Level 1
Unit No:
Guided learning hours:
27 hours


The aim of this unit is to introduce learners to the concept of protecting vulnerable adults and safeguarding children. They will learn what to do and who to talk to if they are concerned for the well-being of an individual.

Unit Learning Outcomes


Understand protection and safeguarding in health and social care (adults and children and young people), early years and childcare.

Indicative Content

Learners need a basic understanding of key terminology i.e. vulnerable adult; safeguarding; harm; abuse; neglect.

Safeguarding’ involves keeping children and vulnerable adults safe from abuse and maltreatment. This ensures that they have the best outcomes and are provided with safe and effective care, and that they can grow and develop happily and healthily.

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of all children and vulnerable adults – usually through policies and procedures.

Child Protection is part of the safeguarding process – it focuses on protecting an individual who has been identified as suffering or likely to suffer harm.

Adult safeguarding is defined in the Care Act 2014 statutory guidance – as an adult needing care and support, is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect and is unable to protect themselves (s42).

It is important to be able to spot signs that abuse is taking place to report concerns to enable the protection on children and vulnerable adults.

Examples of abuse and signs and symptoms should include:-

  • Physical abuse – physical harm to an individual e.g. untreated or unexplained injuries
  • Domestic abuse – threats, violence and abuse between family members or people in an intimate relationship
  • Sexual abuse – sexual relationships or activities that an individual does not or cannot consent to e.g. unexplained pregnancy
  • Emotional abuse – threats, humiliation, controlling behaviour, harassment e.g. lack of sleep poor self confidence
  • Financial abuse – using an individual’s money or possessions without consent, theft, fraud e.g. missing money/possessions, not having enough money for bills or food
  • Modern Slavery – Individuals being forced into a life of slavery such as domestic servitude or forced labour e.g. always in the company of others with no or very few personal possessions, unable to interact with others
  • Neglect/self neglect – not attending to own needs or needs not being met by others e.g. malnutrition, dehydration, dirty clothes, poor hygiene.

Harm can be the result of a responsible person ( such as care worker or family member) doing something incorrectly or not doing something they should. This can be deliberate or unintentional.

The following factors might make someone more vulnerable to harm and abuse, e.g. physical disability, learning disability, mental illness, family conflict, dependency, poorly trained staff.

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1

    Outline why it is important to protect or safeguard adults and children who use health and social care, early years or childcare services.

  • 1.2

    Define ‘Safeguarding’ and ‘child protection’.

  • 1.3

    Define Adult safeguarding and protection.

  • 1.4

    Give examples of the key indicators of harm, abuse and neglect.

  • 1.5

    Explain who might be more vulnerable to abuse.


Know how to respond to concerns about potential or actual harm ,abuse or neglect within health and social care, early years or childcare setting.

Indicative Content

This learning outcome helps the learner understand their role in helping to protect and safeguard vulnerable adults and children.

They then need to know what to do if they have concerns about the safety of an individual, for example who to speak to, what information they can pass on and when they should do this. It is essential that learners understand the lines of reporting and the potential consequences of not following this route e.g. false accusations.

If they have access to the policy documents or guidelines from a particular setting, they could refer to these in the evidence they provide.

Workers need to know how to always follow the organisations procedures and they should know to report concerns to a manager or nominated person. They should also know to report an emergency situation to the relevant agency and if medical attention is needed to call 999. They should know how and where to record factual information without contaminating evidence.

A worker must take notice of any signs or symptoms they see and report them. They must also report others if they see them causing harm or abuse.

A worker must attend training.

A worker must know their role and responsibilities.

The organisation must have policies and procedures in place and they must train all staff to understand safeguarding and protection. These would include risk assessments, care plans.

And safer recruitment policies e.g. DBS checks.

Information sources could include: -

Local Authority, NHS, NSPCC, useful websites:

www.nspcc.org.uk, www.gov.uk, local authority website


Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1

    Identify what actions should be taken if there are concerns about suspected harm, abuse or neglect in a health and social care, early years or childcare setting.

  • 2.2

    Describe the boundaries of confidentiality and when to share information.

  • 2.3

    Identify what information needs to be recorded.

  • 2.4

    Identify what organisations should do to protect vulnerable adults and safeguard children.

  • 2.5

    Identify sources of support and information in relation to protection and safeguarding.