Safeguarding Policy for Bay Volunteers
Recognising and responding appropriately to an allegation or suspicion of abuse
Organisation Safeguarding statement
Definitions of Abuse
Signs of Abuse
Name of place of the Organisation: Bay Volunteers (part of Hope Church Lancaster, registered charity)
Address: Queen Street, Lancaster, LA1 1RX
Tel No: 01524 841941
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charity Number: 518178
Insurance Company: Church insurance (including public liability) with Congregational & General Insurance. ___________________________________________________________________________
Bay Volunteers known as ‘the Organisation’ which operates as part of Hope Church Lancaster known as ‘the Employer’ hence forward, is committed to promoting the welfare and protection from harm of all its employees, volunteers and clients. Safeguarding is a priority for us and is everyone’s role.
The following is a brief description of our the type of activities that we undertake with vulnerable adults:
The Organisation is a community-led service which supports the needs of people and communities across the Lancaster District, especially those who are elderly, vulnerable, isolated and/or housebound. Our volunteers pick which missions they would like to do, when they do them and how much they want to volunteer. The missions that we receive, which our volunteers take up, mainly include either: shopping for/with someone, collecting and delivering post/parcels, collecting and delivering prescriptions, a listening call/walk, patient transport and/or digital support.
As an Organisation, we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for vulnerable adults. We acknowledge that vulnerable adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. All people have a right to be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.
As an Organisation, we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to building constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding.
The Organisation undertakes to:
• endorse and follow all national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures, in addition to the international conventions outlined above.
• provide safeguarding and reference checks for all its workers and volunteers who are working with vulnerable adults and will regularly review the operational guidelines attached.
• seek support from the Employer and their Safeguarding Coordinator(s) or other outside support to deal correctly with any safeguarding concerns in order to protect vulnerable adults.
Recognising and responding appropriately to an allegation or suspicion of abuse
Understanding abuse and neglect
Defining abuse against a vulnerable adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm, or failing to prevent harm. Adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the vulnerable adult.
In order to safeguard those vulnerable adults in our organisation, whether they are employees, volunteers or clients, we adhere to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 5 which states:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Detailed definitions, and signs and symptoms of abuse, as well as how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, are included here in our policy.
• Definitions of abuse – see appendix
• Signs and symptoms of abuse – see appendix
• How to respond to a vulnerable adult wishing to disclose abuse – see appendix
The Organisation is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers and volunteers, developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone. All employees when successful in employment and volunteers who are approved to volunteer with us are informed of our commitment to Safeguarding.
Responding to allegations of abuse
Under no circumstances should an employee or volunteer carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Procedures should be followed as below.
• The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should report concerns as soon as possible to the relevant the Bay Volunteers Manager, Matt Parker, telephone number: 07932109546 who is nominated to deal with an allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities. He may seek support from the Safeguarding Coordinator, Sue Murphy, from the Employer if necessary.
• In the absence of the Bay Volunteers Manager, or if the suspicions in any way involve the Bay Volunteers Manager, then the report should be made to the Employer’s Safeguarding Coordinator, Sue Murphy, telephone number: 07765890547. In their absence, it should be made to the Assistant Pastor, Jamie Haxby, telephone number: 07846642834. If the suspicions involve all of those mentioned above, then the report should be made in the first instance to THIRTYONE:EIGHT, PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone 0303 003 11 11 or email email@example.com. Alternatively contact Social Services or the Police.
• Where the concern is regarding an adult in need of protection, contact Adult Social Services or take advice from THIRTYONE:EIGHT as above.
The local Adult Social Services office telephone number (office hours) is 01524 66246.
The out of hours emergency number is (0300) 123 6722.
• Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with these procedures and kept in a secure place. Records of concerns should not be circulated electronically.
• Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Bay Volunteers Manager, the absence of the Bay Volunteers Manager or Safeguarding Coordinator of the Employer should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from THIRTYONE:EIGHT.
• Where required, the Bay Volunteers Manager, Safeguarding Coordinator or Assistant Pastor should then immediately inform the insurance company.
• It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the safeguarding agencies or seek advice from THIRTYONE:EIGHT, although the Organisation hope that members of the Organisation will use this procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Bay Volunteers Manager or Safeguarding Coordinator have not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Bay Volunteers Manager or Safeguarding Coordinator as to the appropriateness of a referral, they are free to contact an outside agency direct. We hope by making this statement that the Organisation demonstrates its commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.
The role of the Bay Volunteers Manager/Safeguarding Coordinator is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.
