Customer wellbeing and support policy listing

Customer wellbeing and support policy

This policy outlines our responsibilities for keeping our customers and colleagues safe from domestic abuse, safeguarding children, and dealing with hoarding.


Magna aims to take all reasonable measures to provide safe accommodation, services and appropriate support for its customers which includes children and adults at risk of harm. This means having policies and procedures in place, as well as appropriate levels of colleague training and awareness on, safeguarding children and adults at risk of harm, domestic abuse and hoarding.

All Magna colleagues are required to identify and report any welfare concerns that they have about customers who are adults or children living in our homes, who are at risk of harm.

Scope of this policy

Safeguarding children and adults at risk of harm

The scope of Magna's responsibilities in regard to safeguarding applies to:

  • All Magna customers, which includes tenants, leaseholders, shared owners and members of their households
  • Magna colleagues, volunteers, agency staff and anyone else working on behalf of Magna

The policy specifically sets out how Magna seeks to safeguard the welfare of children and the welfare of adults at risk of harm. It covers the way in which we carry out our responsibilities under the Care Act 2014 (for adults) and the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 (for children).

In accordance with the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, a child is anyone who is under the age of 18. This includes those who may be 16 or 17 years old and living independently. Safeguarding children means:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children's health or development
  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

An adult is anyone aged 18 or over. An "adult at risk" is an adult who is or may be in need of community care services because of frailty, learning or physical or sensory disability, or mental health issues, and who is or may be unable to take care of his or herself or to take steps to protect him or herself from significant harm or exploitation.

The Care Act 2014 requires housing and housing support providers to ensure that they have clear operational policies and procedures in adult safeguarding; to co-operate with local authorities in the exercise of their adult safeguarding functions; and to ensure that colleagues are trained in recognising the symptoms of neglect and abuse, how to respond and where to go for advice and assistance.

Safeguarding the welfare of adults at risk means putting processes in place to help keep them safe from harm from themselves or from others.

Abuse is the violation of an individual's rights by any other person or persons. Abuse can take many forms, including mental or psychological abuse, and can range from the small act of not treating someone with proper respect to extreme punishment or torture.

Domestic abuse

The scope of Magna's approach and responsibilities with regard to domestic abuse applies to:

  • All Magna customers, which includes tenants, leaseholders, shared owners and members of their households
  • Magna colleagues, volunteers, agency staff and anyone else working on behalf of Magna

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 places a duty on local authorities in England to provide housing-based support to survivors of domestic abuse and their children. We'll follow the definition of domestic abuse in the Domestic Abuse Act. This defines behaviour as abusive if it consists of any of the following:

  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Violent or threatening behaviour
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour including so called honour-based violence
  • Economic abuse
  • Psychological, emotional or other abuse
  • And it doesn't matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct

The policy specifically sets out how Magna will support customers to access the local authority services and work in partnership with Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Boards or their equivalent where requested.

Statistically, some of our colleagues will also be survivors of domestic abuse (and some of our colleagues are also Magna customers). We're committed to supporting all colleagues (whether they're Magna customers or not). Every case will be different, and we'll be flexible and considerate in our approach to issues where they impact on a colleague's work. Examples of the support we can offer include:

  • Flexible working times and locations
  • Time off work using holiday or special leave
  • Changing the work email address and telephone number
  • An interest free loan of up to £1,000 to help move to a new house (after one year's service)
  • Employee assistance programme (all colleagues can access a 24/7 support line and use face to face counselling sessions)
  • Colleagues will be encouraged to speak to their manager if they're able to or the People Support Team if they're not


The scope of Magna's approach and responsibilities with regard to hoarding applies to:

  • Magna's tenants, leaseholders and shared owners

Hoarding is the persistent collecting of goods, objects or animals and being unable to discard of such possessions when the quantity has become excessive.

Hoarding disorder is a mental illness in its own right and is characterised by someone acquiring an excessive number of items and storing them in a chaotic manner, usually resulting in unmanageable amounts of clutter.

When dealing with a compulsive hoarder we aim to be mindful of the impact our requests could have on their mental health and will strive to ensure they understand our obligations as a landlord to protect and maintain their health and safety and our assets.

When deciding what course of action to take as a landlord, we'll take reasonable steps to check whether the customer has the ability to make an informed decision at that time to comply with our requests. We'll try to establish at the earliest stage what the customer's preferred method of communication is, recognising the written word is often ignored.

The policy specifically sets out how Magna will take a risk-based approach in relation to all customers affected by hoarding to ensure that all are treated fairly and sensitively and receive the appropriate level of intervention, support and guidance.

Policy statement

Magna will seek to safeguard the welfare of children and the welfare of adults at risk by:

  • Co-operating with Children Social Care, Adult Social Care and other organisations in safeguarding children and adults at risk and working collaboratively with local safeguarding children and adult's boards
  • Providing all colleagues with training and guidance on identifying symptoms of abuse or neglect
  • Providing all colleagues with training and guidance on Magna's safeguarding procedures, including the action they should take if they suspect a child or an adult at risk may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm or abuse
  • Providing effective management for colleagues through supervision, support and training which is relevant to the role, customers and service users they work with an risk they are potentially dealing with
  • Bringing this policy and associated procedures to the attention of Magna's contractors who are likely to come into contact with children or adults at risk
  • Encouraging colleagues to contact their manager, a member of the community safety team, any other manager or director, our internal auditors or another organisation such as the police, Regulator of Social Housing, or the Health and Safety Executive, to raise concerns about what they might consider wrongdoing. Once of the ways Magna complies with the Public Interest Disclosure Act is through the whistle-blowing procedure. This protects workers from detrimental treatment or victimisation if, in the public interest, they blow the whistle on wrongdoing
  • Developing and maintaining effective information sharing with statutory services and other organisations, involving children, parents, guardians, carers and adults at risk as appropriate
  • Ensuring all necessary Disclosure and Barring Service checks are made, and where necessary acted on, in the recruitment and management of colleagues

