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Advice for adults with support needs

This page is for anyone over the age of 18 who cannot always protect themselves from harm and may need care services because of mental illness, physical impairment or learning disability, age, illness, or personal circumstances.


What is safeguarding? 

Safeguarding means protecting your right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. There are different ways in which people can be harmed or abused. For example:

Physical abuse

Where you are hit, kicked, pushed or suffer any kind of physical harm. It is not OK for anyone to hurt you.

Sexual abuse

Where someone touches your body without you saying that it is OK, or where someone makes you take part in, or watch sexual acts that you don’t want to, or make you feel uncomfortable. It is not OK for anyone to touch your body unless you say they can, or to make you look at or do something you don’t want to.

Financial abuse

Where someone takes your money, property or other things that belong to you, or makes you sign for things like loans that you don’t want or don’t understand. It is not OK for anyone to take your money, or your property, or to get you to agree to anything about money that you don’t understand.

Emotional abuse

Where someone shouts at you, says nasty things about you, threatens you or makes you feel scared. It is not OK for anyone to bully you.


Where someone who should look after you doesn’t do what they should and leaves you without the care and support you need. The person who should look after you might be a friend or family member or a paid carer. It is not OK for anyone who should look after you to leave you cold, hungry, wet, soiled or without your tablets.


If you are worried about something that is happening to you, or to someone you know, services will work with you to make sure that you, or they, are safe. You will be treated with respect and listened to.

Bradford Council’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the single point of contact to report safeguarding concerns. The MASH operates in partnership with West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police.

Please note that Adult Safeguarding concerns reported to the MASH are screened by both the Local Authority and Police.

You can contact the MASH team through our online form or by telephone on 01274 431077.

For further details please visit our report a concern page.

West Yorkshire Police will help you if you are missing and you want to make contact with loved ones or get help.  Call them on 101 or visit the nearest police station to talk to someone.

If you are missing from home or care, or are thinking of going missing, visit the Missing People website or call or text them for help on 116 000 or email You can text them even if you have no credit left on your mobile phone.

To find out about the Herbert Protocol scheme to care for someone who has Dementia and may go missing please visit our Herbert Protocol page.

This is what you can expect if you tell services about harm or abuse to you or someone you know:

  • you will be asked about what you want to happen and they will do their best to make sure that it does
  • you will be provided with any help and support you need to report abuse, and you will be involved in everything that happens
  • you will be provided with information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what you can do to seek help
  • you can be sure that the professionals will work for what you want and will only get involved as much as needed
  • you can be sure that professionals will treat your personal and sensitive information in confidence and will only share what is necessary to get the best results for you
  • you will understand the role of all the people involved in supporting you.

A quick guide for people using adult social care services

People who use social care services should be treated as individuals. Their care and support should be based on what they can already do, what they want to achieve and the help they need to live their lives in the way they want to. This SCIE guide will help people to understand what they should expect from social care staff during assessment and care planning. It covers: a quick guide for people using adult social care services

  • making decisions
  • support from an advocate
  • needs assessment
  • care planning.

An interactive copy of the guide is available on the NICE website.

Someone from Advocacy Services will listen to you and help you to:

  • say what you want
  • make sure your rights are met
  • get the services you need

There are many Advocacy Services that can help. More information can be found at our Advocacy page.