Safeguarding Adults training for Volunteers, including form

Please read the training material below and then confirm you have completed the training at the end of the page

Session Overview

Learning Objectives

  • Explain what the term ‘adult with care and support needs’ means
  • Describe the process where someone is first alerted to a concern or incident that suggests an adult:
    • Is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, and
    • As a result of their care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves against abuse or neglect, or the risk of it
  • Define the term ‘adult safeguarding’ and underlying statutory principles that underpin adult safeguarding work
  • Define abuse and neglect, patterns and types and list possible indicators
  • Identify why some adults are more at risk from abusive behaviour
  • Explain the role you must play in recognising and reporting and who you need to speak to if you have a safeguarding concern

The Aims of Safeguarding

  • This session will cover the training required for safeguarding adults.
  • Depending on which organisation you volunteer for, there may be elements of the session that are not applicable to you.
  • In such cases, where you are unsure of whether it applies to you as a volunteer, you must refer to your volunteer coordinator.

Adult with Care and Support Needs

Adult safeguarding duties under the Care Act 2014 apply to an adult, aged 18 or over, who:

  • Has needs for care and support and
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and
  • As a result of those care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect

We refer to these adults as ‘adults with care and support needs’. You may also hear the terms ‘adult at risk’ or ‘vulnerable adult’.

Care and support is the mixture of practical, financial and emotional support for adults who need extra help to manage their lives and be independent, including older people, people with a disability or long-term illness, people with mental health problems and carers.

Adult Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business

Everybody has the right to be safe no matter who they are or what their circumstances. Safeguarding is about protecting everyone from harm, abuse or neglect.

The safeguarding process starts before volunteers are involved in any activity by making sure the right people are recruited in the first place, and that they receive the necessary support and guidance to carry out their volunteering safely and effectively. Effective safeguarding also looks beyond traditional notions of harm and abuse, taking into consideration health and safety, and other ways to ensure the health and well-being of volunteers and the people they support.

As a volunteer, you have :

  • Aduty of care. It is your duty to identify and report any concerns, not to take action or investigate further.
  • A responsibility to be aware of the Prevent strategy and an obligation to report concerns. As part of your volunteer training you may also be asked to complete the Prevent training session. If in doubt, talk to your Manager.

The aims of adult safeguarding are to:

  • Prevent harm and reduce risk of abuse or neglect to adults
  • Stop abuse and neglect wherever possible
  • Safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices about how they want to live
  • Raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play a part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
  • Provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or well-being of an adult
  • Address what has caused the abuse or neglect

The Underpinning Principles

Adult safeguarding reflects the six underpinning key principles.

  1. Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and give informed consent.
  2. Prevention – Taking action before abuse occurs
  3. Proportionality – Making sure the level of action taken is equal to the risk.
  4. Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  5. Partnership – Working in partnership to achieve local solutions in communities where we live. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting abuse and neglect.
  6. Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

Making Safeguarding Personal

Making safeguarding personal is about having a conversation with people about how we might respond in safeguarding situations in a way that enables their involvement, choice and control, as well as improving quality of life, well-being and safety.

Supporting an Individual’s Well-being

Safeguarding protects an individual’s well-being. It should be assumed that individuals are best placed to judge their own well-being. Well-being relates to:

  • Personal dignity
  • Exercising control over day-to-day life
  • Physical, mental health and emotional well-being
  • Domestic, family and personal relationships
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Social and economic well-being
  • Suitability of living conditions
  • Participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • Contributions to society

What Constitutes Abuse and Neglect

  • People are not always aware that adults, as well as children, are at risk and can experience abuse and neglect.
  • Abuse or neglect in any form needs to be identified and responded to appropriately to make sure harm can be stopped, or managed, and to make sure the likelihood of it recurring is reduced.
  • Everyone has a duty to respond if they are worried about abuse or neglect of an adult at risk of harm. 
  • Complete
  • Types of abuse can include:
Physical abuse Psychological abuse
Domestic abuse Self-neglect
Sexual abuse Organisational abuse
Discriminatory abuse Financial or material abuse
Neglect and acts of omission Modern slavery


Reporting a Safeguarding Concern

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As a volunteer you are required to report any concerns immediately to your volunteer coordinator. You are not expected to investigate further. These concerns are confidential and must only be shared with your volunteer coordinator in the first instance.

If an adult confides in you and insists that you don’t tell anyone, you must still report it. While it is important to respect someone’s wishes, this cannot override their welfare and safety. You should tell them that you have to share this with other people who may be able to help keep them and other adults safe.If you feel your concerns are not being addressed, or you are not comfortable speaking to your volunteer coordinator, then contact another senior member of the team in the organisation.

Do –

  • Keep yourself safe and, if you do not feel safe, remove yourself from the situation
  • Speak to your volunteer coordinator immediately if you have any concerns
  • Keep it confidential, except with your volunteer coordinator
  • Make notes on what you’ve seen
  • Be aware of your own limits

Don’t –

  • Panic or allow emotions to become apparent
  • Share this information with any others at this point until instructed to do so by your volunteer coordinator
  • Make assumptions about what you’re being told
  • Give out your personal phone number, email or address
  • Ask leading questions

Session Summary

Key Points

  • The key aims of adult safeguarding are to:
    • Prevent harm and reduce risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs
    • Stop abuse and neglect wherever possible, and
    • Address what has caused the abuse or neglect
  • The safeguarding principles are: empowerment, prevention, proportionality, protection, partnership and accountability
  • It is a volunteer’s responsibility to report any safeguarding concerns immediately


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