Safeguarding means making sure that adults with care and support needs, and children and young people under the age of 18, in contact with the MS Society, are protected from abuse.
- What is abuse?
- Safeguarding adults
- Safeguarding risk guidance
- Safeguarding, emergencies and data protection
- Safeguarding children and young people
- Providing services for young people
- Need support?
Abuse can mean being physically or sexually harmed, being frightened or neglected. Although encountering abuse is rare, it is important that it is never ignored.
You may become aware of abuse if you:
- witness a form of abuse
- suspect someone is being abused
- are told about abuse by a person with MS or someone they know
- Safeguarding adults: Specific types of abuse and their indicators - this guide list the different types of abuse or harm and how to recognise them.
What to do if you become aware of abuse
All volunteers have a duty to report safeguarding concerns to a member of the Safeguarding Responders Group.
Use this form to report a safeguarding concern - Report of Safeguarding Concern.
Responding to adult safeguarding concerns - this guide explains how to raise a safeguarding concern. This may occur whenever you come into contact with people with MS, either in person, by phone or by email during the course of your volunteering activities.
- Safeguarding adults policy and procedure (England and Wales)
- Safeguarding adults policy and procedure (Northern Ireland)
- Safeguarding adults policy and procedure (Scotland)
Our safeguarding risk guidance documents identify potential safeguarding concerns that may arise when your group provides services and activities.
Use these guidance documents to help you plan and deliver services and activities that are safe for everyone who attends.
- Day Centre safeguarding risk guidance
- Group activity safeguarding risk guidance
- MS Support safeguarding risk guidance
- One to one regulated activity safeguarding risk guidance
- Transport safeguarding risk guidance
You must report all abuse or suspected abuse to the Safeguarding Responders Group, even if you have not been able to obtain permission.
If someone’s life is in immediate danger, data protection laws do not prevent you from acting immediately to share information with the emergency services, health professionals or other authorities.
However, if your group is approached by the Police or any other authority asking for information about a person in anything other than a life or death situation, you must always refer them to our Data Governance Team.
- Find out more about Handling data
No member of staff or volunteer would normally undertake regulated activity with children or young people as part of their role with the MS Society, but from time to time, children and young people may come into contact with our services.
What to do if you become aware of child abuse
As with adults with care and support needs, you have a duty to report safeguarding concerns relating to a child or young person to a member of the Safeguarding Responders Group. Email [email protected] or call your National Office and ask to be put through.
Safeguarding children and young people: recognising child abuse - this guide list the different types of child abuse and how to recognise them.
Safeguarding children and young people: making a referral - use this guidance when reporting a child safeguarding concern.
- Safeguarding children and young people policy and procedure (England, Northern Ireland and Wales)
- Safeguarding children and young people policy and procedure (Scotland)
We do not actively provide or promote services to young people under the age of 18. However, we do not want to exclude young people (aged 16 or 17) from accessing services that would be beneficial to them.
If a young person enquires about using a service your group provides, or you are considering developing a service for young people, you must contact our Safeguarding Lead for advice. An individual assessment of each request must be made before you proceed.
The presentation at the top of this page explains what safeguarding is and the MS Society procedure to follow. We recommend you view this in full screen and in Google Chrome. Please read our instructions on how to use this online presentation.
If you prefer to print and read this presentation offline, then please download our distance learning pack.
Once you've watched the presentation or completed the distance learning, please complete the safeguarding quiz here to test your knowledge.
Reporting safeguarding concerns
- Get contact details for your National Office
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