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Safeguarding scenarios


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Scenario 1 – Nathan

Nathan is visually impaired. His sister is his carer and brings him to a group on a Friday. He often looks very unkempt and smells. The volunteers have noticed that he takes extra food and puts it into his bag. He seems more withdrawn lately and does not interact as he usually does with others. When you ask if everything is okay, he says “fine”.

Question 1: Is this a concern?

A. No. Nathan is a little under-confident, and his sister is bringing him to the club to help him socialise with others.

B. Yes. Nathan’s behaviour is concerning.

C. Unsure. Maybe Nathan is simply struggling to fit in. I expect his mood will improve in time.

Question 2: Who would you talk to about this situation?

A. I would mention it to a friend whose opinion I respect, to see whether they can shed any light on this.

B. I would not mention this to anybody just yet, but would wait for more information.

C. I would mention this to a HOPE Coventry project coordinator or Designated Safeguarding Lead.

D. I would talk to his sister.

Question 3: Which types of abuse are you concerned about here?

  1. Neglect
  2. Modern slavery
  3. Financial abuse
  4. Self-neglect
  5. Sexual abuse
  6. Physical abuse


Scenario 2 – Janice

You have befriended Janice who is elderly, physically disabled and lives alone. During one visit she complains that she is often hungry and can’t afford to buy food. As the conversation develops, you discover that two of her neighbours sometimes come round and tidy up for her and then ask for money in exchange. She doesn’t feel that she can say no to them.

Question 1: What are any of your concerns?

  1. She is a very vulnerable person. It’s not clear that she wants the help of her neighbours. She may be being exploited.
  2. I don’t have any concerns; she is lucky to have such caring neighbours.
  3. She is elderly and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to live alone.
  4. She is not eating enough and this is affecting her health and well-being.

Question 2: What are any of your next steps?

  1. Ask her whether or not she wants her neighbours to act in this way, and offer that someone could speak to them on her behalf about changing the arrangement.
  2. Tell her about other local organisations that might be able to support e.g. Food Banks, Christians Against Poverty and state that HOPE Coventry could help her access these if she would like.
  3. Buy groceries and get them delivered every week at your own expense, even if she says she does not want you to.

Question 3: Which other things should you do following this visit?

  1. Report this matter to the police immediately.
  2. Make a record of this conversation and pass it on to HOPE Coventry.
  3. If you are a befriender, arrange to keep visiting on a regular basis and let your HOPE Coventry contact know about this.
  4. Go and confront her neighbours immediately.