Guidance – talking to people you are concerned about

In this section

  • Overview
  • Trauma informed practice

  • Overview

    If you are concerned about someone, talking can provide an opportunity for them to disclose information about their situation and let you know if something’s wrong.

    Before speaking to someone you must ensure that it is safe to to so

    • are you confident that speaking to the person will not put them, or others, at increased risk of harm?
    • are you able to speak to them in a safe, quiet place, away from anyone who may be causing them harm?
    • are you able to speak to them alone?

    If it is safe to do so, try to talk to them about the things that are concerning you. It’s helpful to consider

    • Have you considered any communication needs they may have?
    • Voice your concerns in an appropriate and sensitive way
    • Be aware of your words, tone of voice and body language
    • Avoid assumptions
    • Use open ended questions
    • Allow space for the person to tell their story
    • Avoid making promises you can’t keep – for example promising to keep secret what someone has told you
    • Remain curious and respectfully uncertain
    • Be trauma informed (see below) – recognise the trauma someone has experienced and how it may have affected them, and be mindful of this during your interactions.

    If you are still concerned about someone after talking to them, it is important that you act on your concerns.