An adult has told me they are hurt and afraid. What should I do?
If someone tells you they have been hurt or are afraid, you should listen and respond sensitively. Do what you can to make them safe.
The following guidance is taken from the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership’s ‘Adult Safeguarding Operational Procedures 2016’.
- Stay calm;
- Listen attentively;
- Express concern and acknowledge what is being said;
- Reassure the person – tell the person that s/he did the right thing in telling you;
- Let the person know that the information will be taken seriously and provide details about what will happen next, including the limits and boundaries of confidentiality
- If urgent medical/police help is required, call the emergency services;
- Ensure the immediate safety of the person;
- If you think a crime has occurred be aware that medical and forensic evidence might be needed. Consider the need for a timely referral to the police service and make sure nothing you do will contaminate it;
- Let the person know that they will be kept involved at every stage;
- Record in writing (date and sign your report) and report to the Line Manager/person in charge/Adult Safeguarding Champion at the earliest possible time;
- Act without delay.
Do not –
- Stop someone disclosing to you;
- Promise to keep secrets;
- Press the person for more details or make them repeat the story;
- Gossip about the disclosure or pass on the information to anyone who does not have a legitimate need to know;
- Contact the alleged person to have caused the harm;
- Attempt to investigate yourself;
- Leave details of your concerns on a voicemail or by email;
What to do if an adult discloses that they have been hurt or are afraid. (0.1 MiB, 905 downloads)