Reporting safeguarding concerns about tenants
Guidance for frontline housing staff and contractors
Reporting concerns is known as ‘raising an alert’. When raising an alert you should give as much information about your concern as possible. The local authority must take alerts seriously and consider whether to initiate adult safeguarding procedures. If it decides not to do so, it should advise on alternative courses of action. You should be supported by your manager if you feel that the local authority has failed to respond appropriately.
What do you need to know?
- Your responsibilities under local multi-agency safeguarding procedures.
- How to seek advice (from your manager or safeguarding lead, the police or the local authority safeguarding lead) if you are unsure about whether to raise an alert.
- Your manager should support you if the local authority is unresponsive to your concerns.
What should you do if abuse is suspected?
- In an emergency, if there is actual or immediate risk of abuse, call 999.
- Preserve any evidence.
- Report all your concerns to a manager.
- If abuse of a person with care and support needs is suspected, report it to the local authority adult social services.
- Contact the local authority children’s services if a child is, or may also be, at risk.
- If there is doubt about whether a situation amounts to abuse, ask the advice of the local authority safeguarding lead.
What should you do if a tenant discloses abuse?
- Assure the person that the matter will be taken seriously.
- Listen and be non-judgemental.
- Explain the process for reporting the allegation.
- Don’t promise confidentiality – explain how and why the information might need to be shared.
- Don’t question the person, other than for clarification – formal enquiries and investigation will allow the person to give a full account of their concerns.
- Don’t approach the alleged abuser.
- Report the allegation to your manager in line with organisational and local multi-agency procedures.
- Make a record of what the person disclosed and what action has been taken as a result.