MENFULNESS SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE ADULTS/ADULTS AT RISK POLICY
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable adults/adults at risk of abuse or neglect
This policy defines how Menfulness operates to safeguard vulnerable adults/adults at risk of abuse or neglect.
Menfulness exists to empower men to make positive change in their lives by connecting with each other, attending events, activities and counselling and reducing the stigma around mental health. In doing so the charity takes seriously the welfare of all vulnerable adults/adults at risk who come to events or who are involved in activities. The charity aims to ensure that everyone is welcomed into a safe, caring environment with a happy and friendly atmosphere.
While Menfulness trustees and volunteers may not ask any person to disclose whether they are a vulnerable adult, it should be assumed that due to the nature of our work we may come into contact with vulnerable adults/adults at risk from time to time.
We have are committed to the protection and safety of vulnerable adults/adults at risk involved as visitors and participants in any of our activities both on and off site. We also want to protect and support trustees and volunteers who work or come into contact with these groups and are committed to supporting and training those who work with vulnerable adults/adults at risk and providing supervision.
Menfulness recognises we must make safeguarding the responsibility of each of our trustees, volunteers and attendees/members to prevent the neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse of vulnerable adults/adults at risk and to report any abuse discovered or suspected.
Menfulness recognises its responsibility to implement, maintain and regularly review the Safeguarding Policies, which are designed to prevent and be alert to such abuse. We are also committed to maintaining good links with statutory social services.
Vulnerable adults/Adult at risk of abuse or neglect
For the purposes of this policy, adult at risk refers to someone over 18 years old who, according to paragraph 42.1 of the Care Act 2014:
- has care and support needs
- is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect
- as a result of their care and support needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.
If someone has care and support needs but is not currently receiving care or support from a health or care service they may still be an adult at risk
- All staff, paid and unpaid, this includes volunteers and trustees
- All participants, known as members
- All visitors, contractors and partners
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. All those representing Menfulness (trustees, volunteers or staff) are required to report any suspected abuse and be aware of the appropriate reporting and support procedure for safeguarding. It is important that all are also aware of the Government’s PREVENT strategy. The aim of this is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism in all its forms. This can also be a safeguarding issue but has different reporting mechanisms.
The Safeguarding Officer(s) will discharge their safeguarding functions in a way that ensures that children or vulnerable adults/adults at risk are safeguarded from harm, and promotes their welfare. They are responsible for following up any suspected reports of abuse and for informing the Police or other appropriate external bodies.
Menfulness has a zero tolerance approach to abuse. Menfulness recognises that under the Care Act 2014 it has a duty for the care and protection of adults who are at risk of abuse. It is committed to promoting wellbeing, harm prevention and to responding effectively if concerns are raised. Adults will be included in swift and personalised safeguarding responses.
Menfulness is also committed to inter-agency collaboration on the development and implementation of procedures for the protection of vulnerable adults/adults at risk from abuse. Menfulness has a responsibility for making arrangements to ensure all its functions are discharged having regard to safeguarding and promoting the vulnerable adults/adults at risk of abuse. The policy is about stopping abuse where it is happening and preventing abuse where there is a risk that it may occur.
There can be no excuses for not taking all reasonable action to protect vulnerable adults/adults at risk from abuse, exploitation, radicalisation and mistreatment. All citizens of the United Kingdom have their rights enshrined within the Human Rights Act 1998. People who are eligible to receive health and community care services may be additionally vulnerable to the violation of these rights by reason of disability, impairment, age or illness.
Menfulness is committed to and follows the ‘Six Key Principles of Safeguarding Adults Work’, ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’ and ‘Capacity, Consent and Decision Making’ (See Appendix 1)
Menfulness is committed to the following:
- The welfare of the vulnerable adult/adult at risk is paramount;
- All vulnerable adults/adults at risk have the right to protection from abuse
- Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for organisations to be effective each professional should play their full part; and
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse must be properly reported to the relevant internal and external authorities and dealt with swiftly and appropriately
- Arrangements which set out clearly the processes for sharing information procedures with other professionals;
- Trustees, partners and volunteers must be clear on appropriate behaviour and responses. Where appropriate, failure by staff to maintain standards may be dealt with using Menfulness Disciplinary Procedures
- Ongoing efforts to promote a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting welfare to be addressed;
- All volunteers are aware of the policy and procedures for the safeguarding and protection of vulnerable adults/adults at risk through appropriate safeguarding training, supervision and support for volunteers and for creating an environment where volunteers feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in meeting their safeguarding role;
- Volunteers contact details are collected and safeguarding responsibilities are shared with all those who work on behalf of Menfulness;
- All volunteers should have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure they improve over time in their work with vulnerable adults/adults at risk of abuse;
- A clear line of accountability for the provision of safe practices exists;
- A designated lead for safeguarding at Menfulness;
- Safe recruitment practices are in place including policies on when to obtain a DBS check;
- Be alert to potential indicators of abuse or neglect;
- Be alert to the risks which individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to vulnerable adults/adults at risk;
- share and help to analyse information so that an assessment can be made of the individual’s needs and circumstances;
- contribute to whatever actions are needed to safeguard and promote the individual’s welfare;
- take part in regularly reviewing the outcomes for the individual against specific plans; and
- work cooperatively with family members and/or other carers unless this is inconsistent with ensuring the individual’s safety.
