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  4. Appendix A – Guidance for Staff in Protecting Young People and Vulnerable Groups
  5. 2. Cause for Concern

2. Cause for Concern

In so far as possible, staff must avoid situations where they are alone or in isolated one-to-one situations with young people or vulnerable adults. All working practices should occur in open spaces, in front of others in an ‘open door’ environment.

In the course of their work for WP&UP, staff may come into contact with young people or vulnerable adults where allegations of abuse may be revealed. If staff are worried that a young person or vulnerable adult is at risk, they are deemed to have ‘cause for concern’.

‘Cause for concern’ means that a member of WP&UP staff may become aware that a young person or vulnerable adult is suffering or is at risk of suffering harm, abuse or neglect through recognising signs of abuse detailed below. Abuse can be carried out by young people as well as adults.

An allegation of abuse may come to light through the following situations:

  1. A young person or vulnerable adult tells you about a worry or concern they have.
  2. You see or notice changes in a young person or vulnerable adults behaviours or moods
  3. You see obvious physical signs of abuse or neglect.
  4. Someone else tells you about something they have seen or heard.
  5. An adult or another young person tells you that they themselves may have harmed a young person or vulnerable adult or that they are having difficulties with them.
  6. You see worrying behaviours from an adult, carer or another young person towards a young person or vulnerable adult.
  7. You know something personal about an individual that causes you to be concerned about a young person or vulnerable adults behaviour.
  8. A parent or carer shares information with you that they are having difficulty in meeting their young person or dependent’s needs.
  9. A member of staff raises concerns about a colleague (this could be done informally or through the Whistle Blowing Policy).

In order that staff are supported and encouraged to act if they have ‘cause for concern’ a reporting structure is in place.

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