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We believe that everyone should be able to live a life free from abuse and neglect. Safeguarding customers is paramount to Torus as we believe that every person, adult or child, has the right to live without fear or abuse or neglect in their own homes and communities.

  • What is abuse and neglect
  • How to report a safeguarding concern
  • Our role in keeping you safe
  • Digital safeguarding

Updated: 16 May 2023

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is about a promoting the safety and wellbeing of adults and children who may be experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect and protecting them from harm.

This includes physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, domestic abuse, financial abuse, as well as discrimination, organisational abuse, modern slavery and self-neglect.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and Torus is committed to ensuring that every adult, child and young person in its communities can live a life that is free from harm, neglect and abuse.

If you are concerned that a child, young person or a vulnerable adult is at risk of or is experiencing abuse or neglect/self-neglect, or you yourself are a victim of abuse, you should report it straight away so that the appropriate services can take the appropriate actions to offer specialist support and prevent harm.

Who needs safeguarding?

All children who are experiencing abuse or neglect require safeguarding and any concerns must be shared with the right services to ensure that the abuse stops and the child is protected.

Adults safeguarding applies to those adults, aged 18 and over who are experiencing abuse or neglect and cannot protect themselves because of they have care and support needs. Care and support needs could include: poor mental health, sensory needs, a learning disability, physical disability, illness, and older person or someone who is providing unpaid care and support to someone else.

Stopping abuse in our communities - our role to keep you safe

Did you know that Torus staff, including our repairs and maintenance staff have a key role in keeping you safe from harm, abuse and/or neglect (including self-neglect)? 

To do this we must look out for signs and indicators and if we spot anything concerning, we will try to offer support from our internal teams or support services. In some cases where the issues are complex, or someone is at risk of harm we have a duty of care to report them to external partners. 

We aim to work in a person-centred way by promoting empowerment and managing risk appropriately.  We will always treat customers with dignity and respect, seeking their views, supporting them to make choices and take decisions for themselves, so they can live as independently as possible.

We work alongside our partners in social care, healthcare and the police to keep customers who live in our homes or use our services safe and support them to make their own choices.

What is abuse and neglect?

To abuse someone is to treat them badly.  To neglect someone is to fail to care for them.  An action or a failure to take action that causes someone harm.

It might be a single act or repeated act, it could be intentional or due to a lack of understanding and it might also be a crime.

Unfortunately abuse can be caused by anyone; a partner, friend or neighbour, a paid or volunteer carer, other customers, someone in a position of trust or a stranger.

Types of abuse

Abuse can take many forms and people can be abused by family, friends, professionals or strangers. Abuse can be:

  • Physical abuse – includes assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, forcible feeding or withholding food.
  • Domestic abuse – is perpetrated by family members and current or ex partners. For more information about domestic abuse support, click here
  • Self-neglect - when someone’s lack of self-care threatens their health or safety
  • Neglect – includes failure to provide or allow access to food, shelter, clothing, heating, stimulation and activity, personal or medical care
  • Financial – includes theft, fraud, stopping someone accessing their money, moving into a person’s home without agreement.
  • Sexual abuse – includes rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, inappropriate looking or touching and sexual harassment
  • Psychological or emotional abuse – includes preventing someone accessing services, bullying, humiliating, leaving someone unattended when they need assistance.
  • Institutional abuse – abuse by employees in a care home, including misuse of medication, failure to provide aids, lack of respect.
  • Discriminatory abuse – includes unequal treatment based on age, disability, gender, race or religion.
  • Modern slavery – including human trafficking, forced labour and sexual exploitation.
  • Organisational abuse - the inability to provide a good level of care to an individual or group of people in a care setting such as a hospital or care home, or in a person’s own home if they receive care assistance there.

For a full list of types of abuse, and the signs to look out for, visit the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s website.

When should I raise safeguarding concerns?

Abuse and neglect can be difficult to detect, but here are some possible warning signs:

  • Badly-maintained property - poor living conditions, hoarding
  • Financial irregularities - no money, no gas or electricity, no food, debts in other people’s names, unexplained loss of money
  • Physical injuries - cuts, bruising, burns
  • Changes in personality, demeanour, appearing afraid
  • Inappropriately dressed for the weather
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Self-harm, malnutrition, untreated injuries or medical conditions
  • Poor standard of care being provided
  • High number of people in and out of a property or taking over the home

Reporting a concern about an adult or child

If you are concerned about an adult or a child, you need to report to your own local authority children’s or adults safeguarding team urgently.

However, if you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 999.

Reporting concerns about a vulnerable adult:

If you are worried about a vulnerable adult’s (aged 18+) safety or wellbeing, report it. The contact details for your local authority:

St Helens Warrington Liverpool
  • Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm: 01744 676767
  • Out of hours (Emergency Duty Team): 0845 0500 148

For further information, please visit the St Helens Safeguarding Adults Board website.

  • Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm: 01925 443322
  • Out of hours (Emergency Duty Team): 01925 444400
  • Report abuse online

For further information, please visit the Warrington Safeguarding Adults Board website.

  • Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm: 0151 233 3800
  • Out of hours (Emergency Duty Team): 0151 233 3800

For further information and contacts please visit the Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board website here.

Reporting concerns about a child or young person:

If you are worried about a child or young person (up to the age of 18), report it. The contact details for your local authority:

St Helens Warrington Liverpool
  • Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm: 01744 676767
  • Out of hours (Emergency Duty Team): 0845 0500 148

For more information, visit the St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership website.

  • Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm: 01925 443322
  • Out of hours (Emergency Duty Team): 01925 444400
  • Report abuse online

For further information, please visit the Warrington Safeguarding Adults Board website.

  • Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm: 0151 233 3700
  • Out of hours (Emergency Duty Team): Child: 0151 233 3700

For more information, visit the Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) website.

No matter where you live, you can contact: Childline: 0800 1111

Call 999 if you or the person is at immediate risk, or call the police on 101 if you think a crime has been committed. 

To find your local council visit:

Remember – your call could end suffering!

  • We'll help you report your concerns to the right agency, such as the local council, NHS or the police.
  • We may need to share details of your concerns with other agencies to enable them to investigate further.
  • Where appropriate, we'll carry out our own investigations.
  • Where possible, we'll let you know the outcome.

If you are being abused or are concerned for your own wellbeing you can ask Torus to help.

  • We will support you to explore your options so that you can decide what you want to do next.
  • We will talk to you about safeguarding and the other professionals and agencies that may be able to help.
  • We will help you cope with the effects of any abuse or neglect you have experienced or witnessed and put you in touch with specialist support organisations.

Keeping safe online

When we think of keeping safe online we think of children and young people and adults with learning disabilities  With our growing use and dependence on technology particularly from the start of the pandemic this is more true than ever before. However other groups of people may be affected by being online – such as scams and online dating. Find out what digital safeguarding is and how to keep yourself safe online here.

Private Fostering and protecting children

Private Fostering is an informal arrangement where a child or young person under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) goes to live with someone who is not a family member/close relative for a period of 28 consecutive days or more. A close relative is defined as a grandparent, uncle, aunt, step-parent or older sibling. Children living in these arrangements are particularly vulnerable and could be at risk of harm. The local authority must be notified so they can assess and support them to ensure it is a safe place for the child. Find out more including how to report private fostering here.

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Domestic abuse support

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