We all have a duty to keep children and vulnerable adults safe from harm, abuse and neglect. If you think you, or anyone else, may be being mistreated, don’t turn a blind eye or keep it to yourself. Act now.

If you are worried about a child or an adult who you think is at risk from harm please contact your local authority Social Care Team or in an emergency call 999.

Liverpool

Merseyside Police family crime investigation unit. Tel: 0151 709 6010

Homeless Families Tel: 0151 233 3027 or freefone 0800 731 6844

Social Services. Liverpool Careline Tel: 0151 233 3700 (24 hours)

Liverpool City Council Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hour seven days a week service). Tel: 0800 731 1313

Sefton

Sefton Domestic Violence Police Unit. Tel: 0151 709 6010

Homelessness Team. Tel: 0151 934 3541

Sefton Area Children’s Services. Tel: 0151 934 3737/3691/4498 Out of Hours: 0151 920 8234

Knowsley

Knowsley Domestic Violence Unit Tel: 0151 709 6010

Homelessness Team Freefone: 0800 694 0280 (24 hours)

Knowsley Council: 0151 443 2600

Wirral

Wirral Police Domestic Violence Unit. Tel: 0151 777 2689

Homelessness Team. Tel: 0151 666 5511

Social Services:office hours Tel: 0151 606 2006 or out of hours Tel: 0151 652 4991

Halton

Police referral unit. Tel: 01244 614 878

Homelessness team. Tel: 0151 442 2061

Office hours Tel: 01928 704 341 or out of hours. Tel: 01606 76611

  • physical abuse; this might be, hitting, slapping, pushing, or within an organisation it could be misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
  • domestic abuse; this includes threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, verbal and emotional); by a partner, ex-partner, family member or extended family member, or someone living with you. Anyone can be a victim/survivor of domestic abuse including women, men and people in same sex relationships. This can also include “honour” based violence, including being pressurised into marriage or Female Genital Mutilation or cutting.
  • sexual abuse; including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which someone has not consented or was pressured into consenting
  • psychological abuse; including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment or verbal abuse. It also includes cyber bullying, isolation or barring someone from contacting their friends or family
  • abuse by an organisation; this type of abuse includes neglect and poor care practice within a specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, or in in someone’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation
  • discrimination; including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion
  • financial or material abuse; including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • neglect; including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
  • self-neglect; neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding
  • modern slavery; encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.

Child abuse can take place within and outside the home. It can be in the form of physical, emotional, neglect or child sexual abuse. Bullying and witnessing (seeing or hearing) domestic violence are also forms of child abuse. 

A child may be experiencing abuse if he or she is:

  • frequently dirty, hungry or inadequately dressed
  • left in unsafe situations or without medical attention
  • constantly "put down", insulted, sworn at or humiliated
  • seems afraid of parents or carers
  • severely bruised or injured
  • displays sexual behaviour which doesn't seem appropriate for the child’s age
  • growing up in a home where there is domestic violence
  • living with parents or carers involved in serious drug or alcohol abuse/serious mental health problems/learning disability

This list does not cover every aspect of child abuse. You may have seen other things in the child's behaviour or circumstances that worry you. Abuse is always wrong and it is never the young person's fault.

If you wish to contact our PALS and Complaints team you can find the contact details here.

Social care teams in local services

Social care values and principles are at the heart of our vision statement and strategic priorities. Our social workers and those in the extended role of associated mental health practitioners work in close partnership with colleagues from local authorities in Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley. The co - location of social care staff within community mental health teams and a shared management structure, ensures social care has a voice in the planning of recovery focused care. By sharing knowledge and skills across disciplines, whilst retaining a clear understanding of roles, we can offer a more holistic approach to care delivery, with social workers often taking the role of care co-ordinators.

