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Safeguarding Policy 2024

View  Safeguarding policy 2024 (PDF) [535KB]  as a PDF document, alternatively the information is available in an accessible format below.

The purpose of this policy and procedure sets out the Councils commitment to addressing adult safeguarding issues and ensuring that the appropriate agencies are engaging in providing a response to any concerns raised. It outlines what should be the response of a council representative if they encounter an adult safeguarding issue.

This policy applies to all adults in need of safeguarding that come to the attention of South Ribble officers and representatives as they undertake their roles and responsibilities for the Council.


This Safeguarding policy is designed to provide straight forward information and advice for frontline staff, volunteers and managers who work with children and young people and their families and those working with adults at risk of abuse; supporting them to respond promptly and effectively to allegations or concerns of abuse.

Additional information and advice concerning children and families is available from theChildren's Safeguarding Assurance Partnership (CSAP) websiteThis includes access to Lancashire Council's safeguarding policies and procedures concerning the welfare of children.

Additional information concerning the protection and wellbeing of adults can be found at the Safeguarding Adults Board website, which should be viewed alongside the with the Pan-Lancashire and Cumbria Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures.

South Ribble and Chorley Council (hereafter The Council) policy is consistent with key legislation and national and local guidance for the protection of children and adults including:

The Children Act 1989, The Children Act 2004, Children and Families act 2014, The Counter Terrorism and Securities Act 2015, Working together to safeguard children 2018, The Modern Slavery Act 2015, The Prevent Duty Guidance, Mental health act 1983, Mental Capacity Act 2005, The Marriage and Civil partnership (Minimum age) Act 2022, Protection of Freedoms Act 2012,Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2015, The Care Act 2014, and The Care and Support Statutory Guidance 2023

In partnership with other organisations, the Council deliver a range of services and activities for children, young people and adults, some of whom may be vulnerable to abuse and neglect. The Council's safeguarding responsibilities need to be understood and fulfilled in partnership with a range of agencies and professionals and this policy sets out the ways in which the Council and its representatives will work to keep people safe and promote their welfare.

Everyone employed by the Council has a responsibility to adhere to and implement this policy and to report suspected abuse or poor practice to the Officers and agencies identified within it. For the purpose of this policy the term 'employee' relates to any person paid or unpaid working with adults in need of protection, children and their families on behalf of the Council i.e. a representative of the council for example an Elected Member.

The purpose of this policy and procedure sets out our commitment to addressing children and adult safeguarding issues and ensuring that the appropriate agencies are engaging in providing a response to any concerns raised. It outlines what should be the response of a council representative if they encounter any safeguarding issue. This policy applies to all children and adults in need of safeguarding that come to the attention of Council officers and representatives as they undertake their roles and responsibilities for the Council.

Under the The care act 2014, the term "vulnerable adults" became "adults at risk" to recognise a shift in service philosophy and practice. The term 'Safeguarding Adults' reinforces that all adults have the right to live free from abuse and degrading treatment, but that some people may have that right compromised. Throughout this policy the term adults at risk, adults in need of protection or simply adults will be used to refer to adults who may be vulnerable due to their circumstances.

 It is recognised that particular sections of our community such as those that access social care; those who are elderly and those with learning difficulties may be at greater risk from abuse than others.


The safeguarding Policy applies to all representatives of Chorley Borough Council and South Ribble Borough Council whilst in performance of their duties, roles and responsibilities. The procedure provides a framework for raising concerns about any safeguarding issue and a process by which those concerns can be escalated or referred to the most appropriate agency for further action.


Principles There are several key principles which underpin this policy. First, the safety of children and adults at risk is paramount in all decisions relating to their welfare. Any action taken by staff should ensure that no child or adult at risk is left in immediate danger.

When considering whether immediate action is required to protect a child, or adult at risk, all agencies should also consider whether action is taken to protect the welfare of:

  •  Any other children or adults at risk in the same household, or related to the household
  •  Any other children or adults at risk in the household of an alleged perpetrator, or;
  •  Any other children or adults at risk elsewhere e.g. a work environment

Effective safeguarding requires clear local arrangements for collaboration between professionals and agencies. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who encounters them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information, and taking prompt action. In order that organisations and practitioners collaborate effectively, it is vital that everyone is aware of the role that they must play and the role of other professionals.

