

We will assess these standards by:

  • Training our frontline staff to ensure that they are able to respond to safeguarding disclosures
  • Monitoring and logging all correspondence
  • Keeping a record of any reported incidents and our response
What if the abuse involves a member of OVH staff?

If you believe the abuse you are suffering or have witnessed involves a member of OVH staff, call the Independent Living team on 0300 365 1111.

Useful contacts

Emergency In an emergency - for danger of physical or sexual assault or if urgent medical attention is required, call 999
Adults If you are an adult with concerns that a child is being abused contact the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) on 0808 800 5000 for confidential advice
Children If you are a child and want to talk to someone about abuse in confidence contact Childline on 0800 1111
Elderly If you have concerns about an older person being abused, call Action on Elder Abuse on 0800 0699 784
Merseyside Merseyside Police - 0151 709 6010 For general information and confidential advice call Merseyside Victim Support on 0151 353 4003 or the national helpline 08 08 16 89 111
Sefton (Adults) Sefton Plus - 0345 140 0845 Sefton Independent Domestic Violence Advisors - 0151 934 5142
Sefton (Children) Sefton Social Care Customer Access Team / Emergency Duty Team - 0845 140 0845
Liverpool (Adults) Liverpool Careline - 0151 233 3800
Liverpool (Children) Liverpool Careline - 0151 233 3700
Cheshire East (Adults) 0300 123 5010
Cheshire East (Children) 0300 123 5012
Cheshire East (Out of hours) 0300 123 5022
Cheshire West (Adults) 0300 123 7034
Cheshire West (Children) 0300 123 7047
Cheshire West (Out of hours) 01244 977 277
Wirral (Adults) 0151 514 2222
Wirral (Children) 0151 606 2008
Wirral (Out of hours) 0151 677 6557

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