Keeping safe resources

Useful resources
The following are resources that you, your child or the professionals who support your child may find useful when supporting the development of an understanding of how to keep safe:

Accessible formats
Learning packs on safeguarding
Hints and tips for working with learners

A positive approach to managing risk
Understanding what abuse is
Online safety

Accessible Formats

It may be necessary to convert information into a format that the person can understand. The following are symbolic IT communication packages:

Learning pack on safeguarding

The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) has produced a Safeguarding Learner Resource pack (PDF).

Who are the learning packs aimed at?

This resource is aimed at providers in the learning and skills sector who are working with learners with learning disabilities.

It will assist professionals to raise awareness amongst learners of what safeguarding is, what they do if they have a safeguarding concern and empower them to take responsibility for their own safety. It contains ideas for activities, resources and useful websites to introduce safeguarding.

The activities can be used at any time during the learning programme, although it may be advisable to introduce the topic during induction. Many of the activities could be embedded into the existing curriculum and covered as appropriate. On occasions it may be useful to cover an aspect of safeguarding as issues arise during college/organisation life.

LSIS recommend that anyone delivering this session should:

  • be experienced in working with learners with learning disabilities;
  • have an understanding of safeguarding and what it entails;

Hints and tips for working with learners

These ideas are not exhaustive, but in highlighting them specifically we have considered those most appropriate for dealing with learning, pertinent to safeguarding issues.

Make information accessible – both the written word and the spoken word.
Before commencing any teaching about keeping safe ensure you have prepared any learning material into a format that the person can access and understand.  The support worker/primary carer will often be the best person to know what format the person requires information in, this may include signs, pictures, Braille, DVD’s etc

Encourage peer learning.
For some teaching identifying ways to stay safe working with peers may help, and make sessions more interactive and fun through carefully planned role play.

Use learners’ own words, language, materials and personal context as much as possible.
Remember when teaching about body parts that the correct terminology should also be used.
Be clear about the purpose of any activity and how it relates to the skills being developed and the needs of the individual learner.
Wherever possible link the teaching to an activity, e.g. how to stay safe when out in the community, or when doing an activity. Some messages such as ‘don’t speak to strangers’ needs to provide an alternative - ‘do not speak to strangers but if you are worried about something when you are out speak to a policeman’.

Be clear about the purpose of any activity and how it relates to the skills being developed and the needs of the individual learner.
Wherever possible link the teaching to an activity, e.g. how to stay safe when out in the community, or when doing an activity. Some messages such as ‘don’t speak to strangers’ needs to provide an alternative - ‘do not speak to strangers but if you are worried about something when you are out speak to a policeman.’

Be clear about the purpose of any activity and how it relates to the skills being developed and the needs of the individual learner.

Take time to observe what works for a particular learner and what does not. There may be emotional issues that create a barrier to learning and you will need to work through these before learning can take place.

Remember that learners’ ethnicity is an important aspect of their identity. E.g. consider how a person’s ethnicity may affect their perceptions of different types of relationships.

Don’t be too directive – some people may say what they think you want to hear.

Encourage learners to ask for help. Show that this is acceptable and is not a sign of failure.

Listen closely to what learners say. Always respond to the content of what someone is saying and not the way they say it.

Source – LSIS 2011

A Positive Approach to Managing Risk

Every opportunity comes with its own risks and a balance needs to be found between keeping your child free from all risk whilst at the same time allowing them to access activities and experiences as safely as possible.

Whilstthe traditional approach to risk assessment can restrict access to opportunities, the following tools identify helpful approaches to managing risks and maximize your child’s involvement in developing the risk plans. 

You as the parent/ carer should also be very much involved with putting this plan together so we have provided information and links to some approaches and tools which you may find helpful.

A person centered approach

A person centred approach puts your child at the centre of the process and is based on their views and wishes and is balanced with others’ understanding of what is the best support for that person. This approach helps us to
think about managing risk in a positive way that is as much about the happiness of the person, their family and the community, as it is about their safety.

Safeguarding must be built on empowerment – or listening to the person’s voice. Without this, safeguarding is experienced as safety at the expense of others qualities of life, such as self determination and the right to family life.

DoH (2009), Safeguarding Adults Report on the Consultation on the review of ‘No Secrets’, p5

This diagram (PDF on Think local act personal website) shows the pathway that the process follows and all the solutions can be mapped onto a happy/ safe’ grid (PDF on Helen Sanderson Associates website). This clear mapping allows action planning and provides a clear rationale for why some strategies have been adopted and others rejected.

Supporting understanding and decision making

It is important that each individual deafblind individual is supported to understand risk in the way that is most appropriate to them. This may include using an approach such as supported decision making.

Langlearn SLT Services provide some useful ideas of how pictures and symbols can be used to create a personalised activity timeline which could identify areas of risk, safe actions and danger symbols.
and guidance on how to do this.

This is an example how the LangLearn risk assessment approach may be used in practice (PowerPoint).

Other sources of visual materials, including symbols or pictures, include:

Other examples of creating a risk assessment based ‘Keeping Safe’ document is produced by the Thistle Foundation.