The roles of the social care team

Enabling service users to access the statutory social care and social work services and advice to which they are entitled, discharging the legal duties and promoting the personalised social care ethos of the local authority through: 

  • undertaking assessments determine eligibility and provide services under relevant social care legislation
  • facilitating fair access to social care funding
  • facilitating personalised support planning and personal budgets for eligible people
  • safeguarding adults and children, providing practice expertise and systems leadership
  • providing Mental Capacity Act (MCA) expert practice and leadership
  • enabling access to advocacy, especially where this is a right in law (eg Independent Mental Health and Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy)
  • undertaking review and planning for those in social care funded accommodation and residential care, supporting quality assurance of residential establishments
  • promoting carers' rights and access to assessments and resources
  • providing access to other social services and resources, including local authorities' universal (non-means tested) offers and advice for self-funders
  • ensuring responsibilities across all care groups are met using social care rather than medical definitions of need.

Promoting recovery and social inclusion with individuals and families by:

  • during assessments and interventions, identifying and addressing social exclusion, its causes and effects on wellbeing and mental health (eg poor housing, poverty, racism, homophobia, social isolation, stigma, self-neglect, unemployment), including the compounded impact of multiple disadvantage and exclusion
  • working to support social inclusion and active citizenship in ways that promote self determination and reduce long-term dependency on services, e.g. enabling people to set and achieve their own inclusion and recovery goals
  • recognising and challenging mental health stigma and discrimination – within services, communities and wider society
  • being skilled and knowledgeable about multidisciplinary recovery-focused practice, emphasising hope, control and opportunity as core to the culture of the mental health system.

Intervening and showing professional leadership and skill in situations by high levels of social, family and interpersonal complexity, risk and ambiguity by: 

  • leading practice with families where there are particularly complex care or health risks and often multiple needs, including working in a ‘Think Family' way to support children and adults in families where there are parental mental health problems
  • lead practice in situations of violence and/or abuse – including complex safeguarding matters, domestic abuse, organised abuse, co-existing mental health and substance use problems
  • intervene in situations where social and environmental circumstances (eg housing, environmental services, financial matters, immigration or other legal problems) and psychosocial factors interplay and require a mature and containing holistic intervention
  • undertake specialist training to take on new, highly specialised, complex roles (eg the Responsible Clinician role, future Mental Capacity Act practice leadership roles, systemic and group interventions with families and social network, Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Best Interest Assessors (MCADOLS BIA)).

Please note: while managing complexity, risk and ambiguity are part of core social work at all levels of capability, the above scenarios should be allocated to social workers with appropriate levels of capability and experience. 

Working co-productively and innovatively with local communities to support community capacity, personal and family resilience, earlier intervention and active citizenship by: 

  • developing skills and knowledge to undertake community-focused practice (eg working with community organisations to open up opportunities for people with mental health problems; breaking down the barriers to universal services and community assets; helping to stimulate opportunities for informal and voluntary sector support, volunteering activity and work opportunities)
  • working with primary care services, schools and other universal and community services and points of first contact, for earlier identification of mental health problems and intervention, eg making links across adults and children's services, supporting identification in adolescents, identifying and supporting young carers and supporting earlier intervention through primary psychosocial interventions
  • working with people to co-produce innovative projects, service models and approaches. for example those which promote mental health in the community, identify unmet need or reduce stigma
  • using local authority and other local intelligence and information systems to ensure all relevant local resources can be mobilised for mental health service users and their families. 

Leading the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP)* workforce  

Mersey Care is a national lead in the recruitment and training of those working both within social work and outside as approved mental health professionals (AMHPs). Most will work in roles where this is all or a significant part of their work. This is not a social work specific area of practice, but social work should continue to provide the lead as the curriculum for training is based on social work knowledge, values and perspectives. AMHP is supported by: 

  • an identified AMHP strategic leadership to ensure the availability of AMHP professional and legal advice, supervision and a development programme
  • workforce management and succession planning to ensure on-going sufficiency of AMHPs and good workload management
  • forums whereby systemic issues affecting AMHP practice can be resolved, eg with partners such as the police and ambulance service
  • collation and use of AMHP intelligence and data to inform best practice and improvement locally
  • the involvement of the local authority at a senior level in local strategic, multi agency planning for mental health services.

*Approved mental health professionals were introduced by the Mental Health Act 2007 and replaced the previous role of approved social workers. They have a formal role within the mental health act and certain powers and duties placed upon them.

