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Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board

Homelessness and Safeguarding

image of Homeless word in dictionary

On this page you can find practice briefings, policies, toolkits and training opportunities on Homelessness and Safeguarding. We have also included a 7 minute briefing from a Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) where the adult was homeless and links to SAR reports from other areas where the adult was homeless.

If you’re a professional who is concerned that a Homeless person may be experiencing neglect (including self-neglect) and abuse and are unable to protect themselves. You can find advice for Submitting an Adult Safeguarding Concern in the Lewisham Adult Safeguarding Pathway.

Online learning

Homeless Link - Bitesize learning: Supporting adults and young people through safeguarding.

Homeless Link have created six bitesize (30-minute) sessions to give frontline staff working in homelessness services the knowledge and skills to better support people who are facing multiple disadvantage (also known as multiple and/or complex needs) and are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness.

The sessions are delivered by Fiona Bateman, Safeguarding Consultant from Safeguarding Circle and Bruno Ornelas, Head of Homelessness at Concrete and Safeguarding Consultant.

All sessions are free to watch, thanks to funding from The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, as part of the Capacity Building programme.

Rough Sleeper Mental Health Awareness

Backed by the Mayor of London's Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund, Westminster City Council and London Borough of Lambeth, this free course supports cross-sector professionals in recognising and working with the Mental Health needs of people who sleep rough and the unstably housed.

Fifteen leading experts (incl. service users, Sir Michael Marmot, Deputy Mayor James Murray, A. Prof Nick Maguire, Jane Cook DoH MHCLG amongst others) will discuss the context and complexity of need, approaches to engagement and support, recognising and working with risk and key mental health and substance use problems.

The course will also explore the use of legislation such as the Mental Health Act, navigating the NHS and helping those with ‘no recourse to public funds’.

Length: Four modules, duration: 30 - 45 mins of study per module.

Homeless Link - How homeless services can support LGBTQI+ women

This webinar from Homeless Link, delivered in 2023, provides an introduction to issues of sexuality and gender and the relationship to homelessness.

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Online Adult Safeguarding Foundation Level Training and Workbooks

The Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board runs regular Online Adult Safeguarding Foundation Level Training Sessions, and we also have a series of adult safeguarding workbooks.

All of our Safeguarding Adults Courses are available to Private, Voluntary and Independent organisations and commissioned care providers in Lewisham.

Find out more in our learning zone.

Practice Briefings and Guidance

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LSAB Self-Neglect and Hoarding Multi-Agency Policy, Practice Guidance and Hoarding Toolkit

This guidance is aimed at a wide range of professionals involved in working with people who may self-neglect and sets out the response that professionals should take to this complex issue.

LSAB Guidance on Improving our Approach to Adult and Family Engagement

This guidance provides information on Adopting a Trauma Informed Approach, Understanding the Barriers to Seeking Help, Engagement Principles and Methods that can be Used for Engagement.

Alcohol Change UK - How to use legal powers to safeguard highly vulnerable dependent drinkers in England and Wales

This guide provides an accessible introduction to three pieces of legislation that can be applied to chronic, highly vulnerable, dependent drinkers so as to improve outcomes for them, their families and their communities. The guide also outlines the limits of these legal frameworks and when they should not be used.

The Kings Fund - Delivering health and care for people who sleep rough - Going above and beyond

This report aims to help local systems improve health outcomes among people who sleep rough and to support the ambition to end rough sleeping.

Homeless Link - Taking action following the death of someone sleeping rough - Briefing for Homelessness Services

This guidance details the steps that agencies can take should there be a death of a rough sleeper in their area.

Homeless Link - Autism and Homelessness Briefing for frontline staff

This briefing aims to provide frontline staff with information to better support people experiencing homelessness who are known or suspected to have autism. It includes suggestions of how to overcome challenges and case examples of two individuals with autism who were successfully supported to address their housing needs.

Homeless Link - Supporting LGBTIQ+ people in homelessness services - An introduction for frontline staff

This guidance, updated in June 2020 by The Outside Project, is written for staff who are new to LGBTIQ+ issues, or those seeking to make their service more inclusive, welcoming, and safe. It includes links to specialist agencies and resources to help you develop service provision tailored to individuals' needs.

7 minute Briefing Supporting staff to have conversations about health

Having conversations about health can be difficult for frontline workers. This briefing jointly produced by Groundswell, Homeless Link and Pathway outlines the key ways in which organisations can ensure their staff have the resources and support they need to feel more confident when having health-related conversations.