Understanding what abuse is

Say No to Abuse – DVD

This is a DVD which helps to explain abuse and what the individual can do to stop it. It has real life stories about people who were abused (Their names and details of the stories have been changed to keep those people safe). 

All the stories can be watched in one go or used one at a time.

The viewer can also take part in what happens in some of the stories. The story will stop and ask what you think should happen next . You can choose by using a remote or computer.

Information on the DVD

  • Information on abuse and the different ways people can be abused.
  • The stories on sexual abuse, financial abuse and discrimination are interactive and the viewer can choose what happens in their stories.
  • Additional information is on who might abuse and where it can happen.
  • A section on who to tell.

The DVD has been made by a group of disabled individuals supported by the Suffolk Learning Disability Board, and is available for purchase on the Inspired Services website.

Target group for the DVD

Children or young people who can access information via a DVD, the DVD does not have subtitles or sign interpretation but the language is easy to follow, and a reasonably proficient signer could interpret the information to an individual if required.

The story lines are simple and easy to follow and identify clearly what abuse is and also what to do, if you have a concern. It was produced for Suffolk residents and the reporting numbers are for people living in this area only.

Suggestions for use

It can be used to explore one or more type of abuse. Additionally through using the section on telling someone the person can be enabled to learn about what to do if they have a concern.

The information for some people will need to be simplified and where required signed to the child or young person. It is possible that through the use of the pause or stop and start buttons, to discuss with the child or young person each incident with to help them learn.

The interactive sections will help the child or young person to explore different options; again these can used to discuss the consequences of decisions.

Please note : These resources could support a person to explore an experience of similar incidents or to lead to a disclosure of abuse, however, it is not recommended that this done without the appropriate training and support mechanisms in place for the child/young person should they reveal any issues.

A guide to personal safety

This guide produced by the Home Office explains how to keep safe when at home and when going out and about. It has information on how to keep safe at:

  • Home
  • When out & about
  • On buses & trains
  • When using a taxi
  • When using a cash machine
  • When on the phone

This Easy Read information is to help everyone to understand more about how to ‘Keep safe’ and what to do if something goes wrong. For example it has information on:

What to do:

  • If you are in trouble
  • Who you can talk to about your safety
  • Useful phone numbers

Staying safe out and about

This guide produced by the Foundation for people with learning disabilities is about being safe and feeling safe. There are tips to help you:

  • stay safe
  • what to do when something happens
  • what to do after something happens

The guide explains what is meant by:

  • bullying
  • harassment
  • hate crime
  • mate crime

The underwear rule – NSPCC

The NSPCC has developed a campaign called the ‘Underwear Rule’ it is a simple way to help keep children safe from abuse. It teaches children that their body belongs to them, they have a right to say no, and that they should tell an adult if they’re upset or worried. 

It's a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from sexual abuse – without using scary words or even mentioning sex.

PANTS is a really easy way for you to explain the Underwear Rule to a child:

  • Privates are private
  • Always remember your body belongs to you
  • No means no
  • Talk about secrets that upset you
  • Speak up, someone can help

There are guides for children with Autism, learning difficulties and a BSL video for deaf children. 

Cup of tea video

Sex and consent is a difficult issue, for many people, because something that seems so simple is continually ‘misunderstood’ and when it goes wrong can result in prosecution for rape. This video has been produced by Thames Valley Police who have decided to tackle the issue by comparing sex to a well-known British pastime – drinking a cup of tea. The result is this simple and effective video, which gives clear instructions as to what constitutes sexual consent.

Although aimed at the general public, the simple concept of using tea as a vehicle to help explain what consent is, could be useful for some people to aid them in understanding consent.

Internet and online safety

Using the internet and using a computer can be a good way to keep in contact with friends, and find information and help individuals with a range of other activities such as banking and online shopping.

The following booklets can be used to support the person to understand how to stay safe when on line-

This guide to online safety (Word) has been produced by HfT.

This has tips on:

  • staying safe on social networking sites
  • internet bullying
  • keeping your computer, tablet or phone safe from viruses
  • shopping on line
  • meeting people on line
  • identity theft

Keeping safe on the internet

These guidelines provide information on how to stay safe on the internet. They are written MacIntyre and is written in easy read.

There are sections on:

  • emailing
  • computer viruses
  • internet banking
  • downloading music
  • shopping online
  • using Facebook
  • playing games online
  • bullying

Further resources

We have included other resources which can support an individual’s understanding of keeping safe; the following are aimed at children but could be used to support an adult in their understanding of keeping safe.  

Keeping Myself Safe

This resource is in the form of a series of videos all available on one DVD. They can be used to deliver important messages on keeping safe in different situations. Most are presented in a story form from a child’s perspective, making them more meaningful. The DVD can be purchased from Child’s Eye Media

Details and accessibility of the stories which are included are:

  1. Tiegan Gets lost – this is an excellent short film of a young girl who gets lost in a supermarket and explains who to go to for help.

    Accessibility: Although this is not signed, the lighting levels are good with a clear simple narrative
  1. Safer Strangers, Safer Buildings – Part 2 of same series. A policewoman talks to a group of young children to get across the Safer Strangers and Safer Buildings code for children as young as 3.