Magna will demonstrate its commitment to dealing with domestic abuse and providing support for survivors by:

  • Providing a sensitive, confidential, and non-judgemental response to any customer or member of their household approaching us for assistance in cases of domestic abuse. In addition to this we publish an annual statement on our website in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The statement lists our obligations, including a confidential reporting process for colleagues to report any serious concerns including modern slavery
  • Progressing and embedding our approach to domestic abuse across the whole of Magna, including the Board, with our customers or members of their household and our colleagues
  • Supporting customers and members of their household who disclose domestic abuse through our customer wellbeing and support policy, community safety policy and / or our empty homes and lettings policy where appropriate
  • Working collaboratively with relevant agencies where suspected domestic abuse is reported from third parties or is identified by colleagues through concern reporting
  • Working with partner organisations, such as the police and Adult and Children's Social Care, to reduce the effects of domestic abuse involving customers and members of their household, through a variety accommodation and support options. Options may include:
    • Support to stay in the family home by taking measures to ensure the protection of the survivor and members of their household in their own home
    • Securing the home, by changing locks, providing additional locks, or installing other security measures as a matter of priority and offering support and advice on liaison with appropriate agencies
    • Where appropriate, we'll arrange the provision of additional security measures such as a community alarm service for an agreed period
    • Working in partnership with external organisations and / or charities where appropriate
    • Arranging for additional support services, such as tenancy support or money matters
  • There may be occasions when a survivor of domestic abuse doesn't wish to involve other agencies. In these cases, we'll provide information on where to go for help and advice. We'll also provide support and advice on security measures in and around the home. Whilst we'll always try to respect the survivor's wishes, we reserve the right to involve other agencies at our discretion. In some situations, we may disclose information without consent, for example to comply with the law, to assist in civil or criminal enquiries, in connection with court proceedings or where it's necessary to protect customers' vital interests
  • We'll provide information on where to go for help and advice to perpetrators in order to manage their behaviour
  • If the survivor holds a tenancy with Magna and chooses to stay in or return to the family home; we'll take practical steps to make this possible. This may include the use of absolute and / or discretionary grounds for possession
  • If the survivor wishes to leave their home, then we'll advise them to approach the local authority for assistance. We can offer support and advice on registering with the relevant local authority for rehousing and / or to make a homeless application
    • As stated in our tenure policy; we'll grant a fully assured periodic tenancy to tenants moving into one of our homes who have moved from temporary accommodation provided by us or the local authority due to an urgent reason through no fault of their own and who immediately prior to moving into temporary accommodation held a secure or assured tenancy with us or another social landlord. For example, where a former secure or assured tenant is fleeing abuse
  • If the survivor is a homeowner, ie, leaseholder or shared owner, we'll offer support and advice on security measures and liaison with other organisations. In certain circumstances, we may be able to take legal action against the perpetrator. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the Governance, Legal and Risk Team.

When deciding what course of action to take with hoarding Magna will use the following hoarding property assessment levels to guide our response:

High risk - safeguarding issue

Immediate and considerable health and safety dangers are present that can cause severe disrepair (fire hazards, access issues, structural damage and inability to complete essential property maintenance). This level requires immediate action to safeguard the customer and other occupants, neighbours and / or assets. This may include referral to a multi-agency panel if one is available in the area.

In extreme cases immediate court action will be considered. If this is the case the customer will then be supported and monitored closely to prevent relapse.

Medium risk

No immediate serious health and safety issues however substantial cluttering preventing rooms from being used. Low-medium disrepair present in the property (including possibility of damp caused by clutter). This level requires action to safeguard the customer, other occupants, neighbours and / or assets.

Low risk

No immediate serious health and safety issues. This level requires no further action but will be monitored to ensure it doesn't escalate.


The Director of Customer Operations is the accountable person in relation to all aspects of safeguarding at Magna and is responsible for the development and review of the customer wellbeing and support policy, ensuring that this meets all relevant legal and regulatory requirements and guidance.

The Head of Customer and Community Support is responsible for ensuring that the customer wellbeing and support policy is adhered to and for ensuring the policy is reviewed and updated in accordance with the policy review timetable operational delivery of safeguarding activities.

The Safer Communities Lead is the designated safeguarding officer and is responsible for the delivery of Magna's operating procedures relating to safeguarding, for maintaining accurate safeguarding and related support data on Magna's housing management systems and also for reporting on safeguarding to Magna's Health and Safety Forum in line with governance arrangements.

Managers are responsible for ensuring their teams complete mandatory training in relation to safeguarding and for ensuring their teams and any contractors they employ have an appropriate DBS check and are aware of and understand how to raise safeguarding concerns.

Governance, performance management and review

This policy and its associated operating procedures will be reviewed by the Director of Customer Operations and approved by the Board every three years.

The following performance measures / indicators apply:

MeasureReported toFrequency
Number of new customer safeguarding cases in the monthHealth and safety forumQuarterly
Same as aboveBoardAnnually
Number of domestic abuse cases reported in the monthHealth and safety forumQuarterly
Same as aboveBoardAnnually
Number of hoarding casesIncluded in safeguarding measuresSame as left

You can read our safeguarding guidance and procedure here.