Bags of Taste Mentor Safeguarding Guidance

What is Adult Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is a legal protective framework that applies to people who have care and support needs, and who as a result of those needs, are unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect.

This means that we have a legal responsibility to ensure safeguarding rules are followed

It does not apply to everyone – but better safe than sorry when the law is concerned

The point of the law is to stop, prevent, reduce risk or address the cause of abuse or harm wherever possible, within the context of allowing the person independence and choice


In your role as mentor, you may see things that concern you

The people that we work with have complex needs and are often highly exposed to the risk of abuse.  For example care leavers may have limited understanding of healthy relationships; some people may be dependent on carers for certain basic needs; people may have learning difficulties or addiction issues which allows others to prey on them.  Many of our participants are isolated from support, and ill health can cause emotional crises that can be exploited

  • If you think that abuse or harm is occurring or may occur, you must tell your course coordinator as soon as possible.
  • If a person discloses information to you of a confidential nature that may indicate abuse or harm to themselves or someone else, do not promise not to tell as it could be against the law – for example if you learn of a crime, it must be reported to the police.
  • If someone is in immediate danger or a crime has been committed, call 999. For example, physical abuse is a crime.


Types of Abuse

There are many types of abuse but the last three on the list are the ones we are most likely to see in the context of our work.  They are

  • Discriminatory
  • Modern Slavery
  • Neglect and Acts of Omission
  • Organisational
  • Financial and material
  • Sexual
  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Self Neglect

There are some common indicators for the ones we are most likely to see, which are listed below.  For further detailed information please see

Domestic & Psychological Abuse Indicators

  • Timid reactions in relationships
  • Low self esteem
  • Over-dominating relationships
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Fear of decision making
  • Alcohol and substance abuse/misuse
  • Sleep disturbance/insomnia
  • Unexplained anxiety, fear or depression
  • Evidence of bullying, fear or gaslighting
  • Isolated from sources of support

Self Neglect indicators

  • Poor standard of personal hygiene
  • Suicidal impulses
  • Hoarding (including of animals)
  • Not taking medication or medical treatments
  • Disengaging with health or social services
  • Neglecting household upkeep/maintenance
  • Malnutrition or dehydration


If someone tells you something

  • Listen and take seriously
  • Reassure person that you will help them
  • Do not ask leading questions or try to find out more. Just accept the disclosure, then leave this to the professionals.
  • Tell person that you are pleased they have told you – say thank you
  • Explain that you cannot promise not to tell your manager
  • Ask person what they want to happen
  • Clarify that you understand what the person is saying by reflecting it back to them
  • Ensure that you record everything you have understood
  • Explain to person what you are going to do next – call your course coordinator


What happens next?

  • BoT staff will take it from here.
  • Where possible we will bear in mind their wishes regarding disclosure, but we cannot always do this. There are certain circumstances where the law requires us to tell the authorities whether they want us to or not.
  • If we report it to the authorities, they will pursue a thorough investigation.