    Accessibility: This is filmed with good lighting levels but without signing support
  1. Fire and Fireworks safety – A fire-fighter demonstrates how to run a fireworks party safely. You should be aware that the narrative is from an adult’s perspective.

    Accessibility: the lighting levels are very low as it is filmed in the dark

There are a further two stories on the DVD:

  1. Road safety
  2. Beach and sun safety

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is dedicated to online safety. It’s prime aim is to prevent and stop the sexual abuse of children which can happen through the internet.

Their website has a reporting facility where parents, carers and young people can report any online safety concerns.

They also have a reporting button with a CEOP symbol which has been embedded onto some social networking sites so that instant access to reporting a concern is made possible.

As CEOP are a part of UK policing, they are involved in tracking and bringing offenders to account either directly or in partnership with local and international police forces.


Thinkuknow  is CEOP’s information website which has many resources such as  web pages, films, lessons and leaflets for parents/carers and teachers to use with their child or young person.

Your child’s teacher may already know of the Thinkuknow website but they also have a site for parents to learn more about how to keep your child safe when they are online.

Thinkuknow has also developed information and a set of videos aimed at deaf children and young people with a learning disability.

Sam’s real friends (link to YouTube) is a film specifically aimed at deaf young people and follows a deaf child through their journey of using a social media site in order to highlight the issues of internet bullying and grooming. The video uses deaf actors and is in sign language.

They also have other resources available, including animated films and other films with sign language interpretation.

Target group

Deaf and partially sighted young people who are able to follow a video story could access Sam’s Story. It can be used as an information resource or as a teaching tool on how to respond to cyber bullying especially in a school situation. It also teaches how to stay safe on line and how to use social media safely for all young people.
An animated version on cyber bullying can also be accessed through this link along with other videos with sign language interpretation.

Ways of using

This video may be useful when supporting young people to access social networking sites safely. It also explains what to do if they have concerns.

There are natural discussion points included within the narrative where an actor asks the viewer what they should do. These present ideal opportunities to pause and discuss the issues at hand such as what would they do?  Was Sam’s decision safe? Or should he have informed someone?

Other education films on the Thinkuknow site cover all areas of online safety and sexual exploitation but are not available with sign language interpretation, but could be useful as a learning  or teaching tool depending  on the individual’ s needs. 

Keeping finances safe

The following links provide information developed for people who have a learning disability with information to support in maintaining their own finances.

This resource list was collated by the Ann Craft Trust. A copy of the full report, Financial Abuse of People with Learning Disabilities can be purchased from ACT.

Barclays Money Skills (2012) Banking made clear

This resource has been developed by Barclays in partnership with BILD to provide people with learning disabilities with clear information about how to manage their money. Topics covered include opening and using a bank account, keeping track of your money and budgeting, spending and saving, staying safe, and where to go for more help and support. The booklet is accompanied by a DVD which guides the viewer through the process of opening an account that is right for them, and top tips on keeping safe. There is also a resource pack to help volunteers, support workers, tutors, and other practitioners who work with people with learning disabilities to put together and run successful money management sessions.

National Autistic Society (2010) Managing Money

This online resource has 25 sections to help people learn about all the different ways of managing money.

SEN Press

SEN Press produces simple, age-appropriate reading books and activity packs for 14-19 year old students with learning difficulties. The ‘Making Sense of Money’ series provides simple narratives about where money comes from, how much things cost, how to budget and people's different financial situations.

Reporting abuse

If you have any concerns about the safety of an individual or believe they are being abused, you have an obligation to report this either to the local safeguarding board and /or following the safeguarding procedures of the organisation they are supported by. 

If a crime has been committed you should contact the police.

Organisations you can report abuse to

If the issue you want to raise relates to a Sense service:

The Sense Complaints Freephone Telephone 0800 731 9008

If your concern is not about a Sense service you can contact your local Adult/Child Safeguarding Board – contact details will be available online via the relevant local authority social care website.

If your concern relates to a service provided by an organisation you should follow their safeguarding procedures.

If your concern relates to a service registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) you can contact them at:
Telephone 03000 616161

CQC are the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. They check that people get good, safe care from care homes and home-care agencies meets government standards of quality and safety.

Other useful organisations

Action On Elder Abuse

Work to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older adults 
Telephone 0808 808 8141

The Ann Craft Trust

ACT are a leading provider of safeguarding training , consultations, and serious case reviews working closely with organisations nd individuals across the UK to raise awareness and improve practice.
Telephone 0115 9515400

The Family Planning Association

FPA works directly with people with learning disabilities in schools and other settings such as supported living accommodation and day centres. They also facilitate workshops for family carers and training and consultancy for professionals and frontline staff.
Telephone 020 7608 5240

Aging in Place

Aging in Place provides informative advice for elderly people and their family members to know more about the aging process. Visit the website to learn more about government assistance, home remodellng, transportation options and more.

National Council for Aging Care

National Council for Aging Care has produced a guide on Elder Abuse.

First published: Wednesday 8 April 2015
Updated: Monday 6 November 2017