Talk to me, hear my voice

Citizen-led Practice Guidance

Also available are the Citizen Talk to me, Hear my voice short films on the Board's YouTube channel

1. Introduction

2. Citizen-groups involved in developing this guidance

3. Safeguarding Principles

  • Talk to me, hear my voice
  • Work with me, to support me to be safe
  • Work together, with me
  • Work with me, to resolve my concerns and let me move on with my life
  • Support me to be safe now and in the future
  • Work with me, knowing you have done all you should

4. Conversations with me

5. Citizen-led expectations of service

6. Planning and Risk Management

7. Planning safeguarding meetings

8. What I want from people supporting me


1. Introduction

These are the words of the Touchstone Service User, Safeguarding Adults Group

Put yourself in my shoes and think about what it feels like for me to have someone else making decisions about me, and my life, and not listening to what I want to happen.

Then think about what a difference it would make to me:

• to have someone work properly alongside me – working with me, not doing to me;

• to really listen to what I want to happen;

• to focus on my needs and not the needs of the organisation.

Please think about what it feels like for me to have assumptions and judgements made about me, by people I don't know, based on my situation, what has happened to me or what's written in my file.

Then think about what a difference it makes to me:

• to be treated as an individual; recognising my strengths and diversity;

• as someone special;

• as someone worth your respect; and

• without judgements and assumptions being made about me.

Please think about what it feels like for me to have had to shout all of my life to be listened to.

Then think about what a difference it makes to me:

• if you take the time to stop and listen;

• if you treat me gently;

• if I don't have to shout.

Put yourself in my shoes and think about what it feels like for me to have my views and lived experience dismissed by someone who thinks they know better.

Then think about what a difference it would make to me:

• if my lived experience both good and bad was valued;

• my views were acknowledged and respected; and were

• not dismissed in a "doctor knows best type of way".

We believe that working in this way will really make a difference to people in Leeds.

 

2. Citizen-groups involved in developing this guidance

  • Touchstone
  • Leeds Survivor-Led Crisis Service
  • St. George's Crypt
  • Barca Leeds
  • Pennington Court
  • Carers Leeds
  • Osmonthorpe Hub
  • Oakwood Hall
  • Leep1

 

3. Safeguarding Principles

This guidance has been produced with the support of citizen groups engaged with the following organisations:

The national guidance says that six principles should guide all safeguarding adults work:

  • Empowerment
  • Protection
  • Partnership
  • Proportionality
  • Prevention
  • Accountability

Empowerment:

What this means to me... Talk to me, hear my voice

In my words, this means:

  • For someone to talk to me about the concerns for my safety
  • For someone to always ask me what help I want, if any
  • For someone to explain what the choices or options are
  • For someone to stop and listen to what I am saying -
  • Do not underestimate the value of listening
  • Work with me - be someone I can trust
  • To have everything explained to me, in a way I can understand
  • To always look at the person and what problems they have and treat them as individuals
  • To receive the help I need to make decisions, for myself
  • To not make assumptions about what I want or need
  • Be honest with me - don't make out everything is okay if its not
  • To be in control of decisions about my safety - don't take over
  • Be invited to meetings about me - involve me in decisions
  • Don't make judgements about me
  • To be treated with respect at all times
  • Talk to me, not my carer, or my mother, I am not a child
  • To be kept informed, even if there is nothing new to report
  • Take time to understand what is important to me
  • Please recognise how hard it is when you are poorly to be able to speak up for yourself
  • Use layman's terms and tell it how it is - it can be like professionals speak a different language

Protection

What this means to me... Work with me, to support me to be safe

In my words, this involves:

  • Getting the help I need
  • Having people on my side
  • Knowing people will help me
  • Not feeling scared all the time
  • Being able to go out again
  • Letting me live my life the way I want

Partnership

What this means to me...  Work together, with me

In my words, this means:

  • Everyone working together to help me
  • A whole team approach
  • One plan everyone is working to
  • Everyone here is here for you, not for their organisation
  • Knowing you will get the support you need from different people
  • Not having to say things over and over to each new person

Proportionality

What this means to me...  Work with me, to resolve my concerns and let me move on with my life

In my words, this means:

  • Listen to what I want to happen
  • I don't want the process hanging over me
  • Look into my concerns properly...but don't take longer than needed
  • I need to be able to put it behind me and move on
  • Put yourself in my shoes...think about how it would feel

Prevention

What this means to me...  Support me to be safe now and in the future

In my words, this means:

  • I want to know this won't happen to anyone else
  • I want to feel safe - and know this won't happen again
  • I hope people have learnt from what happened to me
  • You can't keep saying its alright that these things happen if its not alright, and its not
  • I know who I can speak to now if I need to

Accountability

What this means to me... Work with me, knowing you have done all you should

In my words, this means:

  • It is important to have confidence that services will act on concerns properly
  • It is about knowing everyone is doing their best to help
  • It is important to have support from someone who you know will listen to you and act on what you tell them
  • If something is not possible or its going to take longer, update us so we know why and that we are not being ignored
  • It is important that concerns are looked into properly
  • People listen to me if I disagree
  • Keep me informed of progress, even if nothing is happening so that I am not worrying about it
  • If you say you are going to do something, mean it, don't say it for the sake of saying it
  • Make sure I know who I can talk to, if I am unhappy with what is happening

4. Conversations with me

Citizen groups highlight the need for practitioners to involve people and talk to them about what is happening, and what they would like to happen.  These topics should be considered a useful starting point for conversations that will often be helpful to people. Unless there is a good reason not to, such as placing someone at more risk, try to work in this way.

