A to Z of Safeguarding Terminology and Phrases
Safeguarding policies refer to the regulations and processes that organisations and businesses are expected to follow to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults.
Safeguarding is a large and complex topic. For this reason, we’ve put together a glossary of common terms and phrases.
Assessment – An assessment is conducted in the workplace or care environment to ensure that the needs of children or vulnerable adults are met competently.
Abuse – Refers to any category of abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, financial, neglect, omission of care, overt discrimination, and organisational neglect or abuse.
Advocacy – Advocacy refers to speaking or acting on someone else’s behalf, in their best interests. For instance, an adult with learning difficulties may rely on an advocate to help them to put across their wishes or feelings on a certain subject.
ADASS – Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. ADASS was set up to help, advise, and advocate for vulnerable adults that require social services support.
Alert – An alert is a concern raised by any individual that a vulnerable person has been or is presently suffering abuse, exploitation, or neglect, or that they are at risk of it happening. The alert may be raised due to an incident, disclosure, or other relevant indicators.
Barred List – The barred list is a register of people’s names and details who are banned from working in contact with vulnerable adults or children. The barred list is held and maintained by the DBS and is revealed when an Enhanced with barred list DBS check is carried out.
Basic DBS check – The lowest level of DBS check, which searches an individual’s criminal record and returns details of unspent convictions only. Any individual can request a basic DBS check for themselves, without going through a business or organisation. The cost of a basic DBS is £23 (at the time of writing).
Best Interests Decision – The result of a process of deciding whether an action is in the best interests of an individual that lacks the mental capability to decide for themselves, according to the criteria set out in the Care Act 2014. The best interest decision considers present or past wishes of the individual, lasting power of attorney, or input from relatives, carers, or other advocates.
Carer – Refers to a person who looks after a child or vulnerable adult. The role of a carer is either a paid position, an official voluntary role, or undertaken by a relative or friend.
Child Abuse – A term used to describe violent, abusive, or threatening behaviour or neglect towards any person under the age of 16.
CCG – Clinical Commissioning Group. An organisation that was established in 2013, replacing Primary Care Trusts as the body responsible for the oversight of local care and health services.
Care Act 2014 – This was enacted to prevent vulnerable groups from abuse or neglect when placed in the care of others. It became law in April 2015 and is designed to support both vulnerable groups and their carers.
CQC – Care Quality Commission. The CQC is the governing body for English health and social care providers. The responsibilities of the CQC include registering, inspecting, and reporting on the quality of care in all care institutions across the country, both private and public.
Community Safety – A term used to describe all of the available services in a local community that help to improve health and safety. Some of the main focuses of community safety is to reduce anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.
Clinical Governance – An NHS framework designed to make sure that high standards of care are delivered across the board.
DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service. Set up in 2012 to replace the CRB (criminal records bureau), the DBS is in charge of overseeing and processing applications to search individual’s criminal records. The result of a DBS check helps employers and organisations to decide whether people are fit for the role in question, especially if it involves working in contact with vulnerable groups of people. A DBS check can be applied for online through this website.
Domestic Abuse – A term used to describe violent, abusive, or threatening acts or behaviour towards any person over the age of 16.
Enhanced DBS check – The highest level of DBS check, which can be requested alone or with details of the DBS barred list too. An enhanced DBS check reveals spent and unspent conviction, cautions, warnings, reprimands, and any relevant police notes that are kept on file. The type of jobs that require enhanced DBS checks are teachers, doctors, nurses, and care workers.
GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR is an EU and EEA law that protects individuals from intrusive data collection or use by organisations. It is relevant to safeguarding as sensitive data may be kept on vulnerable people and needs to be managed in accordance with GDPR guidance.
Harm – Harm refers to any situation or action that can potentially damage or compromise an individual’s physical, emotional, social, or intellectual security or development.
NHS – National Health Service. The NHS provides healthcare to residents of the United Kingdom and accessible to all and free at the point of entry.
Public Interest – A term used to describe whether an action is justified as being beneficial for the public to find out about it or to experience it. In other words whether the action can be considered to have been taken in the “public interest”. The news media follows guidelines that decide whether releasing sensitive information is in the public interest.
Radicalisation – Describes the process of an individual being drawn into a radical and extreme belief system that condones violent or threatening behaviour to achieve a group’s stated cause. For example, a radicalising influence may try to recruit people from vulnerable groups to a hate-fuelled ideology that encourages acts of terrorism. To prevent radicalisation the UK government introduced the PREVENT strategy in 2007 which sets out to stop people being recruited to become a terrorist or support terrorism.
Referral – The next stage after an alert has been raised. The alert is escalated to a referral after an initial assessment has determined that there is a safeguarding issue.
Safeguarding – A term that covers all and any activities related to protecting an individual’s right to safety and security.
Safeguarding enquiry – Also known as a “section 42 enquiry” after section 42 of the Care Act 2014, a safeguarding enquiry is undertaken by the local authority in response to a claim of abuse or neglect in a care facility. The enquiry may involve an interview with the vulnerable adult or child or their advocate. Based on this conversation a decision will be made whether to escalate the enquiry to a full-blown multi-agency plan.
Standard DBS Check – A mid-level DBS check that provides details on spent and unspent conviction, warnings, reprimands and cautions. A standard DBS check must be requested on behalf of an individual by an organisation and can be applied for online.
Vital Interests – A term to describe the sharing and dissemination of private data and information when it is imperative to protect an individual or group from serious harm, distress, or threat to their lives.
Willful Neglect or Ill Treatment – Describes the intentional failure to provide adequate care to a vulnerable person.
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