Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy (April 2019)
The Vision of the Church is: ‘To seek faithfully to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and love our neighbours as we love ourselves.’ In fulfilling this vision the Church
● Has activities that cater for, and are accessible to, Adults at Risk.
● Welcomes Adults at Risk into the life of our community
● Makes our premises available to organisations working with Adults at Risk
The church recognises its responsibilities for the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of Adults at Risk, as set out in Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
Adults at risk
An “Adult at Risk” is any adult aged 18 or over who due to disability, mental function, age, illness or traumatic circumstances may not be able to take care or protect themselves against the risk of significant harm, abuse, bullying, harassment, mistreatment or exploitation.
Prevention and reporting of Abuse.
It is the duty of each Church member and each member of the wider Church family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse and exploitation of Adults at Risk. It is the duty of all to respond to the concerns about their wellbeing and to report any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected.
The Church will fully cooperate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the Church.
The Church has nominated Jo Boyns (95 High Street, Cherry Hinton - 01223 561139) as designated person with special responsibility for Adults at Risk protection issues.
Any concerns or reporting of suspected abuse of an Adult at Risk should go to the Leader of the group responsible for that person and also to Jo Boyns.
In pursuit of these aims, the church meeting will approve and annually review policies and procedures with the aim of:
● Raising awareness of issues relating to the welfare of Adults at Risk and the promotion of a safe environment for the Adults at Risk.
● Providing procedures for reporting concerns
● Establishing procedures for reporting and dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff
● The safe recruitment of staff
Whole church responsibility
The Church will ensure it
● Provides a safe environment for Adults at Risk
● Identifies Adults at Risk who are suffering
● Takes appropriate action to see that such Adults at Risk are kept safe from harm
Policy and Procedure
● A copy of the Adults at Risk Policy Statement will be permanently displayed on the notice boards in the main Church building and the Family Centre.
● Each worker with Adults at Risk will be given a copy of the policy and will be required to follow it.
● A full copy of policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of the Church and those working with Adults at Risk
Safeguarding Adults at Risk - More Details
Protecting Adults at Risk under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Chapter 5 defines an adult at risk as a person aged 18 and over who is in receipt of any of the following services –
● Health care from a regulated health care professional - provided by, or under the direction or supervision of a regulated health care professional
● Personal care for adults involving hands-on physical assistance - with washing and dressing, eating, drinking and toileting; prompting and supervising an adult with any of these tasks because of their age, illness or disability; or teaching someone to do one of these task
● Assistance with social care - provision by a social care worker of social work which is required in connection with any health services or social services
● Assistance with paying bills, shopping because of age, illness or disability arranged via 3rd party
● Help with conducting own affairs under a formal appointment
● Being conveyed for reasons of age, illness or disability to a place where they will receive health care, personal care or social work arranged by a third party
● Note that a person is not deemed vulnerable simply because of age or a disability they must be in receipt of any of the aforementioned welfare services covered by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
Regulated Activity with Adults at Risk under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
Anyone providing an adult at risk with any of the above services in paragraph D 1 is considered to be undertaking a regulated activity under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and must therefore have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check in order to perform the role.
Note that the specified establishment (a care home) has been removed by the protection of Freedoms Act. The focus is now on activities needed by the adult at risk, not where the activity takes place.
An individual only needs to engage in the activities listed above once to be carrying out regulated activity relating to adults.
Note that a person whose role includes the day-to-day management or supervision of any person engaging in regulated activity, is also in regulated activity even if they are not directly involved in providing the service.
Note also that regulated activity relating to adults excludes any activity carried out in the course of family relationships, and personal, non-commercial relationships.
Definitions of Abuse
The church meeting recognises the following as definitions of abuse:
Physical abuse causes harm to a Adults at Risk person. It may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning or suffocating. It may be done deliberately or recklessly, or be the result of a deliberate failure to prevent injury occurring.
Neglect is the persistent or severe failure to meet a Adults at Risk basic physical and/or psychological needs. It will
result in serious impairment of the Adults at Risk health or development.
Sexual abuse involves a Adults at Risk or young person being forced or coerced into participating in or watching sexual activity. It is not necessary for the Adults at Risk to be aware that the activity is sexual and the apparent consent of the Adults at Risk is irrelevant.
Emotional abuse occurs where there is persistent emotional ill treatment or rejection. It causes severe and adverse effects on the Adults at Risk or young person’s behaviour and emotional development, resulting in low self worth. Some level of emotional abuse is present in all forms of abuse.
Dealing with Disclosure of Abuse and Procedure for Reporting Concerns
If an adult at risk or young person tells a trustee about possible abuse:
● Listen carefully and stay calm.
