Unit name: Safeguarding and Protection in Care Settings
Learning outcome: 3. Know how to respond to suspected or alleged abuse
Assessment criteria: 3.3 Identify ways to ensure that evidence of abuse is preserved
When you have concerns that abuse or neglect has taken place or an individual discloses to you that they have abused, you may be required to preserve evidence that could be used in an investigation and criminal proceedings.
You should avoid tidying or cleaning the crime scene – if you can block it off to prevent anyone entering, you should do so. You may also take photographs of the areas where the alleged abuse took place. If an individual has been neglected, you may take photographs of their living conditions.
If an individual has been sexually abused, you should discourage them from washing and encourage them to keep the same clothes on until the police arrive. This can ensure the preservation of evidence on the individual’s skin and clothes. If they do get changed, you should put their clothing in a bag to be analysed. Bedding may also need to be preserved.
You should always make written records of any concerns or disclosures of abuse because they can be used as evidence.