Where appropriate, the Bay Volunteers Manager/Safeguarding Coordinator should work with the support of the Assistant Pastor to clarify details of the allegation or suspicion.
If there is any doubt over how to proceed, THIRTYONE:EIGHT should be contacted immediately on 0303 003 1111.
Detailed procedures where there is a concern that an adult is in need of protection
Suspicions or allegations of physical or sexual abuse:
If a vulnerable adult has a physical injury or symptom of sexual abuse the Bay Volunteers Manager/Safeguarding Coordinator of the Employer will:
• Discuss any concerns with the individual themselves giving due regard to their autonomy, privacy and rights to lead an independent life.
• If the vulnerable adult is in immediate danger or has sustained a serious injury contact the Emergency Services, informing them of any suspicions.
• For advice contact the Adult Social Care Vulnerable Adults Team who have responsibility under Section 47 of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 and government guidance, ‘No Secrets’, to investigate allegations of abuse. Alternatively THIRTYONE:EIGHT can be contacted for advice.
Prevention - Safer recruitment
The Organisation and Employer will ensure that all employees and volunteers be appointed, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This includes ensuring that:
• Those applying have completed an application form.
• Those short listed have been interviewed (only appropriate for an employee).
• Safeguarding has been discussed at interview (only appropriate for an employee).
• Written references have been obtained, and followed up where appropriate.
• An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check has been completed (we will comply with Code of Practice requirements concerning the fair treatment of applicants and the handling of information).
• Qualifications where relevant have been verified (only appropriate for an employee).
• A formal training and induction programme is provided for the successful applicant if required (only appropriate for an employee).
• The employee has completed a probationary period (only appropriate for an employee).
• The employee or volunteer has been given a copy of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and knows how to report concerns.
Where extra helpers are required for occasional events or someone has joined a team but is awaiting DBS clearance they may work with vulnerable adults; however, they should never be left unsupervised.
Management of Workers and Volunteers – Codes of Conduct
As an Organisation, we are committed to supporting all employees and volunteers, ensuring they receive support and supervision. All employees and volunteers have been issued with a link to the Safeguarding Policy and are directed the appropriate guidelines for completing missions with vulnerable adults.
The Organisation undertakes to follow the principles found within the ‘Abuse Of Trust‘ guidance issued by the Home Office and it is therefore unacceptable for those in a position of trust to engage in any behaviour which might allow a sexual relationship to develop for as long as the relationship of trust continues.
Supporting those affected by abuse
The Organisation is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with, are part of or are receiving support from the Organisation.
As an organisation working with vulnerable adults, we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable employees and volunteers to carry out missions and run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false accusation.
The Organisation has specific good practice guidelines for every mission that employees or volunteers may take up for them to follow. These will continually be updated and developed when necessary.
Good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with or volunteering with vulnerable adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.
Organisation Safeguarding Statement
The Organisation and Employer recognises the importance of its work with vulnerable adults in need of protection and its responsibility to protect everyone entrusted to our care.
This organisation is committed to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and ensuring their well-being.
• We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
• We recognise the personal dignity and rights of vulnerable adults and will ensure all our policies and procedures reflect this.
• We believe all adults should be able to access and receive the best support possible from the organisation unless they pose a risk to the safety of the volunteers or employees.
• We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of all those who will work and/or volunteer with vulnerable adults.
We are committed to:
• Following the requirements for UK legislation in relation to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and good practice recommendations.
• Implementing the requirements of legislation in regard to people with disabilities.
• Ensuring that employees and volunteers adhere to the agreed procedures of our safeguarding policy.
• Keeping up to date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding.
• Following any organisational guidelines in relation to safeguarding adults in need of protection.
• Supporting the Bay Volunteers Manager/Safeguarding Coordinator of the Employer in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect vulnerable adults.
• Ensuring that everyone agrees to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by the organisation.
• Supporting families.
• Supporting, resourcing, monitoring and providing supervision to all those who undertake this work or volunteering opportunities.
• Supporting all in the organisation affected by abuse.
• Adopting and following the ‘Safe and Secure’ safeguarding standards developed by THIRTYONE:EIGHT.
• Adult Social Care (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a vulnerable adult.
• Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed then the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.
• Where working outside of the UK, concerns will be reported to the appropriate agencies in the country in which we operate, and their procedures followed, and in addition we will report concerns to our agency’s headquarters.
• Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
We will review this statement and our policy and procedures annually.
If you have any concerns for a vulnerable adult then speak to one of the following who have been approved as Safeguarding Coordinators for this organisation.