Similarly, where working with adults at risk of harm, collaboration with the adult you have a concern about, and with other professionals is vital; to ensure they are protected from abuse or harm. The Council is fully committed to these principles and expects all its employees to share and display the same level of commitment in practice. Briefly:

  • Safeguarding is and will remain a priority for everyone across both Council's strategically and operationally.
  • Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.
  • The welfare of children and young people is of paramount importance and will be our primary consideration at all times.
  •  The wellbeing and protection of adults is central in all interactions with adults.

Roles and responsibilities

South Ribble Borough Council  and Chorley Council  have strategically combined functions and office holders. This safeguarding policy applies across the two Councils. This safeguarding policy covers the protection of children and adults.

The Councils Safeguarding Officers are:

  • Senior Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for both Councils is Jennifer Mullin, Director of Communities and Leisure.
  • Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer for South Ribble Borough Council is Dan Chappelow, Community Safety and Safeguarding Team Leader.
  • Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer for Chorley Borough Council is Rachel Austen, Public Protection Team Leader.

Additionally, each council has a network of safeguarding champions across each directorate. They act as a first line of contact for staff with safeguarding concerns. These members of staff are trained to a higher level than the mandatory safeguarding training. Safeguarding Champions can be identified through the respective council intranet sites and staff notice boards.

It is not the role or responsibility of any representative of the Council to decide whether abuse is happening. It is the Council's responsibility to report concerns in a concise and timely way, to the Safeguarding Officers and the relevant statutory agencies.

Chief Executive

  • The Council's Chief Executive takes ultimate responsibility for safeguarding arrangements across each Council, acting as a driving-force and a key conduit between strategy and operation, policy, procedure and practice

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL):

  • Will act as strategic and operational decision maker for the council on safeguarding children issues.
  • Will be a key organisational contact for safeguarding both internally and externally with relevant agencies.
  • Will promote safeguarding and child protection throughout the council in conjunction with the Senior Leadership Team and Elected Members
  • Will ensure this policy is disseminated and embedded across the council and that it is reviewed and updated regularly.
  • Will maintain a level of up to date knowledge and training commensurate with the role and responsibilities
  • Will provide a point of contact with the County Council Children's and Adult's Services Duty Officers and hold an up-to-date list of contact details for statutory safeguarding agencies (children and adults)

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead:

  • Will deputise for and support DSL (as above)
  • Will ensure incidents or concerns are reported in a timely manner with all relevant information recorded
  • Will ensure anyone with responsibility for recruitment has received safer recruitment training
  • Will ensure that the Corporate Training Programme provides employees, elected members and volunteers access to appropriate, high quality safeguarding training commensurate with their role and responsibilities.

Director of Change & Delivery

  • Will ensure the council's recruitment and selection processes are consistent and robust and in line with best safeguarding practice, national guidance and legal requirements •
  • Will ensure DBS checks and references that refer to the candidates' suitability to work with children and adults are taken up for all appropriate posts as part of the recruitment and selection processes and that repeat checks are issued for employees.
  • Will include appropriate training in the corporate training programme and ensure that Safeguarding training is part of the induction programme for all new staff
  • Will ensure that details of DBS checks (record of date and reference number), any details of safeguarding incidents and references of staff are kept securely and uphold confidentiality in line with best practice and relevant legislation.
  • Will maintain a record of all staff that have completed a DBS check and are considered suitable for work involving substantial access to children adults at risk.

Directors and Heads of Service:

  • Are responsible for nominating a Safeguarding Champion who will act as a point of contact within their directorate/ service area for information on council safeguarding processes
  • Are responsible for making sure that all staff are aware of and understand the importance of this policy and related guidance.
  •  Will arrange for appropriate training for their staff and maintain a log of this training.
  • Must make sure that any contractors, agents, or other representatives who they have engaged to undertake duties on behalf of the Council involving contact with children or adults at risk understand and comply with this policy.

Monitoring Officer - Director of Governance:

  • Has responsibility for receiving safeguarding concerns and allegations made against Elected Members. The Monitoring Officer in liaison with the Lead Safeguarding Officer and Chief Executive will determine the most appropriate course of action.

