Safeguarding Vulnerable People

Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity, have their choices respected and live a life free from fear.

Whether vulnerable because of their age, disability, illness, or for a whole number of other reasons; people should never be targeted or manipulated by people who hold power over them.

Within this section you will find information about how the Partnership protects vulnerable adults from abuse including the MAARS project. What you should do if you are worried about a child or young person? Also, what we do to help prevent radicalisation and involvement in extremism.

Safeguarding Adults

We believe that every adult has the right to be treated with dignity, have their choices respected and live a life free from fear.

Disability, illness or frailty means that many adults over the age of 18 have to rely on other people to help them in their day-to-day living. Sadly, it is because they have to depend on others that they become vulnerable and at risk of abuse, very often from people they know such as a relative, friend, neighbour or paid carer.

Abuse can take many forms and all of them are distressing. These include physical, emotional, sexual, financial, neglectful or discriminatory.

For more information about the different types of abuse and what to do if you have concerns about a vulnerable adult please visit the dedicated Safeguarding Adults pages on Stockport Council’s Adult Social Care website, My Care, My Choice.

What to do if you have concerns

If you know of a worrying situation, please do not ignore it. The Adult Social Care Team based at the Stockport Direct Contact Centre is the first point of contact for general enquiries and concerns.

You can phone them on 0161 217 6029. Out of normal office hours you can contact the ‘Out of Hours Service’ on 0161 718 2118 or contact the Police on 101 or dial 999 in an emergency.

Safeguarding Children

Do not keep your concerns to yourself. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and you will be doing the right thing if you pass your concerns on to the right people.

If you think a child is in immediate danger you must ring the police on 999 and give details.

If your concerns are not at that level but you are concerned about a child you know, you should ring Stockport Contact Centre 0161 217 6028 who will talk through your worries and give you advice on the next steps to take.

They may feel the concern requires an assessment by Children’s Social Care in which case they will take details and give the information to them.

Alternatively you can ring NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000 who will also discuss your concerns with you and pass on worrying information.

You do not have to provide details of your identity when you make ring these Helplines but doing so helps to verify the information.

Childline 0800 1111 provide a telephone counselling service for children who want to speak to someone about concerns they have in their life.  This service is confidential

Child Sexual Exploitation

There’s a lot of information about Child Sexual Exploitation in the media at the moment. This video shows you how it could happen.

If you want to learn more about child sexual exploitation visit Keep them safe: an interactive tool for parents on the PACE website

Internet Safety

We like to think that any equipment we have that lets us access the internet is helpful and good. However the virtual world of the internet offers opportunities that we may not want our children and young people to have.

Click on this video Do you Know Where Your Children are Tonight for more information.

Sadly, there are always people who will use the web to be hurtful to others. This may be through uploading images or videos, using social media sites, when playing games or by phone calls or messages. Here is a link to find out more about setting up your parental internet controls.

Safe at Home

Ten young people in Adswood produced this film to highlight online dangers and to ask the question ‘Are Children Really Safe at Home?’

There are useful websites below with more information:

SMBC Safeguarding Children Unit website

Stockport Safeguarding Children Board dedicated website



MAARS is an abbreviation for “Multi agency adults at risk System”.

MAARS is a system that was developed in Stockport to manage adults at risk or who are vulnerable. The aim of this is to:

  • provide a single pathway for partner agencies and colleagues to highlight adults at risk in the community who are coming into contact with services but not necessarily meeting the threshold for those services.
  • provide a multi-agency forum to collaborate and coordinate action across services, reduce duplication and to agree the best way to work with the person’s current needs to prevent crisis.
  • to better understand and reduce risk and attempt to proactively reduce demand on services through a more efficient and informed use of available resources

Background to MAARS

The need for this project was highlighted through;

  • findings of high-profile Serious Case Reviews nationally and locally that identified adults at risk falling through apparent gaps in services. Stockport was criticised for not having a clear pathway for concerns on the basis of risk
  • large number of referrals to the Adult Social Care contact centre which weren’t meeting eligibility thresholds.
  • increasing concerns about risks to vulnerable people in the community.


  • to address the needs of individuals who are known to many agencies and not necessarily engaging effectively with them.
  • they may have complex needs, could be self-neglect cases, or have been excluded from services, but may have ongoing support needs.
  • as each case is likely to be known to a range of services they can create high levels of demand.
  • MAARS can help co-ordinate support to individuals from a range of services, and places emphasis on sharing risk and more effective joint working to create better outcomes and life chances.

Who may be suitable for referral to MAARS?

  • threat of homelessness
  • anti-social behaviour issues
  • complex needs
  • victimisation (including domestic violence)
  • at risk of harm to themselves and others
  • substance misuse issues
  • offender/ or at risk of offending
  • problems with independent living
  • low level mental health
  • physical health problems
  • learning disability
  • lack of resilience to cope, or lack of problem-solving

How to make a referral

For ASC staff/ social workers, please enter an assessment “MAARS case record” on Carefirst.

