Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy
Charity No 1181126
Authors – Mike Corlett A N Othe Date – 26th September 2023
Statement of Safeguarding Policy of Vulnerable Adults
This policy is subject to revision every 12 months or whenever deemed necessary by changed circumstances or changes in legislation.
1. General Policy Statement
The Didsbury Civic Society (DCS) is firmly committed to the belief that all vulnerable adults have a fundamental right to be protected from harm and fully recognises its responsibility for adult protection. The safety and protection of everyone who is connected with or visits the DCS is paramount (and has priority over all other interests, unless life is at imminent risk).
All trustees and members are required to comply with the procedures contained within this policy.
There are nine main elements to the policy:
- Provision of a safe and trusted environment for all, including vulnerable adults.
- Ensuring an organisational culture which prioritises safeguarding, so that it is safe for people to report incidents and concerns in the knowledge that these will be dealt with appropriately
- Ensuring that adequate safeguarding policies, procedures and measures to protect people, and make sure these procedures and measures are made public, reviewed regularly and kept up to date
- Handling incidents as they arise: this will include reporting incidents to the relevant authorities, including the police and the Charity Commission. DCS will learn from mistakes and put in place relevant mechanisms to prevent their future occurrence
- Developing and implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected adult abuse
- Supporting the adult who has been abused
- Establishing a safe environment in which adults can develop as required.
Definitions under law
The following definitions according to the latest law apply throughout the Safeguarding Policy and associated procedures. Although some of these activities or circumstances might not relate specifically to the DCS
The definition of regulated activity relating to adults places the emphasis on the kind of activity carried out for any adult who requires them rather than on any specific groups of people or vulnerabilities.
a.1 Vulnerable Adult or Adults
The Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme (PoVA 2004) defined a vulnerable adult as a person aged 18 or over who has a condition of the following type:
- A substantial learning or physical disability;
- A physical or mental illness or mental disorder, chronic or otherwise, including addiction to alcohol or drugs;
- A significant reduction in physical or mental capacity.
Physical abuse may take many forms e.g. hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating.
It may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child or vulnerable adult. This unusual and potentially dangerous form of abuse is now described as fabricated or induced illness.
Emotional abuse is continual emotional ill treatment causing severe and persistent effects on the vulnerable adult’s emotional development and may involve:
- causing the vulnerable adult to feel frightened or in danger – e.g. witnessing domestic violence;
- exploitation or corruption of vulnerable adults.
- Some level of emotional abuse is involved in most types of ill treatment, although emotional abuse may occur alone.
Neglect involves the persistent failure to meet basic physical and/or psychological needs, which is likely to result in serious impairment of the neglected person’s health and development. It may involve failure to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing, failure to protect from physical harm or danger or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of basic emotional needs.
Staff should also be aware of other factors which influence these forms of abuse such as racial or homophobic abuse.
6. Status of Policy
This policy applies to all trustees, activity leaders, members, exhibitors, users and visitors. Its purpose is to protect the personal safety of all including vulnerable adults using our facilities, resources and activities provided by the DCS actively promoting awareness, good practice and sound procedures. The Trustees will review this policy regularly and as informed by risk assessments relating to all activities of the DCS.
All trustees maybe required to provide references that the DCS deems appropriate, and which can be verified.
All trustees involved in regulated or intensive contact with vulnerable people as part of their work for the DCS could be subject to the Disclosure and Barring procedures of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
For trustees of DCS a DBS ‘Standard’ check could be carried out.
All trustees working on behalf of DCS have a responsibility for the welfare of vulnerable adults that they work with, in relation to their duties.
All trustees and members have a duty to ensure that any suspected incident, allegation or other manifestation relating to vulnerable adult protection is reported using the reporting procedures detailed in this policy.
The DCS has a Designated (named) Safeguarding Officer which is the Chair of Trustees. A member of the Trustees (as well as the Chair if already informed) must also be informed of issues which arise under this policy. The Designated Safeguarding Officer is responsible for vulnerable adults’ protection and the implementation of this policy. It is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Officer to take appropriate action following any expression of concern and make referrals to the appropriate agencies.
9. Designated Safeguarding Officers
The Designated Safeguarding Officers will
- Obtain information from trustees or members who have concerns relating to the protection of vulnerable adults and to record this information;
- Assessing information quickly and carefully and asking for further information where appropriate;
- Making referrals to the appropriate bodies, and the police, without delay.
All trustees and members will be made aware of the named Designated Safeguarding Officers and how to contact them.
10. Reporting Procedures: what to do if you suspect someone is being abused
Anyone who suspects that abuse is taking place of a vulnerable adult or discloses issues relating to safeguarding. Should contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately.
All trustees will report such incidents directly to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
All stages of the reporting procedure must be documented, marked CONFIDENTIAL and stored securely following the procedures laid out in the Data Protection Policy.
11. Allegations against employees or volunteers
When any form of complaint is made against a trustee`s or individual, it must be taken seriously and the complaint should initially be dealt with by the chair of trustees or appointed Safeguarding Officer.
The DCS will co-operate fully with the Police, Social Services, the NHS and all other parties involved.
If, during the course of an investigation relating to safeguarding, an employee submits his or her resignation, or ceases to provide their usual services or attendance. The DCS is not prevented from following up an allegation in accordance with these procedures.
Every effort will be made to reach a conclusion, including in cases where the person concerned refuses to co-operate with the process.
All trustees, and members must work under the principle that confidentiality is extremely important and plays a large part in much of the contact carried out with vulnerable adults. This statement relating to confidentiality is made known to all who access any provision of the DCS.
14. Safe recruitment of staff
The DCS has systems in place to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable adults and to promote safe practice.
15. Vetting and Barring
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 places a duty on the DCS and could require us to undertake an Enhanced check with the Disclosure and Barring Service for all trustees and members.
16. Reporting cases to the DBS
The DCS has a duty to make reports and provide relevant information to the DBS where there are grounds for believing, following an investigation, that a trustee or member is unsuitable to work with adults in certain activities, or may have committed misconduct. The responsibility for reporting cases to the DBS lies with the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
17. Support for Staff
All staff and workers who come into direct contact with vulnerable adults must undertake training on the subject of safeguarding. This Policy will be issued to all new trustees as part of their induction.
The DCS is aware that safeguarding cases can be distressing and that those who have been involved may find it helpful to talk about their experiences, in confidence, with the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
Anyone involved in whistleblowing will be supported and the DCS will ensure that proper procedures are followed.
19. The use of cameras, videos, or camera mobile phones
The DCS trustee`s and members may take photographs of people participating in activities and events. At all times permission will be sort before photographs are taken.
The DCS reserves the right to prohibit the use of cameras, videos and mobile telephones with photographic technology.
20. Additional Conditions
It is the trustee`s responsibility to make sure they have the emergency contact details of the adults in their charge.
21. Unacceptable Behaviour
The DCS expects a reasonable standard of behaviour from the vulnerable adults and members at all times.
22. Contacting the Designated Safeguarding Officer
Name: XXXX Chairman of Trustees
Designated Trustee Safeguarding Officer
23. Review and Maintenance of Policy
This policy is subject to revision by the trustees every 12 months or whenever deemed necessary by changed circumstances or changes in current law or regulation. The views of all trustee`s and members could be sought where necessary and reflected in the review process.
Guidelines for Responding to an Allegation of Abuse
All trustee`s and members, who are approached with concerns for a vulnerable adult, must bring the concerns raised to the attention of the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately.
All trustee`s and members staff to whom a vulnerable person discloses issues that may be related to safeguarding should where possible make written notes of concerns.