Safeguarding Champions

  •  Acting as an ambassador on all safeguarding matters within their service area;
  • Attending and participating in quarterly Safeguarding Champions Meetings;
  •  Keeping abreast of safeguarding issues and developments in order to disseminate across and update their service area;
  • Undertaking appropriate safeguarding training in order to keep up to date with current and emerging issues, and/or changes in legislation;

All Members

  • All Members of the Council have a strategic role and should satisfy themselves that the Council is discharging its statutory responsibilities and demonstrates good practice wherever possible. It is essential that safeguarding of children and adults at risk is prioritised and adequately resourced. All elected Members have a responsibility in this regard.
  • The Cabinet and Members of some Committees have additional and specific responsibilities. For example, those responsible for licensing, governance and scrutiny have a crucial role to play in ensuring that the central tenets of this safeguarding policy and procedures are embedded and implemented in practice i.e. by seeking assurances that requisite checks are undertaken and up-to-date and that information sharing occurs in that context, in-line with [inter-agency] safeguarding protocols and procedures.
  • All Members will undertake safeguarding training, some will receive additional training appropriate to their role.
  • If a Member has any information which raises concerns about harm or potential harm to any child, a child protection referral should be made as soon as practically possible and within 72 hours, (in accordance with this Policy). If a Member has concerns about immediate danger needing an emergency response or thinks a crime is being committed the police should be contacted immediately.
  • Should be aware of this policy and should commit to safeguarding children and adults.
  • Are expected to act on any suspected or potential case of the abuse children or adults. In line with the existing Council's 'Whistle Blowing' Policy, will support anyone who, in good faith, reports his or her concerns even if those concerns prove to be unfounded.
  • Should challenge poor practice as appropriate.
  • Should ensure confidentiality of information is properly observed in accordance with data protection policies and legislation bearing in mind the overarching need to ensure the best interests of children and adults are met.

All Staff:

  • Should be aware of this policy and should commit to safeguarding children and adults.
  •  Are expected to act on any suspected or potential case of the abuse children or adults. In line with the existing Council's 'Whistle Blowing' Policy, will support anyone who, in good faith, reports his or her concerns even if those concerns prove to be unfounded.
  • Should challenge poor practice as appropriate
  • Should ensure confidentiality of information is properly observed in accordance with data protection policies and legislation bearing in mind the overarching need to ensure the best interests of children and adults are met.
  • Undertake and refresh safeguarding training appropriate to their role and responsibility


The Council really values the contributions of those who help deliver services and activities by giving their time and sharing their experience and expertise freely.

The Council will ensure that:

  • Volunteers are recruited safely
  • nformation sessions for volunteers always include core safeguarding information and guidance;
  • Officers present at and responsible for activities and / or events understand and fulfil their responsibilities in terms of briefing volunteers on safeguarding and related matters prior to their active participation.

Partnership working

Partnership Working To work effectively in following these safeguarding procedures there will be a need to ensure appropriate agencies are involved. Key agencies are Lancashire County Council Children and Adult Services; Lancashire Constabulary; Lancashire Fire & Rescue Services, NHS and health providers, Registered Social Landlords and Third Sector organisations. Officers in consultation with the DSO should ensure that relevant agencies are engaged at an early stage when safeguarding concerns arise.


All staff will receive the appropriate level of safeguarding training to be confident and competent when working with children or adults at risk and be able to recognise and respond to safeguarding concerns. This will include recognising the impact of trauma on children and adults at risk, how we can promote welfare and wellbeing of children and adults and where to go to get help and advice. Training will be in line with the Lancashire Children's Safeguarding Assurance Partnership (CSAP) and Lancashire Adult's Safeguarding Board (LASB) requirements and priorities.

New Starters will have an introduction to the safeguarding policy and procedures through their induction process. They will also be required to sign a statement in the Induction Handbook to show that they have read, understood and will comply with this policy. The Learning Hub Safeguarding Training module is mandatory for all employees (within two weeks of their appointment) and elected members of the Council; it is also integral to the Council's induction programme, including for volunteers.

Elected Members will also receive an additional face to face briefing every 4 years.

All staff will be required to undertake mandatory Safeguarding Children and Adults e-learning Training every 2 years. The courses can be found on the learning hub and it is the responsibility of the line manager to ensure this training happens. The Home Office Prevent Awareness course can be found at the Learning Hub and it is mandatory for all staff to complete this annually.

