Adults at Risk of Harm

Are you concerned about an adult who may be at risk?

  • If your request is urgent and during normal working hours, call us on 01546 605517.
  • If your request is urgent and outwith normal working hours, or on a public holiday, call the social work emergency line on 01631 566 491  or 01631 569712.
  • Use our online form to tell us about any adult or child whose welfare you believe to be at risk
  • If you think it is an emergency situation, you can call the police on 999
  • If your enquiry is not urgent, you can send us your enquiry using our social work enquiry form

  Adult Protection

What to do if you are worried about someone?

Adults most at risk of harm are individuals aged 16 years and over, who may be in need of extra support because they are elderly or have a learning disability, physical impairment, sensory impairment or a mental health problem and who are, or may be, unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against harm.

It is everybody’s business to help protect people who may be at risk. If you know someone who you believe is being harmed please tell us so that we can help them to protect themselves. 

If you believe that someone is in urgent need of help to keep them safe please contact the police on 999.

If you want to report harm you think, or know, is happening to someone, please contact us on 01546 605517

What do we mean by 'harm'

There are many ways that an adult may be harmed. These could be: 

  • Physical, by being injured or neglected  
  • Psychological, by being made afraid or distressed  
  • Their property or money may be taken without their agreement, knowledge or understanding
  • They may hurt themselves by what they do or by not taking care of themselves

How do we know that an adult may be at risk of harm?

An adult who is being harmed may tell someone about it, but sometimes they just keep quiet. They may be afraid to tell anyone or they may be worried what will happen if they tell someone.

This means that sometimes it is up to other people to realise that an adult may be at risk. You may become concerned about someone because you notice that something is wrong. 

You might: 

  • notice a change in their behaviour
  • see that they have an injury that they cannot explain
  • find them distressed but unable to explain why
  • discover that they have no money cannot pay their usual bills
  • find that they are no longer clean and tidy 

These are just some of the signs that someone may be at risk of harm: there could be many others, too. The most important thing is that if you believe that someone may be at risk of harm you tell somebody about it. 

Who might cause harm to others?

There is no typical abuser. It can be anyone such as  

  • a family member (a partner, a parent, a son or daughter or a grandchild etc)
  • a neighbour
  • a care worker
  • a stranger

Where might someone be harmed?

Harm can take place anywhere. whether in their own home,  someone else’s home, a care setting such as a day centre or residential home or anywhere else that someone may make them feel unsafe.