Menfulness will ensure that volunteers understand;
- What they need to do, and what they can expect of one another, to safeguard vulnerable adults/adults at risk of abuse using this policy. The policy is available at Induction.
- Core legal requirements, making it clear what individuals and Menfulness should do to keep vulnerable adults/adults at risk of abuse safe. In doing so, Menfulness seeks to emphasise that effective safeguarding systems are those where:
- That all volunteers who come into contact with vulnerable adults/adults at risk of abuse and their families are alert to their needs if appropriate and any risks of harm that individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose;
- The requirement to share appropriate information in a timely way and can discuss any concerns about an individual adults with colleagues and local authority adult social care;
- The necessity to use their expert judgement to put the adult’s needs at the heart of the safeguarding system so that the right solution can be found for each individual;
- The necessity to contribute to whatever actions are needed to safeguard and promote a person’s welfare;
- All volunteers working with vulnerable adults/adults at risk are afforded a position of status and authority in relation to members/attendees. Activities/events will be provided in an environment which lessens the imbalance of power and encourages independence and self-advocacy for members/attendees. All working practices will minimise the risk of abuse by being sensitive to individual, gender and cultural needs
- We recognise that abuse is a symptom of social, institutional and individual discrimination. Disabling attitudes and practices allow for the belief that it is somehow acceptable to treat vulnerable people with little respect and for people not to be informed, consulted, included or empowered in order to exercise choice and take decisions which affect their lives. Preventing discrimination is essential to abuse prevention. We are committed to work within our organisation, the groups we provide, and in partnership to promote the rights of participants.
- The importance of capacity, consent and decision making – see Appendix 1
Six key principles that underpin safeguarding adults work.
- Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent
- Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs
- Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
- Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need
- Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse
- Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding
*From the Care Act 2014
Making Safeguarding Personal
As an organisation we follow Making Safeguarding Personal principles.
Making Safeguarding Personal is a shift in culture and practice in response to what we now know about what makes safeguarding more or less effective from the perspective of the person being safeguarded. It is about seeing people as experts in their own lives and working alongside them in a way that is consistent with their rights and capacity and that prevents abuse occurring wherever possible.
Safeguarding should be person-led and outcome focused, engaging the adult at risk in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety. In most cases this can only happen by making sure people get the care and support that they need. It is also important that the people who care for them also get this support and recognition. Most importantly it is about listening and providing the options that permit individuals to help themselves.
It is also important that all safeguarding partners take a broad community approach to establishing safeguarding arrangements. It is vital that all organisations recognise that Safeguarding Adults arrangements are there to protect individuals, bearing in mind different preferences, histories, circumstances and lifestyles.
Whilst every effort must be made to work with adults experiencing abuse within the present legal framework there will be some occasions on which adults at risk will choose to remain in dangerous situations. It may be that even after careful scrutiny of the legal framework, staff will conclude that they have no power to gain access to a particular adult at risk. Staff may find that they have no power to remove the adult from a situation of risk, investigate the adult’s financial affairs, or intervene positively because the adult refuses all help or wants to terminate contact with the professionals.
It may not always be possible to provide satisfactory solutions. At the age of 18, people are legally entitled to adult status regardless of any disability or impairment they may have. It is, therefore, essential that wherever possible it is the adult at risk who will decide on the chosen course of action, taking into account the impact of the adult at risk’s mental capacity where relevant. However, the people and organisations caring for, or assisting them, must do everything they can to identify and prevent abuse happening wherever possible and evidence their efforts.
In these extremely difficult circumstances, volunteers will be expected to continue to exercise as much vigilance as possible.
Trustees will give full support to volunteers over problems when handling cases
of adults remaining in high-risk situations, provided that:
- It is evident from case records that Safeguarding Adults procedures have been properly followed;
- Every effort has been made, on a multi-agency basis, to intervene positively to protect the adult at risk;
- Legal advice has been obtained and acted upon
- And ultimately that the adult at risk has been fully consulted and involved as far as practicable in every decision relating to their situation.
Capacity, Consent and Decision Making
The consideration of capacity is crucial at all stages of Safeguarding Adults procedures. For example determining the ability of an adult at risk to make lifestyle choices, such as choosing to remain in a situation where they risk abuse; determining whether a particular act or transaction is abusive or consensual; or determining how much an adult at risk can be involved in making decisions in a given situation.
The key development affecting this area of work is the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which provides a statutory framework to empower and protect adults at risk who may not be able to make their own decisions. It makes it clear who can take decisions in which situations and how they should go about this. It enables people to plan ahead for a time when they may lose capacity. It applies to anyone aged 16 years and over therefore appropriate liaison needs to occur for young people aged 16 to 18 years with Children’s Services where relevant as part of Safeguarding Adults work.
The whole Act is underpinned by a set of five key principles:
- A presumption of capacity – every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise;
- The right for individuals to be supported to make their own decisions – people must be given all appropriate help before anyone concludes that they cannot make their own decisions;
- That individuals must retain the right to make what might be seen as eccentric or unwise decisions;
- Best interests – anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity must be in their best interests; and
- Least restrictive intervention – anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.
For help and support outside Menfulness visit York Council Adult Safeguarding