Care Certificate

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Responding to suspected or disclosed abuse

Video 123 of 250
2 min 35 sec
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How to Respond to Suspected or Disclosed Abuse

Your Duty to Address Abuse

Recognising and addressing abuse is a paramount responsibility. It's imperative to adhere to your workplace's safeguarding policies and procedures at all times.

Key Steps to Take

When faced with suspicions or disclosures of abuse, one should be well-acquainted with:

  • Initial Reporting: Whom to notify first when abuse is suspected.
  • Alternative Reporting: What to do if raising your concern with the initial contact is inappropriate.
  • Unaddressed Concerns: How to proceed when your initial concerns aren't addressed or if you face resistance in the reporting process.

Always consult your employer's policies, procedures, or seek advice from your manager when in doubt.

Emergency Situations

In dire circumstances, the prime focus should be the victim's safety and well-being. If medical help is required:

  • In hospitals, approach a qualified colleague.
  • In community settings, dial 999 for an ambulance.

Handling Evidence and Reporting

If injuries appear intentional, inform the individual to preserve any evidence for potential legal actions. Guidance from your manager is vital in deciding subsequent steps, including involving the police or initiating a safeguarding investigation if a crime is suspected.

Handling Disclosures of Abuse

When an individual confides in you about abuse:

  • Reassure: Confirm your commitment to taking their disclosure seriously.
  • Communication: Ensure they understand the need for non-confidentiality due to protective obligations.
  • Listen: Provide your undivided attention, refraining from making premature judgments.
  • Document: Accurately record their statements using their wording, ensuring objectivity. Avoid personal opinions, and always sign and date your report.


Being prepared to address and report suspected or disclosed abuse is a fundamental duty in care settings. Always follow established protocols, ensure the victim's safety, and seek guidance when uncertain.