Matt Parker: Bay Volunteers Manager
Sue Murphy: Safeguarding Coordinator for Hope Church Lancaster
Jamie Haxby: Assistant Manager of Hope Church Lancaster
Definitions of Abuse
Statutory Definitions of Abuse (Vulnerable Adults):
The following definition of abuse is laid down in ‘No Secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse (Department of Health 2000):
‘Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. In giving substance to that statement, however, consideration needs to be given to a number of factors:
Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it’.
This is the infliction of pain or physical injury, which is either caused deliberately, or through lack of care.
This is the involvement in sexual activities to which the person has not consented or does not truly comprehend and so cannot give informed consent, or where the other party is in a position of trust, power or authority and uses this to override or overcome lack of consent.
Psychological or Emotional Abuse:
These are acts or behaviour, which cause mental distress or anguish or negates the wishes of the vulnerable adult. It is also behaviour that has a harmful effect on the vulnerable adult’s emotional health and development or any other form of mental cruelty.
Financial or Material Abuse:
This is the inappropriate use, misappropriation, embezzlement or theft of money, property or possessions.
Neglect or Act of Omission:
This is the repeated deprivation of assistance that the vulnerable adult needs for important activities of daily living, including the failure to intervene in behaviour which is dangerous to the vulnerable adult or to others. A vulnerable person may be suffering from neglect when their general well-being or development is impaired.
This is the inappropriate treatment of a vulnerable adult because of their age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, sexuality, disability etc. Discriminatory abuse exists when values, beliefs or culture result in a misuse of power that denies opportunity to some groups or individuals. Discriminatory abuse links to all other forms of abuse.
This is the mistreatment or abuse of a vulnerable adult by a regime or individuals within an institution (e.g. hospital or care home) or in the community. It can be through repeated acts of poor or inadequate care and neglect or poor professional practice.
Signs of Abuse
Signs of Possible Abuse (vulnerable adults):
• A history of unexplained falls, fractures, bruises, burns, minor injuries
• Signs of under or over use of medication and/or medical problems unattended
• Pregnancy in a woman who is unable to consent to sexual intercourse
• Unexplained change in behaviour or sexually implicit/explicit behaviour
• Torn, stained or bloody underwear and/or unusual difficulty in walking or sitting
• Infections or sexually transmitted diseases
• Full or partial disclosure or hints of sexual abuse
• Alteration in psychological state e.g. withdrawn, agitated, anxious, tearful
• Intimidated or subdued in the presence of the carer
• Fearful, flinching or frightened of making choices or expressing wishes
• Unexplained paranoia
Financial or Material:
• Disparity between assets and living conditions
• Unexplained withdrawals from accounts or disappearance of financial documents
• Sudden inability to pay bills
• Carers or professionals fail to account for expenses incurred on a person’s behalf
• Recent changes of deeds or title to property
Neglect or Omission:
• Malnutrition, weight loss and /or persistent hunger
• Poor physical condition, poor hygiene, varicose ulcers, pressure sores
• Being left in wet clothing or bedding and/or clothing in a poor condition
• Failure to access appropriate health, educational services or social care
• No callers or visitors
• Inappropriate remarks, comments or lack of respect
• Poor quality or avoidance of care
• Lack of flexibility or choice over meals, bed times, visitors, phone calls etc
• Inadequate medical care and misuse of medication
• Inappropriate use of restraint
• Sensory deprivation e.g. denial of use of spectacles or hearing aids
• Missing documents and/or absence of individual care plans
• Public discussion of private matter
• Lack of opportunity for social, educational or recreational activity
Ensure the physical environment is welcoming, giving opportunity for the child or vulnerable adult to talk in private but making sure others are aware the conversation is taking place.
• It is especially important to allow time and space for the person to talk
• Above everything else listen without interrupting
• Be attentive and look at them whilst they are speaking
• Show acceptance of what they say (however unlikely the story may sound) by reflecting back words or short phrases they have used
• Try to remain calm, even if on the inside you are feeling something different
• Be honest and don’t make promises you can’t keep regarding confidentiality
• If they decide not to tell you after all, accept their decision but let them know that you are always ready to listen.
• Use language that is age appropriate and, for those with disabilities, ensure there is someone available who understands sign language, Braille etc.
• You have done the right thing in telling
• I am glad you have told me
• I will try to help you
• I might need to tell someone else who can help you
• Why didn't you tell anyone before?
• I can't believe it!
• Are you sure this is true?
• Why? How? When? Who? Where?
• I am shocked, don't tell anyone else
• I promise I won’t tell anyone