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Cardiff Council


Safeguarding is about protecting children and adults from abuse or neglect. It is also about making sure children and adults enjoy good health, develop well and take a full and active role in their communities.

Who is responsible for safeguarding?

We are all responsible for ensuring that children and adults at risk are kept safe.  
This means every one of us should ensure that we know what safeguarding is and when we need to do something to stop the abuse happening.

How do we safeguard?

In order to safeguard we must:

  • Recognise the different types of abuse.
  • Recognise the signs, symptoms and behaviours that may indicate a child or adult is being abused or is at risk of harm
  • Understand what to do if we are concerned about a child or adult at risk
  • Understand our responsibility with regard to suspicion or disclosure of abuse
  • Understand our duty to report a concern or incident when we become aware of it

What does abuse look like?

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child or adult. These can be described in five categories:  

Physical Abuse

  • May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or adult.

Sexual Abuse

Forcing or enticing a child or adult to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. This may involve: 

  • ​physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts;
  • non-contact, such as involving a child or adult in looking at, or in the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities; or 
  • encouraging children or adults to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.


  • Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child or adult’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development.
  • It may involve a parent, family member or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child or adult from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate care or treatment.
  • It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child or adult’s basic emotional needs.

Emotional Abuse

  • The persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child or adult such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional and behavioural development.
  • It may involve telling the child or adult that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person.
  • It may involve causing children or adults to feel frightened or in danger, for example witnessing domestic abuse within the home or being bullied, or by exploitation or corruption.

Financial Abuse

  • Money or property stolen
  • Being defrauded e.g. scams
  • Being put under pressure to pay for things for someone else’s benefit 
  • Someone else using their money as their own
  • Children who earn money via entertainment events not having the money placed in trust  
  • There are other forms of abuse that could take place such as bullying, forced marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), modern slavery, sexual exploitation and radicalisation.  

​What to do if you think someone is being abused or is at risk of being abused

If you believe a child or adult is being abused then you must tell someone. 

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


If you think or believe and adult is being abused, please contact the Adult Safeguarding Team on:

029 2233 0888


If you think a child is at risk, not being looked after properly, or you have concerns about his or her welfare, please contact us on: 

029 2053 6490 

Out of office hours

If any concerns are outside of office hours then call the Emergency Duty Team on 029 2078 8570
© 2022 Cardiff Council