The lockdown restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 crisis will have led to vulnerable children and adults being particularly isolated. The normal people they rely on (family, community and professional networks) may have been unavailable or difficult to access.

The government has stated that safeguarding is everyone's business and have produced information and guidance for people who may not have been trained to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect. 

This guidance (which can be found by clicking here) covers the signs to spot and also what to do if there is a concern.

There are print and online versions (available in both English and Welsh), along with a poster focusing on child abuse which has been designed by The Children's Society for businesses to display in staff rooms and other public places.

It's important that neighbours, volunteers and professionals (such as pharmacists, shop and supermarket workers) are aware of the signs to spot as they can play a vital role in keeping adults and children safe.

Download the leaflet

What to look out for

The community safeguarding leaflet has useful information about the signs to look for when in contact with individuals at risk of harm or abuse. Although not exhaustive, these include:

  • unusual injuries, including bruises, burns, fractures, bite marks or signs of self-harm
  • consistently poor hygiene, poor living conditions or inappropriate clothing
  • communicating aggressively or using sexual language
  • appearing withdrawn, guarded, anxious or frightened, particularly around certain individuals
  • hearing or seeing shouting, violence or intimidation
  • adults keeping children, or adults in need of support, from view
  • unsupervised children visiting a house where only adults live 


In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Police. 


Click below to see other organisations (especially Sheffield based ones) who may be able to help:

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