E: support@e-carehub.co.uk



Safeguarding People Using a Care Service from the Harmful Actions and Behaviour of Peers and Social Contacts Policy

Policy Statement

This policy describes {{org_field_name}}’s approach to the safeguarding of people using the service from abuse or harm from the actions and behaviour of other people who form their social network and relationships. It should be read and used in association with a range of other policies designed to make sure that every person using the service is safe from abuse from any source and the risks of their coming to harm are kept to the minimum and well managed.

The key policy is the overarching Safeguarding People Using a Care Service from Abuse or Harm (Care Homes) or Safeguarding People Using a Care Service from Abuse or Harm (Domiciliary Care).

Other relevant policies, which might need to be followed in situations involving peer related abuse or harm are:

As with all safeguarding policies the central aim of this policy is to set out for all relevant parties the:


  1. {{org_field_name}} is firmly committed to the idea that people using the service must be safeguarded from all forms of abuse/harm. It recognises that it must at all times protect people and identify and deal with specific instances of abuse/harm if they occur.
  2. It aims to foster an open and trusting communication structure so that staff, people using the service and others feel able to discuss their concerns with someone who can take action to address their concerns. It tries to make sure that everyone using the service knows to whom they may turn for advice and action if they become aware or suspect that abuse/harm is occurring.
  3. {{org_field_name}} is always aiming for the very best quality of care and will not be satisfied with anything that falls short of this. It takes every possible action to prevent abuse/harm and to deal with it as promptly and effectively as possible if it occurs.
  4. The policy and accompanying procedures are produced in line with the local safeguarding adults authority’s guidance and procedures and national guidelines.
  5. {{org_field_name}} recognises that people using the service who lack mental capacity are particularly vulnerable to abuse/harm and exploitation, but also might be the unintended perpetrators of abuse or harm to other people. It is accordingly mindful of the need to follow the principles and practice guidance of mental capacity/incapacity laws.
  6. These apply particularly to investigations of possible abuse/harm in which it is important to seek means of ascertaining the experiences and views of any victim or indeed alleged perpetrator who might lack capacity, eg by seeking the services of independent advocates.

General Approach

  1. {{org_field_name}} recognises that the actions and behaviour of the social contacts and relationships of the people using the service, including those formed through internet and social media use, can cause distress or harm to those involved. This is inevitable in any social situation and will become more likely where people using the service have physical and mental health conditions that can have an effect on their behaviour and relationships.
  2. {{org_field_name}} also recognises that individuals can experience distress and harm from other people in many ways, eg from racist and verbal abuse, bullying, harassment, coming into their house or accommodation uninvited at odd times, physical aggression and violence, unwanted sexual advances, pestering and other forms of sexual abuse, etc. It also recognises that individuals’ tolerance of others’ behaviour will vary according to their attitudes towards and relationships with one another.
  3. {{org_field_name}} therefore works on the basis that it will treat any sign of emotional distress (as well as of physical harm) on the part of a vulnerable person that appears to be caused by their social contacts and relationships as possible abuse that will need to be reported, followed up, inquired into and if necessary fully investigated in line with {{org_field_name}}’s general safeguarding policy and procedures.
  4. Action will be taken irrespective of whether a formal complaint, allegation or observed event or incident has taken place or not, though the process will depend very much on individual circumstances and the views and wishes of the distressed individual concerned. In line with this approach all staff are expected to report for follow up, whenever an individual shows signs of distress that could be caused by abuse or being harmed by others on their social network.
  5. Where there has been a formal complaint or allegation or an observed incident (including anywhere staff have been required to intervene), the main safeguarding policy will be followed and should lead to action taken in line with local safeguarding adults’ authority advice and guidance.


In line with its general approach to the prevention of abuse or harm, {{org_field_name}} is committed to taking all possible steps to prevent abuse or harm of people using the service from third party sources by:

  1. setting out and making widely known the procedures for responding to suspicions or evidence of abuse or harm
  2. incorporating material relevant to abuse or harm into the information provided to people using the service and staff training at all levels
  3. maintaining vigilance concerning the possibility of abuse or harm of people using the service from their social relationships
  4. encouraging among staff, people using the service and all other stakeholders a climate of openness and awareness that makes it possible to pass on concerns about behaviour that might be abusive or that might lead to abuse or harm
  5. thoroughly assessing all risks to people using the service from the abusive behaviour of others, including any that might arise from an individual’s lack of insight or capacity to understand the harm being done
  6. taking appropriate actions to minimise the risks of abuse of people using the service by others by understanding and dealing appropriately with any form of aggression or behaviour that is likely to lead to their being distressed or harmed as a result of others’ behaviour
  7. helping people using the service as far as possible to avoid or control situations or relationships that would make them vulnerable to abuse or harm.

Procedures for when Abuse Has Occurred or is Alleged to Have Occurred

  1. If significant abuse or harm is clearly occurring, eg from violent behaviour or sexual misconduct, or is alleged to have occurred or a complaint has been made, {{org_field_name}} will follow the procedures laid out in the corresponding section of the Safeguarding People Using the Service from Abuse or Harm policy. The actions taken in relation to the individual concerned will then depend on the outcomes of the ensuing processes.
  2. In many instances where the distress experienced or perpetrating acts are not sufficiently serious to require formal investigation (though might become so if the acts were allowed to go unchecked), {{org_field_name}} will develop an appropriate intervention/safeguarding plan to assess the causes and eliminate if possible or minimise the harm being experienced. The actions to be taken are then included on the person’s care or support plan and implemented, monitored and reviewed accordingly.
  3. In instances where there might be mutual abuse or harm being committed, {{org_field_name}} will try to resolve the difficulties constructively. In appropriate instances, it might attempt some form of mediation or arrange for the parties to receive mediation from an outside agency.
  4. The management of {{org_field_name}} will always consider carefully the impact of any abusive social relationships that are causing distress and harm to a vulnerable individual. In doing so it is always prepared to consult all those affected directly and indirectly by the behaviour in question and to take professional advice, including from the local safeguarding adults authority.


All staff are trained to recognise abuse/harm from and to others.

Staff receive further training to ensure that they are familiar with the local authority’s “safeguarding of adults at risk of harm” policies and procedures.

Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

Copyright ©2024 {{org_field_name}}. All rights reserved

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