Please briefly explain the reason for the referral, concerns and risks and also state if there is anything in particular that is being sought from MAARS panel or is it simply that the worker does not know what else they can do. When making a referral please ensure your manager is aware and is in agreement with the action.

Please then email Libby Spencer ( and alert her to the referral using the Carefirst number to advise her.

For childrens/ LCT staff/social workers please complete the “Referral to MAARS” form on EIS including the info above and email Libby to alert her that you have done this.

For others please send an email to Libby setting out the reasons (as above). Do not use the name in the e mail, just the initial, unless you happen to know the Carefirst or EIS number in which case you can use this. Please call Libby and advise her of the name so that she can marry the information up.

There is no need to send password protected documents so long as anonymous information is all that is sent by e mail. If you do need to send password protected documents please use the MAARS password which Libby will provide.

What happens next?

  • MAARS panel meetings take place regularly, approximately monthly. There is an initial agenda planning meeting (called the pre-panel meeting) and all new referrals (or old cases being referred back) will be considered.Sometimes the pre panel meeting will make specific recommendations or signpost the case to most appropriate services, or else it will be agreed that the case should be included on the agenda on the meeting, for a full panel discussion, within the confidentiality agreement that MAARS participants sign up to.
  • You will be advised after the pre-panel meeting if your case is proceeding to panel in which case you or a representative will need to attend. The meetings are held in the Town Hall.
  • At the meeting information is shared and ideas considered and a lead agency is identified. It is the role of the lead agency to update the risk assessment based on new information available from the panel
  • Action points will be agreed and monitored at future meetings and you may be asked to supply updates.
  • Strategy meetings are commonly held as an action from MAARS, where a detailed discussion can take place drawing in all key parties (not all of who attend the MAARS panel meetings) and detailed actions agreed.
Preventing Radicalisation & Involvement in Extremism

Vulnerable people, including children, young people, and vulnerable adults can be exploited by people who seek to involve them in terrorism or activity in support of terrorism

Reporting Concerns about Terrorism

If it is an emergency, dial 999. If you suspect it, report it!

If you consider anything to be suspicious or connected with terrorism, contact Greater Manchester Police on the non-emergency number 101 or the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Alternatively, you can complete a confidential online anti-terrorism form.

The National Counter-Terrorism Strategy – CONTEST

The Government’s counter-terrorism strategy – CONTEST – has four areas of work:

  • Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks.
  • Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
  • Protect: to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack.
  • Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack.

Find out more information about the CONTEST Strategy.

What is Prevent?

The threat we face from terrorism is real, and the Prevent strategy recognises that we can’t arrest our way out of the problem.  The Prevent Strategy therefore aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The focus of Prevent is on the significant threat posed by international terrorism and those in the UK who are inspired by it.  But it is also concerned with reducing  threats, risks and vulnerabilities posed by domestic extremists such as those from the far right and far left, extreme animal rights activists and those involved in Northern Irish related terrorism.

Prevent is supported by three objectives:

  • Responding to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it (ideology).
  • Preventing people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support (individuals).
  • Working with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address (institutions).

Prevent is not a Police programme. It needs the involvement of local authorities, the local community and a wide range of other organisations. For more information about how the Council is contributing to Prevent, contact the Council’s Prevent Co-ordinator, Rachel Smith at

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults from Radicalisation and Involvement in Terrorism

Vulnerable people, including children, young people and vulnerable adults can be exploited by people who seek to involve them in terrorism or activity in support of terrorism.

There is agreement across the 10 Greater Manchester Councils and Greater Manchester Police that this is a safeguarding issue. There is a multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalisation which is called ‘Channel’. This approach uses existing collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners (such as the education and health sectors, social services, children and youth services and offender management services), the police and the local community to:

  • Identify individuals at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism.
  • Assess the nature and extent of that risk.
  • Develop the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

Channel is about safeguarding children and adults from being drawn into involvement in terrorism. It is about early intervention to address vulnerabilities, and divert people from harm.

How to Report Concerns about Individuals at Risk

If you are worried that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is at risk of being radicalised by people who are involved in, or support terrorism contact:

  • Children – 0161 217 6028
  • Vulnerable adults – 0161 217 6029

Learning More about Prevent

A range of briefing products are available to raise awareness about counter-terrorism and Prevent. These are accredited by the Home Office and Association of Chief Police Officers. This includes ‘WRAP’ (Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent), an awareness raising training package that gives an overview of Prevent and how to recognise the initial signs of individuals vulnerable to radicalisation as well as those who radicalise.

For more information, please contact Stockport Council’s Prevent co-ordinator Katy Forde at

More information on Counter Terrorism can be found on GMP’s website.