Safe-guarding means protecting adults and children's health, well-being and human rights, enabling them to live free from harm abuse and neglect. It also involves educating those around then to recognise and report abuse and neglect. 

One of the most important principles of safe-guarding is that it is everyone's responsibility. Organisations and professionals have a duty to recognise, report and respond to safe-guarding issues such as abuse and neglect. In Wales the introduction of The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act supports this further by promoting a robust, strength based, partnership approach to tackling safe-guarding. 

In RCT, all safe-guarding concerns are referred by professionals to the Cwm taf MASH (multi- agency support hub). The Cwm taf MASH aims to improve the response to safe-guarding concerns from professionals working with children, vulnerable adults and high risk victims of domestic abuse through increased and improved agency information sharing protocols. 

However, for adults and children to live free from harm there also needs to be increased awareness within our communities. Safeguarding week in Cwm Taf aims to deliver awareness-raising events for the general public living in local communities to reinforce key messages around safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk.

Women's aid - RCT - Safe-guarding week 2017

As part of safeguarding week, our team provided a series of events which were specific and relevant to abuse. each day had its own theme, details of which follow:

Monday 13th November- World Kindness Day

To celebrate, we invited our volunteers along for afternoon tea as a way of saying thank you for the time and dedication they give to our charity and those we support. The afternoon was well attended and gave the volunteers an opportunity to meet one another and discuss their volunteering experiences including their safe-guarding responsibilities. We wrote on cards and displayed them on our kindness tree outside for all to see!

Tuesday 14th November- Internet Safety

Supporting adults and children to remain safe online is one way in which we can support well-being and reduce harm. In order to raise awareness around this topic, we posted useful links on social media. The posts reached over 1,000 people and feedback stated ‘it was very useful’.

Wednesday 15th November- Elder Abuse/Dementia/Mental Health

We took the opportunity to launch our new 50+ Athena Project, inviting clients and stakeholders along to our afternoon tea. This gave us the opportunity to link in with local groups and for our 50+ aged clients to meet one another before our support session the following week.

Later in the day Dementia Maerdy provided training to our team about dementia and its effects upon a person. Due to the training, we now have 7 staff members trained as ‘dementia friends’ and now aware hope to support a client living with dementia.

Thursday 16th November- Financial Capability Day

To raise awareness, we held a ‘clothes swap’ where we encouraged clients to bring along any unwanted clothing which they could swap with one another. We will use all leftover clothing in our ‘knit and natter’ group, encouraging clients to recycle their unwanted clothes into items that can be of use to them.
We were also joined by Citizens advice who were on hand to offer advice around debt issues.

Friday 17th November- Domestic Abuse

We attended an event with Cwm Taf Safeguarding Board where we received training about elder abuse. The training was facilitated by Action for Elder Abuse- this gave an opportunity to meet other agencies involved in safeguarding. We took part in interactive group work, discussing good practice and recommendations for further good practice in the future.