Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility. Understanding what makes some ‘at risk’ is just as important as recognising abuse. A person is not vulnerable because they have a disability or face mental health challenges or are on the ASD spectrum. They are vulnerable because they are ignored, isolated or lonely within their community or because they have fallen through the system or do not access the services they need to be happy, contribute and stay safe.

Below are some recent examples of why we continue to strive to improve safeguarding and why the work ACT and others do matters. If you have a concern or a question about safeguarding you can contact the team here.

Case studies

Several stories have featured in the news recently involving safeguarding issues. These are just some of them:

Craig Kinsella, Sheffield

In 2014 a family from Sheffield were convicted of imprisoning Craig and forcing him to perform menial tasks in a horrendous act of modern slavery and disability hate crime.
Craig was forced to sleep in the Rooke family’s garage on a concrete floor. He was beaten and abused and forced into performing menial tasks for the family. When Craig was discovered by police he was found covered in bruises and suffering a broken arm.
Craig was missing for six weeks before a neighbour of the Rooke’s alerted police.
All three Rooke family members received jail terms for the abuse.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-25642431
http://anncrafttrust.org/news/slavery-and-violence-sheffield.php

Connor Sparrowhawk, Oxford

In 2013 Connor was referred to a Short Term Assessment and Treatment Team ran by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. A few months later Connor died  after suffering an epileptic seizure whilst taking a bath. Originally Connor’s death was considered to have been the result of natural causes however family and friends of Connor felt differently and campaigned tirelessly for an investigation.
Last year the BBC reported that a Jury Inquest heard “staff had been told he should be checked every 15 minutes while in the bath, but there was no formal place to log this observation”. The jury ruled that neglect had contributed to Connor’s death.
To find out more about Connor who he was, his life and the campaign set up in his memory, Justice for LB, please visit http://justiceforlb.org.

Winterbourne View, Bristol

In 2011 Panorama exposed serious failings within Winterbourne View in perhaps one of the most notorious examples of physical and emotion abuse by care professionals. Undercover footage by journalists showed care workers verbally abusing and torturing residents.
Twelve months later eleven former care workers at Winterbourne View pleaded guilty to offences of neglect or abuse. The subsequent Serious Case Review revealed that there had been previous warnings and reports of abuse that had been ignored by the local authority and the CQC (Care Quality Commission).
The public outcry after the documentary was aired led to the Government’s report (Winterbourne View – Time for change) and a widespread overhaul of adult safeguarding including the introduction of The Care Act 2014.
For more details about Winterbourne View visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winterbourne_View_hospital_abuse

The Ann Craft Trust works hard to make sure that health, social care, police and education professionals alongside family members and carers and the people themselves feel confident in staying safe. We do this through training, research and raising awareness. To support our work and help make a difference click here.