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Cardiff Council

Protecting vulnerable adults

​We have a responsibility to protect vulnerable people whatever their needs or situation. A vulnerable adult is a person aged over 18 in need of community care. This could be due to any of the following reasons:
  • Disability, age or illness
  • Inability to take care of themselves
  • Cannot stop themselves from being harmed, abused or exploited. 

What to do if you are worried about an adult

If you believe you or someone else is in immediate danger, do something straight away - contact 999 and tell the operator what is happening.

If you are being abused or think someone else is, you must tell someone. If you do not feel comfortable talking to social services, tell someone you trust and ask them to pass on the information. You could talk to a friend or relative, a doctor or a nurse, or anyone else in authority. 

If you are being abused or think someone else is being abused, please contact the Adult Safeguarding Team on

029 2233 0888

If outside office hours, contact the emergency duty officer on

029 2078 8570

What is abuse?

Abuse is usually carried out by someone in a position of trust, such as a relative or a carer, and it can take different forms:


  •  Physical - such as slapping or hitting.
  • Psychological - such as intimidation, preventing visitors, threats or being deliberately ignored.
  • Financial - such as stealing someone's money or spending it on the wrong things, putting pressure on someone to make changes to a will or spending their money against their wishes.
  • Sexual - such as forcing someone into an unwanted sexual activity or touching inappropriately.
  • Neglect - such as not caring for someone properly, not providing adequate food or putting them at risk.
© 2022 Cardiff Council