Safeguarding Policy

PURPOSE

A Safe Space to be Me is committed to the wellbeing and safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults and is determined to ensure all necessary steps are taken to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. This policy and the accompanying procedure outline the principles and values of the company and is designed to ensure that Board members, staff, students, volunteers, and representatives understand their responsibilities in protecting children and vulnerable adults and those requiring protection from harm and neglect. It also identifies the steps staff should take if abuse of a child or an adult occurs or is suspected.

SCOPE

The policy applies to all staff, volunteers, and representatives of A Safe Space to be Me who may come into contact with children from unborn up to 18 years of age and vulnerable adults. It also applies to other children and vulnerable adults in the wider community that come to the attention of A Safe Space to be Me’s staff and or representatives in the course of their work or duties.

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults is everyone’s responsibility and all staff and representatives should have a basic understanding of their role in protecting vulnerable adults.

The Committee

A Safe Space to be Me’s committee has overall responsibility for ensuring children and vulnerable adults who come into contact with the charity’s services are protected from abuse and appropriate action is taken if abuse is alleged or suspected. The Committee will monitor performance on an annual basis.

The Co-Ordinators

The Co-ordinators are responsible for ensuring action is taken to prevent and or respond to allegations of abuse in accordance with this policy and the associated Safeguarding Adult and Children Procedure. They are also responsible for ensuring this policy is discharged effectively across their divisions and communicated to all staff, and their responsibilities are carried out under this policy.

They will make certain that robust, safe recruitment, selection and vetting procedures are implemented.

They will ensure that all staff, volunteers, and representatives have a basic understanding of their roles and responsibilities in protecting children and vulnerable adults.

They will ensure training is made available to all key personnel and the training provided will respect diversity in relation to culture, race and disability and promote equality.

They will raise the awareness of abuse and Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and ensure information is provided for clients, staff, students, volunteers, and the general public.

Supervisors

All Supervisors will ensure their teams are carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with this policy and the associated procedure and that training is attended by key personnel. The level of training required for each staff member is dependent on their degree of contact with children and vulnerable adults. This will include staff working in and around clients’ homes, schemes, and hostels etc.

  • Any Safeguarding issues should be monitored and discussed under the Health and Safety Agenda at team meetings.

  • All Supervisors will ensure all concerns and allegations of abuse are taken seriously and responded to appropriately.

  • Provide advice and information relating to safeguarding concerns.

  • Receive and record information from employees, volunteers, parents, and carers who have safeguarding concerns.

  • Where appropriate assessing the information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate.

  • Where appropriate, consulting initially with Children Services and Adult Services about the concerns as soon as possible, and in emergencies the Police.

  • Where appropriate, making a formal referral to a statutory agency or the police without delay and ensure the proper transfer of information.

  • Providing training at the level identified as appropriate for all posts within the organisation and in particular ensuring that all staff who work with or have contact with children or vulnerable adults are appropriately trained.

Managers will ensure clients, carers and the general public are provided with information in a range of accessible formats including meetings with clients and their families and carers, individually and as groups.

Staff, volunteers, students, and representatives

All staff, volunteers, students, and representatives should actively safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. All should ensure they are aware of and comply with this policy and associated procedure and attend training as required.

· Staff, volunteer, students, and representatives will ensure they are familiar with and understand the policies and procedures relating to their work with or in the vicinity of vulnerable adults.

· Staff, volunteers, students, and representatives will ensure they deal with any incidents of abuse or suspected abuse of vulnerable adults in accordance with this policy and procedure.

· Concerns that a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk of or suffering from abuse or neglect should always be reported to a senior member of staff.

· Reasons for the concern and actions taken should be documented.

· Ensure staff, volunteers, students, and representatives understand the level of training appropriate for their post and that they feel confident in working within this environment and able to communicate with their supervisors to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to carry out their tasks in relation to safeguarding.

Treating all children and vulnerable adults with whom they come into contact while carrying out their work equally and with respect.

POLICY STATEMENT

Definition of vulnerable adults

The term “vulnerable adult” is defined by the Law Commission as: "Someone of 16 years or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation". "Making Decisions" Lord Chancellor's Department 1999”

N.B.

