Keeping children, young people and adults safe (English)

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding allows children, young people, and adults to live free from abuse, harm, and neglect.

It is important that people understand how to spot the signs of abuse and neglect and how to report any concerns. 

Who are we safeguarding?

A child or young person means anyone up to the age of 18. It means protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.  An adult at risk is anyone 18 years old and over, who may have care and support needs (this means that extra support may be needed for an adult to manage on a daily basis), and is at risk of abuse or neglect, and as a result of those needs, is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it. 

What are the different types of abuse for children? 

  • Neglect
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Exploitation (from risks outside of the family or home e.g., sexual, or criminal exploitation)

What are the different types of abuse for adults? 

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Self-neglect
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Domestic abuse (including Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage)
  • Exploitation/modern slavery and human trafficking
  • Discriminatory abuse

Where might abuse take place?

Children and adults may be abused anywhere, and they may be abused by another adult/adults or another child or children. Abuse, harassment, and harm can happen to anyone. It’s not always visible and often not spoken about.

What do I need to do if I have a concern?

Anyone can report their concerns relating to a child or an adult, if it doesn’t feel right always act and don’t be worried to report any concerns you have.  If you believe a person to be at immediate risk of harm or in need of emergency medical attention, call the emergency services on 999.

If you are worried about a child or young person, call Children’s Services on 0161 603 4500 and if you are worried about an adult, call Adult Services on 0161 206 0604, Monday to Friday between 8.30am to 4.30pm, at any other time, call the Salford City Council Emergency Out of Hours number on 0161 794 8888

If you're worried about domestic abuse, help is available 24/7 from the National Domestic Violence website or Helpline 0808 2000 247.

Types of abuse explained


This is the most common type of abuse and means someone is not looking after someone as they should. 

  • Poor appearance and hygiene, smelly, dirty, unwashed, not wearing suitable clothes for the weather
  • Being hungry and not being given food
  • Having untreated health problems, such as nappy rash, tooth ache, eczema, head lice, untreated injuries
  • Parental substance misuse and mental health problems can have an impact on their ability to meet their children’s needs

Physical abuse

Intentionally causing physical harm to a person. It also includes making up the symptoms of an illness or causing a child to become unwell. 

  • Unexplained injuries or regular visits to Accident and Emergency
  • Bruising, bites, cigarette burns or scalds 

Sexual abuse (including sexual exploitation)

This is when a person is forced, coerced, or tricked into sexual activities

They might not understand that what’s happening is abuse or that it’s wrong and they might be afraid to tell someone

Sexual abuse can happen anywhere: it can happen in person or online

  • Being forced to engage in sexual activities or conversations online or through a smart phone
  • Making a child or adult at risk of harm; watch, view or share sexual images of themselves or someone else
  • Showing a child or adult at risk of harm; pornography
  • Rape, sexual assault or an indecent assault of an adult or child

Psychological and emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that involves deliberately trying to scare, humiliate, isolate, or ignore a person

  • Threatening, shouting, or calling someone names
  • Exposing a someone to upsetting situations, like domestic abuse or drug taking
  • Not showing any emotional warmth when interacting with a child
  • An air of silence when a particular person is present

Domestic abuse (including FGM and forced marriage)

This is controlling or threatening behaviour between partners or family members.

Men and women can be victims of domestic abuse and it can be very harmful for children to witness it.

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not or cannot consent to the marriage and coercion is used to enforce the marriage.

FGM also known as female genital cutting or female circumcision is a procedure which involves the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for no medical reason.

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling that the abuse is their fault when it is not
  • Physical evidence of violence such as bruising, cuts, broken bones
  • Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others
  • Fear of outside intervention
  • Damage to home or property
  • Isolation – not seeing friends and family
  • Limited access to money
  • Psychological trauma
  • Withdrawn
  • Self-harm
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Gynaecological complications (FGM)
  • Infection (FGM)

Financial or material abuse

This includes theft, fraud, or tricking people / scamming. This can include from family, friends, paid and unpaid carers. 

  • Unexplained lack of money
  • Someone being in control of their bank cards or spends
  • Giving bank cards and money to family, friends, paid or unpaid carers and receipts, change and cards are not returned 

Self-neglect (Adults)

Not looking after yourself

  • Very poor personal hygiene and unkempt appearance
  • Lack of essential food, clothing, or shelter
  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration
  • Living in squalid or unsanitary conditions
  • Hoarding
  • Collecting a large number of animals in inappropriate conditions
  • Non-compliance with health or care services
  • Inability or unwillingness to take medication or treat illness or injury

Discriminatory abuse

Unequal treatment based on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex, or sexual orientation

  • The person appears withdrawn and isolated
  • Being harassed or insulted


Modern Slavery (including Domestic Servitude) and Human Trafficking

Adults and children are forced to work through coercion, control, or physical threat. They are often trapped and controlled by an ’employer’, through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse.

Domestic servitude is a form of exploitation which is difficult to detect because the work is performed in private homes and viewed as seemingly normal practice of live -in-help for example, nannies, cleaners, or other domestic support. However, if the person is unable to leave on their own free will, it becomes a case of enslavement.

  • Signs of physical or emotional abuse
  • Appearing to be malnourished, unkempt or withdrawn
  • Isolation from the community, seeming under the control or influence of others
  • Living in dirty, cramped, or overcrowded accommodation and or living and working at the same address
  • Lack of personal effects or identification documents
  • Always wearing the same clothes
  • Avoidance of eye contact, appearing frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers
  • Fear of law enforcers

Hope at Home

This scheme provides move-on accommodation by matching survivors of modern slavery with volunteer host households. This is an independent, voluntary, adult to adult living arrangement facilitated by Hope at Home.

Every host has been assessed, trained, and undertaken a DBS check. 

They support the hosts to provide, a safe and secure home, offer life-skills to their guests and give an opportunity to begin to rebuild their lives. 

The role of the host is one of practical support but not professional services for example assistance, with finances and budgeting, life skills, signposting to other services or accompanying to various appointments.

We are able to provide accommodation to those who have no recourse to public funds and therefore are at risk of being destitute.

Visit the Hope at Home website for information or contact us on:

Guest information - practical advice on how to seek sanctuary safely

Stop the Traffic

If you or someone you know are looking for support as a person travelling because of the conflict in Ukraine, visit the resource campaign TRAVEL SAFE, STAY SAFE to find practical advice on how to seek sanctuary safely.

Visit Stop the Traffik or contact us on:

Staying Safe

Most people want to help refugees, but there may be some who shouldn’t be trusted.

If you are leaving Ukraine, here are 8 things to remember to keep yourself safe:

  1. Travel in a group
  2. Make sure you tell someone you trust about the trip you are taking
  3. If someone in your group goes missing, tell the police immediately
  4. If you are under 18 and travelling alone make sure your family knows where you are every step of the way
  5. If someone offers to help with transportation try to take a picture of them and their ID, their vehicle and registration and share it with your friends/family
  6. Always keep personal documents safe, never give them away only show them to officials if you need to
  7. Save emergency numbers on your mobile phone and always keep it with you
  8. People may offer you work, make sure you know the address of the workplace, share it with friends/family

Paper copies of the guides are available to order for free. Please call 0800 952 1000 and choose Option 7 to request copies.

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