Front line staff will be required to complete Level One Safeguarding Training every 2 years.

Staff working directly with children and adults at risk will be required to undertake more indepth Face to face Safeguarding training on an ad-hoc basis.

Level two safeguarding training must be completed by all safeguarding champions, designated safeguarding officers and every 2 years. Managers are responsible for identifying any additional officers who require level two training.

Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officers are required to complete Level 3 training.

Definition - Safeguarding Children

 Safeguarding Children Safeguarding Children Safeguarding and promoting welfare - Is defined as:

• Protecting children from maltreatment;

• Preventing impairment of children's health or development

; • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and

• Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Consequently, this policy takes account of and will be implemented in accordance with Lancashire's Continuum of Need and Thresholds Guidance.


Anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. Therefore, the term children refers to children and young people throughout this policy. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital, in prison or in a Young Offenders Institution, does not change their status or entitlement to services or protection under the Children Act 1989.


The term is used generically and refers to parents, carers, guardians i.e. those with parental responsibility.

Child protection

Part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are at risk of suffering, significant harm. Safeguarding children, and in particular protecting them from significant harm, depends on effective joint working between agencies and professionals that have different roles and areas of expertise.

Types of Abuse - Safeguarding Children

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) defines the four categories of abuse used by Children's Social Care for determining child protection plans: physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect. It is important to understand that these may occur alongside one another and are not mutually exclusive.

Abuse comes in many forms with examples listed below but it is important to understand that it does not matter if the person intended harm or not but rather on whether harm or risk of harm occurs.

Physical Abuse

May involve hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions).

Physical harm

may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Emotional Abuse 

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child's developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Neglect and acts of omission

The persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or 
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.

Sexual Abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Recognising Abuse and Neglect - Safeguarding Children

Everyone must also be aware of other forms of abuse and contexts within which abuse can occur, what to look for and what to do in the event that they suspect, are told about or witness abuse or harm. Detailed guidance is available from the CSAP Policy. Recognising abuse will be informed through safeguarding training. For example (and this list is not exhaustive):

To note: Domestic abuse legislation and best practice covers those over 16 years of age (age of consent), and in recognition that individuals could marry with parental consent at 16, now under The Marriage and Civil Partnership (minimum Age) Act 2022 the age of marriage has been raised to 18 years of age.

Types of abuse - Safeguarding Adults

Physical abuse - including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.

Domestic violence - including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called 'honour' based violence.

Sexual abuse - including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.

Psychological abuse - including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.

Financial or material abuse - including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult's financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Modern slavery - encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

Discriminatory abuse - including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Organisational abuse - including neglect and poor care practice within an Institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one's own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Neglect and acts of omission - including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Self-neglect - this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one's personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding. Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple and affect one person or more.

Prevent Duty

Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places duties on certain bodies to have due regards to the need to safeguard people from being drawn into terrorism including local authorities. The Government's Counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) outlines a four stage framework to:

  • PREVENT people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
  • PURSUE terrorists and disrupt their plots 13
  • PROTECT against a terrorist attack and reduce our vulnerability
  • PREPARE to mitigate the impact of any attack The council's duties fall within the PREVENT category

The council is part of a PanLancashire Partnership made up of counter-terrorism police, other local authorities, services and agencies with Prevent duties. The partnership works to deliver agreed minimum requirements to help stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. They provide local intelligence in relation threats and vulnerabilities from terrorism and extremism. The work also extends to supporting the rehabilitation and disengagement of those already involved in terrorism.

Prevent Training

Council officers must complete the Prevent module on the Learning Hub annually and new employees at induction. Face to face sessions will be made available periodically for those who may require more in-depth awareness. Members should complete the e-learning or face to face training annually.


The term 'Channel' or 'Channel Programme' refers to a multi-agency process which aims to draw vulnerable individuals away from extremism before they become involved in criminal activity; its effectiveness relies heavily upon information sharing between agencies.

Where concerns are raised in this context, the council will implement this procedure and a referral will be made to the Chanel Panel in Lancashire. Advice may also be sought from Lancashire Police:

Police Engagement Officer: 01772 410000

Lancashire's Channel Co-ordinator: 01772 413029

For non-urgent safeguarding concerns around terrorism, extremism and radicalisation, email the Police Channel Team on

Duty Desk: 01772 412 742 (8am to 6pm weekdays).


