This policy seeks to ensure that HOPE undertakes its responsibilities with regard to protection of vulnerable adults and will respond to concerns appropriately. The policy establishes a framework to support paid and unpaid staff in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.
HOPE makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.
HOPE comes into contact with vulnerable adults through the following activities:
- Service Delivery
The types of contact with vulnerable adults will be:
- Regulated activity – frequent contact with a vulnerable person once a month or more
- Controlled Activity – ancillary roles that have access to data on vulnerable people
Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and / or vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.
Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture.
It can take a number of forms, including the following:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological or Emotional abuse
- Neglect or Omission to act
- Financial or material abuse
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Modern Slavery
- Self Neglect
- Domestic Abuse
- Institutional Abuse
- Discriminatory Abuse
Definition of a vulnerable adult
A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited.
This may include a person who: Is elderly and frail; Has a mental illness including dementia; Has a physical or sensory disability; Has a learning disability; Has a severe physical illness; Is a substance misuser; Is homeless.
All staff (paid or unpaid) have responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures.
We expect all staff (paid or unpaid) to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.
Additional specific responsibilities
Trustees have responsibility to ensure:
- The policy is in place and appropriate
- The policy is monitored and reviewed
- Liaison with and monitoring the Designated Safeguarding Lead’s work
- Sufficient resources (time and money) are allocated to ensure that the policy can be effectively implemented
- Receive staff concerns about safeguarding and respond to all seriously, swiftly and appropriately
The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Suzy Clifford. This person’s responsibilities are:
- Keep up to date with local arrangements for safeguarding and DBS
- Develop and maintain effective links with relevant agencies
- Take forward concerns about responses
- Promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults
- Ensure staff (paid and unpaid) have access to appropriate training/information
- The policy is accessible
- The policy is implemented
The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the organisation. These include:
- Grievance and disciplinary procedures
- Health and Safety policy, including lone working procedures, mitigating risk to staff and clients
- Equal Opportunities policy
- Data protection
- Staff induction
HOPE ensures safe recruitment through the following processes:
- Providing the following safeguarding statement in recruitment adverts or application details –‘recruitment is carried out in line with safe recruitment practices.’
- Job or role descriptions for all roles involving contact with vulnerable adults will contain reference to safeguarding responsibilities.
- There are person specifications for roles which contain a statement on core competency with regard to vulnerable adult protection/ safeguarding.
- Interviews are conducted according to equal opportunity principles and interview questions are based on the relevant job description and person specification.
- DBS checks will be conducted for all staff (paid or unpaid) working with vulnerable adults. It is a criminal offence for individuals barred by the ISA to work or apply to work with children or vulnerable adults in a wide range of posts.
- No formal job offers are made until after checks for suitability are completed (including DBS and 2 references).
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Gap Management
The organisation commits resources to providing DBS records check on staff (paid or unpaid) whose roles involve contact with vulnerable adults.
In order to avoid DBS gaps, the organisation will ensure:
- A 3 year rolling programme of re-checking DBS is in place for holders of all identified posts.
HOPE commits resources for induction, training of staff (paid and unpaid), effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding
An Induction will include:
- Discussion of the Safeguarding Policy (and confirmation of understanding)
- Discussion of other relevant policies
- Ensure familiarity with reporting processes, the roles of line manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead (and who acts in their absence)
- Initial training on safeguarding for those working directly with vulnerable adults
All staff who, through their role, are in contact with vulnerable adults will have access to safeguarding training at an appropriate level to their role.
We recognise that involvement in situations where there is risk or actual harm can be stressful for staff concerned. The mechanisms in place to support staff include:
- Debriefing support for paid and unpaid staff so that they can reflect on the issues they have dealt with.
- Seeking further support as appropriate e.g. access to counselling or supervision.
- Staff who have initiated protection concerns will be contacted by line manager within 1 week.
Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a support worker and a client. They are a set of standards we agree to uphold that allows this necessary and often close relationship to exist while ensuring the correct detachment is kept in place.
HOPE expects staff to protect the professional integrity of themselves and the organisation.
The following professional boundaries must be adhered to:
- Giving and receiving gifts from clients: HOPE does not allow paid or unpaid staff to give gifts to or receive gifts from clients. However gifts may be provided by the organisation as part of a planned activity.
- Staff contact with user groups. Personal relationships between a member of staff (paid or unpaid) and a client who is a current service user is prohibited. This includes relationships through social networking sites such as facebook and instagram.
It is also prohibited to enter into a personal relationship with a person who has been a service user over the past 12 months.
The following are not permitted or tolerated by HOPE:
- Accepting responsibility for any valuables on behalf of a client
- Accepting money as a gift/ Borrowing money from or lending money to service users
- Personal relationships with a third party related to or known to service users
- Accepting gifts/ rewards or hospitality from organisation as an inducement for either doing/ not doing something in their official capacity
- Cautious or avoidance of personal contact with clients
- Use of abusive language
- Response to inappropriate behaviour / language
- Use of punishment or chastisement
- Passing on service users’ personal contact details
- Providing personal contact details to service users
The following policies also contain guidance on staff (paid or unpaid) conduct:
- Code of Conduct
- Social Media Policy
- Conflicts of Interest
- Data Protection
- Health & Safety
- Anti-Harassment and Bullying
If the professional boundaries and/or policies are breached this could result in disciplinary procedures or enactment of the allegation management procedures
The process outlined below details the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at HOPE.
Communicate your concerns with your immediate manager
Seek medical attention for the vulnerable person if needed
Discuss with vulnerable person.
Obtain permission to make referral if safe and appropriate
if needed seek advice from MASH
Complete a MASH referral if required and submit to the local authority within 24 hours of making a contact
Ensure that feedback from the referral is received and their response recorded
The local authority has a process for reporting through the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and this must be adopted. Website link: Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) | Suffolk County Council
If the immediate manager is implicated, then refer to their line manager or Trustee.
HOPE recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against its staff (paid or unpaid) within the organisation or by a professional from another organisation.
The process for raising and dealing with allegations is as follows:
First step: Any member of staff (paid or unpaid) from HOPE is required to report any concerns in the first instance to their line manager/ safeguarding manager. A written record of the concern will be completed by the line manager/ safeguarding manager.
Second step: contact local authority for advice as stated below:
Guidance for professionals
If you think someone is at risk
If you are worried that a child, young person or adult is at risk of abuse, harm or neglect, please call Customer First on 0808 800 4005.
MASH consultation line
If you would like to discuss whether the situation you are concerned about should be the subject of a safeguarding referral, please contact the MASH Consultation Line on 0345 606 1499.
Third step: follow the advice provided.
The organisation will monitor the following Safeguarding aspects:
- Safe recruitment practices
- DBS checks undertaken
- References applied for new staff
- Records made and kept of supervision sessions
- Training – register/ record of staff training on vulnerable adult protection
- Monitoring whether concerns are being reported and actioned
- Checking that policies are up to date and relevant
- Reviewing the current reporting procedure in place
- Presence and action of Designated Safeguarding Lead responsible for Safeguarding is in post
Information will be gathered, recorded and stored in accordance with the following policies (insert policies e.g. Data Protection Policy, Confidentiality Policy).
All staff must be aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. The public interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
All staff must be aware that they cannot promise service users or their families/ carers that they will keep secrets.
HOPE will make clients aware of the Safeguarding Policy through its website.
This policy will be reviewed by the Safeguarding Lead annually and when there are changes in legislation.
|Date of Change:||Changed By:||Comments:|
|04/01/2021||Emma Haley||Policy approved by the Trustees|