THE number of reported safeguarding issues are increasing, Hampshire councillors have been told. 

During a Hampshire County Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday, December 12, annual safeguarding reports for children's services and adults' health and care. 

The reports highlighted that whilst demand for social care continues to increase year on year, the response to the safeguarding of vulnerable individuals has been robust.

Council leader, Cllr Rob Humby said: “On the surface, there could be concern that the number of reported safeguarding issues are increasing, but we recognise that in part, this is due to much better awareness of abuse and how to report it among both the public and professionals.

"We have also noted the increasing complexity of cases that are challenging our social care practice like never before and the ongoing programme of innovation, training and transformation that is having a real impact on the ground.”  

In adult social care, highlighted work over the past year included further development of safeguarding expertise and practice to include new topics such as supporting people at risk of choking, self-neglect, mate and hate crime, cuckooing (where a criminal befriends a vulnerable individual who lives on their own) and self-harm.

Further developments also included managing the property and financial affairs of some 1,000 adults who lack the mental capacity to do so.

In children’s social care, highlighted work over the past year included stabilisation in the numbers of children coming into care and early intervention and action resulting in fewer children having child protection plans in place long term.

A specialist Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children’s team has also been set up in Hampshire to support the increasing numbers arriving in the county.

Cllr Humby said: “Safeguarding is everybody’s business, and we would urge the public to continue coming forward to report it – whatever form it may take. Please be assured, that you will never be wasting anyone’s time – if you have a concern, even it’s just a ‘feeling’ – tell us.”