Accessing social care assessments using the Care Act – Homelessness - Guidance for frontline staff

This guidance sets out the basic principles of referral and assessment under the Care Act 2014 and the steps that support workers should take to ensure service users are fairly assessed under the Act.


Learning-Disabilities and Homelessness Toolkit

This toolkit is for services who support people experiencing homelessness who may also have learning disabilities.

Safeguarding Multiple Exclusion Homelessness Toolkit 2023

The focus of this tool is to improve multi-agency support for individuals who have an appearance of need for care and support and are experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness (MEH).

Research in Practice - Radical Safeguarding Toolkit for Homelessness

The co-produced toolkit offers a new approach to safeguarding adults experiencing homelessness and multiple disadvantages, rooted in the work of social justice movements.

The toolkit explores principles of power, autonomy, solidarity and accountability in safeguarding, supporting practitioners to consider intersectional and anti-oppressive approaches to work in this area.

Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SAR’s)

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Analysis of SAR’s

National SAR Analysis - Briefing for practitioners - Analysis of Safeguarding Adults Reviews

This briefing summarises key findings from the landmark study ‘Analysis of Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) April 2017 – March 2019’, with particular reference to professional practice in direct work with the individual at risk of abuse and/or neglect. It is therefore of particular relevance to the work of practitioners and others who have frontline contact with individuals. It aims to support practitioners to apply best practice in their direct work and thus achieve positive outcomes in adult safeguarding.

Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness: Learning from Safeguarding Adult Reviews

This briefing identifies the number of Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) completed in England where homelessness has been a central feature. The learning from these SARs about good practice and practice shortfalls has enabled an evidence-base for positive practice to be developed. This evidence-base can be used by practitioners working with people experiencing homelessness to advocate for best practice.

Adult safeguarding and homelessness: A briefing on positive practice

This briefing is to assist senior leaders, such as members of Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs), as well as commissioners, practitioners and operational managers who are working across relevant sectors and agencies in this field, to support people who are homeless and at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect.

Safeguarding, homelessness and rough sleeping: An analysis of Safeguarding Adults Reviews

This report from Kings College London presents findings from an analysis of 14 Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) where homelessness was a factor, and the results of a review of the literature relating to third sector and local authority policy and guidance on adult safeguarding and homelessness.


London Multi-Agency Safeguarding Policy and Procedures



DLUHC Ending Rough Sleeping For Good – September 2022

This strategy sets out how the whole of government is taking action to meet their ambition to end rough sleeping.

Lewisham’s Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2023-26

This strategy builds on the hard work that already goes on a daily basis to prevent homelessness and reduce rough sleeping in Lewisham and will help support our teams in their mission to ensure everybody has a safe, secure place to call home.


Duty to Refer

This guidance provides an overview of the duty to refer, which will help public authorities understand how to administer the duty.

Discharging people at risk of or experiencing homelessness

Guidance for staff involved in planning to discharge patients at risk of or experiencing homelessness, or who have no recourse to public funds.

Information Sharing

LSAB Information Sharing Agreement

Find out more on Information Sharing

Local Services Resources

Community directory to support health and wellbeing

A community directory to support health and wellbeing includes local organisations, voluntary and community groups and local businesses.

999 Club

The Gateway Centre in Deptford for people who are experiencing homeless, or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The centre is open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays. The centre provide showers, food, phone charging, use of a phone or computer and wifi, laundry and postal address. The centre offer support with ID, claiming benefits, finding work, searching for housing, social integration and referrals to specialist agencies. They also have a women-only space called “The Sanctuary”.

South East London Mind 

South East London Mind provides a range of high quality mental health support services for adult residents in the borough of Lewisham. This includes specialised support for people from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities, for new mums, and for anyone needing help with benefits.

Change Grow Live - New Direction

Free and confidential community drug and alcohol service. If you're a professional and you'd like to refer someone to the service, use the link above to visit their website. 

Thames Reach - Deptford Reach

Deptford Reach community outreach service provides advice and support within communities across Lewisham and Southwark. They aim to target people at risk of homelessness and provide casework and support to prevent this from occurring.

Lewisham Housing Options

If you need housing advice call 020 8314 7007. The service will refer anyone homeless or at risk of homelessness to a housing solutions officer who will assess you by phone.

Telephone 0808 178 0939

Find more adult safeguarding information in our Adult Safeguarding Pathway


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