Although the above definition refers to those aged over 16 years, allegations of abuse of 16 and 17 year olds would be dealt with under the Safeguarding Children Procedure and existing Child Care legislation.

Definition of abuse

Abuse is defined as… “a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.” (Department of Health 2000)

Abuse of a person at risk may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be an act of neglect or omission to act, it may occur where a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which they do not or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and any setting and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of the individual. In many cases it may be a criminal offence.

Definition of Child abuse

Child abuse – mistreatment of child: severe mistreatment of a child by a parent, guardian, or other adult responsible for his or her welfare, e.g., physical violence, neglect, sexual assault, or emotional cruelty and covers children from unborn through to 18 years of age.

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults includes the following:

  • Prevention of abuse or neglect

  • Recognition of vulnerable people at risk of, or suffering, from abuse or neglect.

  • Enquiry

  • Assessment, planning and review.

  • Monitoring

When does Self Neglect meet Eligibility for a Safeguarding Response?

The adult safeguarding procedures will apply where a person at risk has been identified as experiencing serious self-neglect which could result in significant harm to themselves or others and:

  • There are concerns about the person’s capacity to make the relevant decisions.

  • They have refused essential services, without which their health and safety needs cannot be met.

  • The person has terminated services which had been arranged as a result of an assessment of health or social care needs.

  • The care management process/care programme approach has not been able to mitigate the risk of this ‘serious self-neglect which could result in imminent significant harm.’

In these circumstances and an onward referral is made to the relevant services, every attempt must be made to include the person at risk in this process.

Context in which adult abuse might take place.

Abuse can take many forms, some examples of this are: -

Institutional abuse

Institutional abuse occurs when the routines, system and regimes of an institution result in poor or inadequate standards of care and poor practice, which affects the whole environment and denies and restricts the dignity, privacy, choice, and independence of an individual.

Hate crime

Hate crime is defined as any crime that is perceived by the victim, or any other person to be racist, homophobic, transphobic, or due to a person’s religion, belief, gender identity or disability.

Mate crime

Mate crime happens when someone is faking a friendship in order to take advantage of a vulnerable person. Mate crime is committed by someone known to the person. A ‘mate’ may be a ‘friend’, family member, supporter, paid staff, or another person with a disability.

Domestic abuse

Domestic violence is defined as “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless to gender or sexuality. This can be the following, but the list is not limited to these types of abuse:

  • Psychological

  • Physical

  • Sexual

  • Financial

  • Emotional   

Personal budgets, direct payments, and self-directed care

People who direct their own care and support should be enabled to manage their personal budgets and direct payments in a safe way. A culture that promotes positive risk taking, based on appropriate person-centred policies, supports this approach, and seeks to empower individuals.

Honour based violence.

“Honour based violence is a crime or incident, which as or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.” (Crown Prosecution Service/ Association of Chief Police Officers)

Forced Marriage.

A marriage which one or both parties are married without their consent or against their will.

Carers at risk of harm

Carers may be at risk by the person they offer care to. Carers also have a legal right to an assessment of their needs. In some cases, both the carer and the supported person can be considered to be at risk of harm.

Carers who cause harm.

On occasions carers may cause intentional or unintentional harm. Cases of unintentional harm may be due to lack of knowledge, or the carer’s own physical or emotional needs make them unable to care adequately for the vulnerable adult.

Legislation and Best Practice

We are committed to complying with the requirements of the law and good practice in this area and will review this policy yearly.

Partnership

We have effective local information-sharing and multi-agency partnership arrangements in place and understand these.

We foster a “one” team approach that places the welfare of individuals above 0rganisational boundaries.

The Vulnerable Adult is confident that information will be appropriately shared in a way that takes into account its personal and sensitive nature.

They should be confident that agencies will work together to find the most effective responses to their own situation.

Reporting and Monitoring

In accordance with legislation and best practice A Safe Space to be Me will establish and maintain effective quality assurance systems for monitoring and reporting Children and Adult safeguarding issues and will share all relevant child protection or adult protection information across agencies.

