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The UK government defines terrorism as an action that:

  • endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people
  • causes serious damage to property
  • seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system.

The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

Vulnerable adult

This term is still in use in legal documents but should not be used in other contexts. See the adult at risk section for the replacement term and why vulnerable adults is being phased out by the safeguarding sector.

Welfare checklist

This refers to a checklist that all judges must adhere to when making decisions about children under the Children Act 1989:

  • The wishes and feelings of the child
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
  • The likely effect on the child of any change in circumstances
  • The child’s age, sex, background and any other of his or her characteristics which the court considers relevant
  • Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • How capable each parent (and any other relevant person) is of meeting the child’s needs


According to the organisation Protect whistleblowing is:

'is all about ensuring that if someone sees something wrong in the workplace they are able to raise this within their organisation, to a regulator, or wider. Whistleblowing ultimately protects customers, staff, beneficiaries, and the organisation itself by identifying harm before it’s too late.’

Wrongdoer (or potential wrongdoer)

This term is preferred over perpetrator or alleged perpetrator because it covers a much wider range of behaviours which are more relevant to safeguarding – not all safeguarding concerns are criminal acts – whereas many believe that the term ‘perpetrator’ is used for someone who has specifically committed a crime.



Page last edited Oct 03, 2019

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