Informed Lancashire Trauma Informed Lancashire is a movement supporting public, private and third sector organisations and communities in understanding how psychological trauma can impact individuals and considering implications for their services.

The council is committed to being part of a Trauma Informed Lancashire and delivering services which will:

  • Realise the widespread impact of trauma and the potential pathways to recovery
  • Respond in a way which is in keeping with our knowledge of trauma
  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of trauma
  •  Resist re-traumatisation

Trauma Informed Training

Frontline staff in regular contact with children and adults at risk will receive Trauma Informed Basic Awareness Training (1 full day) as provided by the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network. All staff and elected members will receive bespoke Trauma informed training.

Responding to Safeguarding Concerns

Social care support for children and families

Children's social care support can provide help to children and their parents if the child:

  • needs support with maintaining their health or development
  • has a disability
  • is in need of protection
  • is fostered, adopted or lives in residential care

Lancashire Family Safeguarding is the local statutory partnership that has a remit to ensure children's issues are effectively addressed by all relevant agencies. Taking a strengths-based approach in working with families to protect children.

Responding to a safeguarding concern - children

You may become aware of possible abuse in various ways:

  • see the abuse happening; or receive a direct disclosure of abuse.
  • suspect or have concerns because of signs or symptoms or
  • have concerns reported to you by either another party

It is not the responsibility of Council staff, elected members, or volunteers to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place or if a child or young person is at significant risk. Council staffs, elected members, and volunteers, however, have a responsibility to act in a concise and timely way if they have a concern, and report it to the relevant authorities.

Remember: Concern does not necessarily need to be related to a single specific incident. It may also arise from the accumulation of minor concerns. Failure to report concerns early may allow abuse to continue or escalate with catastrophic consequences.

In all cases, if you are not sure what to do you should contact a Line manager or Safeguarding Champion, if one is not available, contact a Designated Child Protection Officer at Lancashire County who will be able to provide advice.

You should not attempt to investigate the abuse. Remember that an allegation of abuse or neglect may lead to court action to protect the child or to punish the abuser. Both could be jeopardised if you act inappropriately. Your role is to listen and record. Keep questions to the absolute minimum to ensure a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said. DO NOT ASK CLOSED OR LEADING QUESTIONS such as "did he touch you?" Allow the child to talk freely and be supportive.

Actions to take

  • If a child indicates that they are being abused, or information is obtained which raises concern of abuse, you should act immediately. 
  •  It is not the responsibility of a Council representative to decide that abuse is occurring, but it is their responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting any suspicions that they have.
  •  If you are not sure what to do your first response should be to contact a Line Manager, Safeguarding Champion or Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) who will be able to provide advice.
  •  However, if you believe a child to be in immediate danger you should contact the Police on 999, then inform a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO).
  •  If you are not sure what to do you can gain help from Lancashire County Council (LCC) Social Care.. Or call Lancashire County Council on 0300 123 6720 (8am - 8pm) or 0300 123 6722 (8pm -8am), or relevant council where the child normally resides.
  •  You can also access help from the NSPCC 24-hour help line Tel No: 0808 800 5000.
  •  It is important to record as much information as possible. There is an internal reporting form available on the intranet or mobile (paper) recording forms are available for nonoffice-based staff. The form maintains a record of any incident and should always be filled out as soon as possible after disclosure, incidents or concerns. Appendix 5 provides an example of the mobile recording form.
  •  Pass the completed form to a Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately (or as soon as practically possible if out of hours). Reporting the matter should not be delayed by attempts to obtain further information.
  •  If you believe that a child is in immediate danger of harm, you should personally contact the Police ensuring that the Council's Lead Safeguarding Officer is made aware at the earliest opportunity. The police will automatically inform the Family Safeguarding Team. A record should be made of the name and title of the police officer to whom the concerns were passed together with the time, date and log number of the call, in case any follow up is needed.
  •  The Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) must report the incident or seek advice from LCC Children Services as soon as possible but within an absolute maximum of 24 hours from the receipt of the internal reporting form. The DSO will advise the referrer of the action they will take and further feedback will only be provided if appropriate

If an allegation relates to Persons in a Position of Trust (PiPOT) this may include, but is not limited to any staff working on behalf of:

  • Social care
  • Health services
  • Police and criminal justice
  • Housing
  • Education
  •  Advocacy
  •  GPs
  •  Independent Sector
  •  Agency and Bank Workers
  • Religious/Faith Leaders

Then the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will also need to be informed. 

