Safeguarding case studies

Safeguarding can take many forms. It is not always obvious whether you are dealing with safeguarding concern, and so it is always important to seek advice just in case! Below are some examples of the types of safeguarding concerns you might come across – these might relate to family member, friend, or neighbour.  

Adult Self-Neglect and Hoarding

Sarah is concerned about her neighbour, an elderly gentleman who has become isolated during the pandemic. She is worried that he is not looking after himself – his clothing looks dishevelled and he appears unwashed – and through the window she could see that his house is cluttered.

This is an example of self-neglect and hoarding, which is type of safeguarding concern because the individual could come to harm through fire risk or rodent infestation, or there may be underlying mental health issues that can be addressed with relevant support.

These concerns need to be handled carefully and consent is often required to help the individual. Anyone with concern of this nature should contact either KCC adult social services direct or call Folkestone and Hythe District Council 01303 853000.

Child Safeguarding

Ahmed is worried about the children who live on his street. He regularly sees them playing outside in clothing unsuitable for the time of year and/or the weather, and hears their mother shouting at them, using strong profanities. He also observes that the youngest child seems malnourished.

This could be safeguarding concern – specifically child neglect and/or emotional abuse. Anyone with concern of this nature should contact either KCC children’ social services direct or call Folkestone and Hythe District Council 01303 853000. In most cases, alerting social services to concerns about child’ welfare will not result in the child(ren) being removed from their parents – social services and other agencies will usually work with families to support areas where the parents may be struggling.

Suicide threats

Sita is concerned about friend of hers, who has seemed depressed recently. Her friend has begun talking about ending her life, saying that she doesn't see the point anymore and that no one will miss her.

If you are worried that someone you know may be feeling this way, you may wish to refer to the following:

Note: If you believe that there is an imminent threat to someone’ life you should call 999 immediately

Online Safety

Sam is concerned about what his teenage son Josh is doing online. Josh has started spending more and more time gaming online – he claims to be chatting to friends through the in-game chat, but has become secretive about who exactly he is talking to, and has started getting angry whenever Sam tries to ask him about what he is doing.

This could be safeguarding concern – specifically there are concerns that Josh could be being groomed or exploited. If you have concerns of this nature you should call KCC children's social services or look at the further resources available at:

These are just some examples of the types of issues that fall within safeguarding, but there are many others – if you are in any doubt it is always better to err on the side of caution and call someone!