The power and duties of the AMHP under the Act are:

Assessments/applications

  • making assessments for admission under Sections 2, 3 and 4
  • making applications for guardianship
  • making assessments of people held under Section 136
  • applying for warrants to enter premises under Section 135.

Nearest relative

  • determining and assigning a nearest relative for Section 2 and 3
  • consulting nearest relatives when making Section 2, 3 or guardianship applications
  • applying to the County Court for the appointment of an acting nearest relative and displacement of an existing nearest relative.

Absent without leave

  • the power to take patients into custody and return them when they have gone absent without leave (AWOL)
  • the power to take and return other patients who have absconded
  • Being consulted by responsible clinicians before they make reports confirming the detention of community treatment order patients who have been absent without leave for more than 28 days.

Community treatment orders

  • confirming that community treatment orders should be made
  • approving conditions for new community treatment orders
  • approving the renewal of community treatment orders
  • approving the revocation of community treatment orders.

Other

  • requesting an independent mental health advocate for a detained patient
  • the power to convey patients to hospital when an application for detention is completed
  • taking or authorising another person to transfer a person under section 135(1) or 136 to another place of safety
  • the right to enter and inspect premises under Section 115.

The roles of the social care team

Enabling service users to access the statutory social care and social work services and advice to which they are entitled, discharging the legal duties and promoting the personalised social care ethos of the local authority through: 

  • undertaking assessments determine eligibility and provide services under relevant social care legislation
  • facilitating fair access to social care funding
  • facilitating personalised support planning and personal budgets for eligible people
  • safeguarding adults and children, providing practice expertise and systems leadership
  • providing Mental Capacity Act (MCA) expert practice and leadership
  • enabling access to advocacy, especially where this is a right in law (eg Independent Mental Health and Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy)
  • undertaking review and planning for those in social care funded accommodation and residential care, supporting quality assurance of residential establishments
  • promoting carers' rights and access to assessments and resources
  • providing access to other social services and resources, including local authorities' universal (non-means tested) offers and advice for self-funders
  • ensuring responsibilities across all care groups are met using social care rather than medical definitions of need.

Promoting recovery and social inclusion with individuals and families by:

  • during assessments and interventions, identifying and addressing social exclusion, its causes and effects on wellbeing and mental health (eg poor housing, poverty, racism, homophobia, social isolation, stigma, self-neglect, unemployment), including the compounded impact of multiple disadvantage and exclusion
  • working to support social inclusion and active citizenship in ways that promote self determination and reduce long-term dependency on services, e.g. enabling people to set and achieve their own inclusion and recovery goals
  • recognising and challenging mental health stigma and discrimination – within services, communities and wider society
  • being skilled and knowledgeable about multidisciplinary recovery-focused practice, emphasising hope, control and opportunity as core to the culture of the mental health system.

Intervening and showing professional leadership and skill in situations by high levels of social, family and interpersonal complexity, risk and ambiguity by: 

  • leading practice with families where there are particularly complex care or health risks and often multiple needs, including working in a ‘Think Family' way to support children and adults in families where there are parental mental health problems
  • lead practice in situations of violence and/or abuse – including complex safeguarding matters, domestic abuse, organised abuse, co-existing mental health and substance use problems
  • intervene in situations where social and environmental circumstances (eg housing, environmental services, financial matters, immigration or other legal problems) and psychosocial factors interplay and require a mature and containing holistic intervention
  • undertake specialist training to take on new, highly specialised, complex roles (eg the Responsible Clinician role, future Mental Capacity Act practice leadership roles, systemic and group interventions with families and social network, Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Best Interest Assessors (MCADOLS BIA)).

Please note: while managing complexity, risk and ambiguity are part of core social work at all levels of capability, the above scenarios should be allocated to social workers with appropriate levels of capability and experience. 