Safeguarding within specific circumstances involving the Council

If abuse concerns a Council representative or Elected Member, then inform the DSO who will make contact with the LADO. Should a concern, report or allegation relate to an Elected Member the first point of contact should be with the Council's Monitoring Officer, who will take advice from LCC Children Services or refer the matter formally. The Monitoring Officer may decide that the Council's Standards procedures apply. If the disclosure relates to a member of staff or another Designated Safeguarding Officer, then the issue should be passed immediately to the Lead Safeguarding Officer. Responding to poor practice If, after investigation, the allegation clearly stems from poor practice, the appropriate Director or manager and Human Resources shall arrange for further information, training and supervision for the representative(s) and service managers. In light of the investigation the Director will be responsible for making any recommended changes to the practices and procedures within their directorate to ensure that the welfare of children and young people is safeguarded and remains paramount. In addition, the Lead Safeguarding Officer will undertake a review of the Safeguarding Policy in the light of investigations into poor practice.

Responding to a safeguarding concern - adult at risk

Where hearing a disclosure of abuse, or witnessing a safeguarding concern: At the first opportunity make a note of the disclosure and date and sign your record. You should then contact one of the Councils Designated Safeguarding Officers to discuss the most appropriate course of action with the information you have obtained. Together you will then decide on the most appropriate escalation. If you feel the person is in immediate danger or under an immediate threat of harm you should contact the Police on 101 and/or appropriate Emergency Service immediately using 999.

Lancashire County Council Adult Social Care

In all other cases you can report abuse on-line using the Lancashire County Council Safeguarding Adults Portal If you would prefer to speak to someone then call 0300 123 6720 during office hours or between 5pm - 8am call 0300 123 6722.

You should aim to:

  • Note what the person actually said, using their own words and phrases
  • Describe the circumstances in which the disclosure came about
  • Note the setting and anyone else who was there at the time
  • Separate out factual information from your own opinions
  • Use a pen with black ink, so that the report can be photocopied
  •  Be aware that your report may be required later as part of a legal action or disciplinary procedure

Information Sharing and Consent

Where possible, share information with consent, and where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to having their information shared. Under the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 you may share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is a lawful basis to do so, such as where safety may be at risk.

Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children at risk of abuse or neglect. All staff must take responsibility for sharing the information they hold and cannot assume that someone else will pass on information, which may be critical to keeping a child safe.

When safeguarding children, you do not need the child's consent to share information if you feel they are at risk. In most cases it is better to be open and transparent with the child and their family. Ask for consent, but if they refuse you can inform them you will still be submitting a referral without their consent, based on a safeguarding risk. Do not ask for consent if you feel this would put yourself or the child(ren) in danger.

When Safeguarding adults, you must always ask permission from the adult to share concerns and people have the right to refuse permission. Referrals can be made without consent in special circumstances, but you need to speak to a Safeguarding Officer to discuss the circumstances.

Record any decisions that have been made around information sharing, whether you have chosen to share the information or not, record the reasons for your choice.

Further Guidance

Further guidance can be found at Lancashire County Council -

Policy & Practice - Children's Safeguarding Assurance Partnership (

Policies and Procedures -Lancashire Safeguarding Children and Adults Board

Supporting Policies Other policies referred to within this document or supporting safeguarding actions include:

1) Whistleblowing Policy

2) Supervision Policy

3) Children and Young People Policy

4) Code of Conduct

5) Volunteer Policy

These policies can be viewed on the Learning Hub.


The appendices can be viewed on the Safeguarding Policy 2024 PDF document

Appendix 1:External Safeguarding Contacts 
Appendix 2: Internal Safeguarding Contacts 
Appendix 3: Safeguarding CHILDREN Referral Pathway 
Appendix 4: Safeguarding ADULTS Referral Pathway 
Appendix 5:  Mobile Safeguarding Reporting Form 


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