We always aim to keep personal information about clients private. However, we also have a duty of care to act on concerns about the safety of individuals known to us when they arise. This means we may have to break confidentiality if we feel there is a real and current threat to the physical or emotional well-being of children, young people or vulnerable adults.
What are safeguarding and safety concerns?
There are a number of reasons we might be concerned about the safety of a child, young person or vulnerable adult. These might include:
- Acts of self harm (hurting oneself deliberately).
- Making plans or taking steps to commit suicide
- Having suicidal thoughts that are becoming stronger or more difficult to control
- When a young person is being hurt physically by an adult
- When a chid, young person or vulnerable adult is being sexually exploited or abused
- When a child, young person or vulnerable adult is being emotionally harmed by the behaviour of others
- When a young person of vulnerable adult is being financially exploited or abused
- When a child or young person is witness or subject to domestic violence
- When a child or young person is using substances such as drugs and alcohol in a harmful way
- When a child, young person or adult is engaging in or being exploited to engage in criminal activities
- When there is an intent to commit criminal offence
- When a child, young person or adult is at risk of becoming homeless
- When there are concerns about a young person being forced into marriage or subject to female genital mutilation
When will confidentiality be broken?
We may break confidentiality if we feel there is a real and current threat to a child, young person or vulnerable adult and breaking confidentiality would not result in an increase in this risk.
Who will you share information with if you have concerns?
Breaking confidentiality might mean sharing information young people tell us with family members such as parents or guardians. In some cases we may have to share information with outside agencies such as emergency services, the police or social care. We would always hope to discuss this with you before sharing any information.
What should I do if I have a concern about the safety of a young person or vulnerable adult?
If you have concerns about the safety of an individual from Sheffield we would advise you to contact the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub on 0114 273 4855 to discuss your concerns. You can discuss these anonymously if you wish and you can call at any time.
Self-harm and Suicide
As experienced practitioners embedded within Sheffield NHS services, we are well placed to advise you on how to get the help you need if you feel suicidal or are harming yourself deliberately. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or have self harmed, you should either contact your GP or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency department. In Sheffield, if you are under 16 years old you should go to the Children’s Hospital at Western Bank:
If you are over 16 years old you should go to the Northern General Hospital on Herries Road.
If you are unable to get to a local hospital or speak to your GP and you need immediate help, you can call 999 at any time.