Safeguarding you and your guests

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is a term that is used to describe the protection of the health, safety, well being and rights of individuals.

Why is it important?

We all have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of others and in particular children, young people and vulnerable adults.

As a sponsor, you need to know what to do in situations where you may have a concern about the safety or well being of your guest(s). This is particularly important where children and vulnerable adults are concerned.

What to do if you have concerns about a child or vulnerable adult?

As a basic rule, if you have any concerns about a child or a vulnerable adult staying in your home or attached to your support group, telephone Hertfordshire County  Council’s safeguarding team. There is one number for concerns about children and another for adults.

For Children:

  • Call Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP) on: 0300 123 4043 and give as much information as you can.
  • If you feel a child is in immediate danger, call 999

For Adults:

If you suspect that a vulnerable adult is being abused, or you are being abused yourself and live within Hertfordshire Local Authority boundaries, please contact us:

  • Herts County Council directly on: 0300 123 4042 (24 hours a day)
  • If in immediate danger – call 999

In an emergency or where you are worried that someone is in immediate danger, telephone 999 and ask for the Police.

Some advice to keep you and your guests safe

Consider how you want your guest(s) to use your home. For example, are your guests having access to all of your home or just particular areas? Be aware of everyone’s need for some privacy.

  • Do not take children out without their parent
  • Do not initiate physical contact unless in an emergency for safety reason
  • Do not take pictures or video of family members
  • Do not transport children unless in the company of their parent
  • Do not spend time with children alone. Stay in communal areas with others
  • Where possible do things as pairs of volunteers
  • If you are concerned about the actions of another person in the support group, then raise your concern and pass on the information if you continue to be concerned (See useful contact numbers above)
  • Think about your relationship with your guest(s) and be mindful to keep appropriate boundaries. For example, in terms of financial dealings etc
  • Be aware that your guest(s) may have particular vulnerabilities because of their recent experiences, lack of their usual support from family and friends and language barriers.

Finally, there is a wealth of information about safeguarding children and vulnerable adults available to you through online resources like the NSPCC and the Social Care Institute For Excellence