Regulations referrals and recruitment (Staff working alongside children or vulnerable adults)

Recruitment

As part of our recruitment procedure, all staff and volunteers will complete Access NI checks before commencing employment.

Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with this policy will be dealt with as a performance issue and if appropriate it may be considered as gross misconduct.

FEEDBACK PROCESS

A Safe Space to be Me welcomes feedback, good or bad. Anyone receiving or affected by our services can complain, offer suggestions, or give praise. All feedback is treated in confidence.

We appreciate positive comments when things go well, and also recognise that sometimes things go wrong or that we may not meet our services standards. If they do, we will apologise and aim to put things right promptly and fairly at an early stage. No-one will receive any different treatment because of feedback.

We will learn from managing and resolving complaints to ensure we make real improvements to our services and appreciate customer feedback to let us know what is working well, whether we can make further improvements, and ideas or suggestions about how to better deliver services to our customers.

If you would like to make a compliment, suggest an improvement, or complain about any service received from us please do not hesitate to contact us via email at info@asafeaspacetobeme.co.uk

RECORDS

All records will be kept in accordance with the Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Procedure.

APPENDIX 1 The Principles

The Department of Health sets out the Government’s statement of principles for use by Local Authority Social Services, Health, Police, and other Agencies.

Principle 1: Empowerment

  • Give individuals relevant information about recognising abuse and the choices available to them to ensure their safety. We will give clear information about how to report abuse and crime and any necessary support in doing so.

  • We will consult the Vulnerable Adult before we take any action and ensure that they are consulted about the outcomes they want from the safeguarding process to the extent that they might want or are able.

  • Where someone lacks capacity to make a decision, we will always act in his or her best interests. See Mental Capacity Act and Procedure.

  • Publicise ‘Safeguarding Adults’ and provide information that is easily understood to our clients, carers and the general public.

Principle 2: Protection

  • Our local complaints, reporting and arrangements for abuse and suspected criminal offences and risk assessments work effectively.

  • Our governance arrangements are open and transparent and communicated to our customers.

  • The Vulnerable Adult is provided with help and support to report abuse. They are supported to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which they want and are able.

Principle 3: Prevention

  • We can effectively identify and appropriately respond to signs of abuse and suspected criminal offences. We make all staff volunteers and tenant representatives aware, through provision of appropriate training and guidance, of how to recognise signs and take any appropriate action to prevent abuse occurring.

  • In our work, we consider how to make communities safer.

  • We will use rigorous recruitment practices for staff and volunteers.

  • Vulnerable Adults are provided with easily understood information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what they can do to seek help.

Principle 4: Proportionality

  • We discuss with the individual and where appropriate with partner agencies the proportionality of possible responses to the risk of significant harm before we take a decision.

  • Our arrangements support the use of professional judgement and the management of risk.

  • The Vulnerable Adult should be confident that the responses to risk will take into account their preferred outcomes or best interests.

Principle 5: Partnership

  • We have effective local information-sharing and multi-agency partnership arrangements in place and understand these.

  • We foster a “one” team approach that places the welfare of individuals above organisational boundaries.

  • The Vulnerable Adult is confident that information will be appropriately shared in a way that takes into account its personal and sensitive nature.

  • They should be confident that agencies will work together to find the most effective responses to their own situation.

Principle 6: Accountability

  • The roles of all agencies are clear, together with the lines of accountability.

  • Staff understand what is expected of them and others.

  • Agencies recognise their responsibilities to each other, act upon them and accept collective responsibility for safeguarding arrangements.

  • The Vulnerable Adult should be clear about the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the solution of the problem.

  • Commission safe services and monitor contracts.

Principle 7: Children

A Safe Space to be Me has a commitment to deliver services to children and vulnerable adults in a non-discriminatory manner. Children and vulnerable adults should be safeguarded and protected whatever their:

  • Race, religion, first language or ethnicity

  • Gender or sexuality

  • Age

  • Health or disability

  • Location or placement

  • Political or immigration status

  • Criminal behaviour

 

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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland - Registration Number 107789
©2021 by A Safe Space to be Me.