  • Talk to me about the concern
  • Ask me what I want to happen
  • Ask me what changes I would like to achieve (my desired outcomes)
  • Talk to me about reporting concerns
  • Talk to me about what is happening at this stage and why
  • Talk to me about what actions are being taken and why
  • Talk to be about findings and learning
  • Talk to me about risks
  • Talk to me about plans to manage those risks
  • Talk to me about whether changes I want have been made
  • Talk to me about whether life is now better for me
  • Talk to me about whether any further actions are needed
  • Talk to me about support and representation if I need it
  • Talk to me about what I can do if I am unhappy with decisions made or progress

These topics should be considered a useful starting point for conversations that will often be helpful to people. Unless there is a good reason not to, such as placing someone at more risk, try to work in this way.

5. Citizen-led expectations of service

Citizen groups have also explained what the experience of safeguarding should feel like; and what outcomes they would usually hope could be achieved for them. 

  • I am confident that any concerns about my safety and wellbeing have been taken seriously
  • I have been asked what I want to happen, and changes I want to achieve
  • I have received the support I need to express my views
  • I have had the support I need to be involved
  • I know that my wishes and views have been taken into consideration
  • I know if the multi-agency procedures are being followed or not, and what this means for me
  • I have had a conversation about what is happening at each stage and why
  • I know how my concerns were looked into
  • I know what was found out
  • I know what was learnt
  • I have been involved in assessments of risk and the development of risk management plans
  • I know people have sought to achieve the changes I wanted and explained when this was not possible
  • I have had the support I need to take part
  • I know who I can speak to, if I am concerned about decisions
  • I know who I can speak to in the future about concerns

Citizen groups have also explained what the experience of safeguarding should feel like; and what outcomes they would usually hope could be achieved for them. We have tried to use what these groups told us, to produce this guidance for practitioners.

Seeking to achieve these outcomes where possible, will often be helpful to the person to feel involved in the support provided. Unless there is a good reason not to, such as placing someone at more risk, try to work in this way.

6. Planning and Risk Management

Citizen Groups in Leeds have produced this advice for practitioners as to how they would wish to be involved in developing plans for their safety and wellbeing.

Wherever possible, practitioners should seek to work in this way:

  • Speak to me about it - hear my voice
  • Ask me what I would like to happen and why
  • Don't presume you know what I want
  • Talk to me about the options - and explain them
  • Ask me if there are any services I would like to be referred to
  • Let's agree - what I am going to do
  • Let's agree - what you are going to do
  • Don't take over - help me make my own decisions
  • If you need to make decisions I don't agree with, explain to me why
  • Enjoy helping people

This advice has been produced by Citizens Groups in Leeds. It should be considered a practice guide for practitioners, to help make the experience of attending meetings as supportive as possible.

  • Think about how I am feeling -
  • Think about how you would feel in my shoes
  • If there is a meeting about me that I am not invited to - tell me why.
  • Remember people are making decisions about my life
  • A few days before the meeting either call me or send me a letter telling me what will happen
  • Introduce everyone in the room - tell me your job title, what you do and why you are here
  • Put me at ease, offer me a cup of tea
  • I need someone with me who I can trust to support me - make sure this happens
  • Allow for breaks - Recognise when I have had enough and will agree to anything because I have shut down
  • Ask me what I want from the meeting - Don't presume you know
  • Be interested in what I have to say - ask me what I think
  • Think about how I am feeling that day - I might be finding this more difficult than I thought I would
  • It shouldn't be people talking about me - it should be people talking with me, about what I want
  • Think about how the room is set up. Don't sit together with me on my own - don't make it like an interview
  • Explain things in a way I can understand - check that I do

8. What I want from people supporting me

This advice has been produced by citizens in Leeds. It outlines the practice and qualities people often seek from practitioners when they are being supported with difficult and sensitive issues of abuse and neglect.

  • Openness and honesty
  • Empathy, kindness, selflessness, patience
  • To always feel that people are looking out for you
  • For people to have your back and speak up for you when you can't
  • To have stickability - be there for the long haul - even the tough stuff
  • To offer reassurance no matter what
  • To be knowledgeable about the world
  • To ask what they can do to help you
  • To give support and massive encouragement
  • To take into account what you have been through
  • To give you confidence and the ability to value yourself – When the help is there you want to just pull it in with both arms !
  • To always feel that people are looking out for you
  • To be treated with respect

 

This same citizen-led practice guidance is also available in designed pdf format.