Working co-productively and innovatively with local communities to support community capacity, personal and family resilience, earlier intervention and active citizenship by: 

  • developing skills and knowledge to undertake community-focused practice (eg working with community organisations to open up opportunities for people with mental health problems; breaking down the barriers to universal services and community assets; helping to stimulate opportunities for informal and voluntary sector support, volunteering activity and work opportunities)
  • working with primary care services, schools and other universal and community services and points of first contact, for earlier identification of mental health problems and intervention, eg making links across adults and children's services, supporting identification in adolescents, identifying and supporting young carers and supporting earlier intervention through primary psychosocial interventions
  • working with people to co-produce innovative projects, service models and approaches. for example those which promote mental health in the community, identify unmet need or reduce stigma
  • using local authority and other local intelligence and information systems to ensure all relevant local resources can be mobilised for mental health service users and their families. 

Leading the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP)* workforce  

Mersey Care is a national lead in the recruitment and training of those working both within social work and outside as approved mental health professionals (AMHPs). Most will work in roles where this is all or a significant part of their work. This is not a social work specific area of practice, but social work should continue to provide the lead as the curriculum for training is based on social work knowledge, values and perspectives. AMHP is supported by: 

  • an identified AMHP strategic leadership to ensure the availability of AMHP professional and legal advice, supervision and a development programme
  • workforce management and succession planning to ensure on-going sufficiency of AMHPs and good workload management
  • forums whereby systemic issues affecting AMHP practice can be resolved, eg with partners such as the police and ambulance service
  • collation and use of AMHP intelligence and data to inform best practice and improvement locally
  • the involvement of the local authority at a senior level in local strategic, multi agency planning for mental health services.

*Approved mental health professionals were introduced by the Mental Health Act 2007 and replaced the previous role of approved social workers. They have a formal role within the mental health act and certain powers and duties placed upon them.

The power and duties of the AMHP under the Act are:

Assessments/applications

  • making assessments for admission under Sections 2, 3 and 4
  • making applications for guardianship
  • making assessments of people held under Section 136
  • applying for warrants to enter premises under Section 135.

Nearest relative

  • determining and assigning a nearest relative for Section 2 and 3
  • consulting nearest relatives when making Section 2, 3 or guardianship applications
  • applying to the County Court for the appointment of an acting nearest relative and displacement of an existing nearest relative.

Absent without leave

  • the power to take patients into custody and return them when they have gone absent without leave (AWOL)
  • the power to take and return other patients who have absconded
  • Being consulted by responsible clinicians before they make reports confirming the detention of community treatment order patients who have been absent without leave for more than 28 days.

Community treatment orders

  • confirming that community treatment orders should be made
  • approving conditions for new community treatment orders
  • approving the renewal of community treatment orders
  • approving the revocation of community treatment orders.

Other

  • requesting an independent mental health advocate for a detained patient
  • the power to convey patients to hospital when an application for detention is completed
  • taking or authorising another person to transfer a person under section 135(1) or 136 to another place of safety
  • the right to enter and inspect premises under Section 115.

Contact us on 0151 473 0303.

Keeping children and vulnerable adults safe from harm

We all have a duty to keep children and vulnerable adults safe froSee think act.jpgm harm, abuse and neglect. If you think you, or anyone else, may be being mistreated, don’t turn a blind eye or keep it to yourself. Act now.

If you are worried about a child or an adult who you think is at risk from harm please contact your local authority Social Care Team:

In an emergency call 999

 

Liverpool Careline Tel: 0151 233 3700 (24 hours)

Liverpool  Social Services 

 

Sefton Children’s Services (Sefton Plus)   Tel: 0151 934 3737/3691/4498 or out of hours: 0151 920 8234

Sefton Social Services 

 

Knowsley Council: 0151 443 2600

Knowsley Social Services

 

Wirral Social Services:

Office hours Tel: 0151 606 2006

Out of hours Tel: 0151 652 4991

https://www.wirral.gov.uk/

 

If you are a health professional and would like to discuss a Mersey Care service user, or the child of a service user, please contact our safeguarding team on

0151 471 2380.

 2014 – 15 CQC Safeguarding Declaration 

Mersey Care has adopted the Whole Family approach, so when a parent is identified as having mental ill health, we ‘think family’.

Think Family