● Do not interview the adult at risk, but question normally and without pressure, in order to be sure that you understand what the Adults at Risk is telling you.
● Do not put words into the Adults at Risk mouth.
● Reassure the adult at risk that by telling you, they have done the right thing.
● Inform the adult at risk that you must pass the information on, but that only those that need to know about it will be told. Inform them of to whom you will report the matter.
● Note the main points carefully.
● Make a detailed note of the date, time, place, what the adult at risk said, did and your questions etc.
● Staff should not investigate concerns or allegations themselves, but should report them immediately to the Designated Person.
The procedures apply to all staff, whether trustees, administrative, management or support, as well as to volunteers. The word “staff” is used for ease of description.
Because of their frequent contact with Adults at Risk, staff may have allegations of abuse made against them. Cherry Hinton Baptist Church recognises that an allegation of vulnerable made against a member of staff may be made for a variety of reasons and that the facts of the allegation may or may not be true. It is imperative that those dealing with an allegation maintain an open mind and that the investigations are thorough and not subject to delay.
Duty to refer to the DBS
The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 also makes it mandatory to refer anyone known to pose a threat of harm to vulnerable people to the DBS. The designated trustee responsible for safeguarding must not knowingly employ anyone who poses a risk of harm to Adults at Risk, this includes anyone who is believed to have committed a relevant conduct while on the job or who has a record of such conduct.
The organisation has a legal duty to refer an employee or volunteer who poses a risk of harm to children or Adults at Risk to the DBS, failure to do so can result in a fine and/or up to 5 years imprisonment. There must be sufficient and solid evidence that the employee or volunteer poses a risk of harm before they can be referred to the DBS. The DBS will not consider evidence based on rumour or unsubstantiated reports. The employer should also inform the police and other relevant authorities if they believe a relevant conduct has occurred.
Reporting allegations of Abuse against Members of Staff
Referral forms can be downloaded from the DBS’s website www.homeoffice.gov.uk/dbs
The DBS’s barring process
Whenever new relevant information (such as a conviction or caution) becomes known, the information will be sent to the DBS. The DBS will consider this information, together with other information known on the individual, and decide whether it indicates that the individual poses a risk of harm to vulnerable groups. If so, the DBS will commence its barring process and the DBS will issue a disclosure certificate to the applicant with the barring information.
The applicant should be advised by the designated trustee to make a representation to the DBS regarding the barring information. The DBS will assess the barring information and representation and decide whether to bar the applicant. If there is sufficient barring evidence, the applicant will be placed on either the Children’s Barred List or the Adults at Risk Barred List or both depending on the offence. The applicant must then be removed from regulated activity.
The applicant has the right of appeal to a tribunal and must be advised of this right. Serious offences committed against vulnerable people will lead to automatic barring and the applicant will have no right to make representations or to appeal against a barring decision.
Ensuring safer recruitment and selection
Cherry Hinton Baptist Church will already have safer recruitment and selection procedures. These should be reviewed in order to ensure that they take account of the following:
● The procedures should apply to staff and leaders who work with Adults at Risk.
● The post or role should be clearly defined where appropriate
● The key selection criteria for the post or role should be identified.
● Obtain professional and character references (for employees only)
● Verify previous employment history. (for employees only)
● Obtain a relevant enhanced disclosure check from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
● Use a variety of selection techniques (e.g. qualifications, previous experience, interview, reference checks)
Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers.
In addition, the church meeting accepts the following definitions of relevant conduct under Schedule 3 of the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 in relation to the barring of those who pose of a risk of harm to Adults at Risk. A relevant conduct is a conduct which must be referred to the DBS and which could lead to a barring decision. It includes any:
● conduct which endangers an adult at risk or is likely to endanger adult at risk
● conduct which if repeated against or in relation to a adult at risk would endanger that adult at risk.
● conduct involving sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings
● conduct of a sexual nature involving a adult at risk (or in the case of a adult at risk - an act that is considered inappropriate)
Designated person (more detailed)
She has a key duty to take lead responsibility for raising awareness within the organisation of issues relating to the welfare of Adults at Risk and young people, and the promotion of a safe environment for the Adults at Risk and young people.
She is responsible for ensuring that exempted questions are asked on relevant volunteer and employment application forms. The question can be worded accordingly
This post meets the requirements in respect of exempted questions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, any applicants for this post who are offered employment or who become volunteers for this organisation will be subject to a criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service before the appointment is confirmed. This will include details of cautions, reprimands or final warnings as well as convictions. A criminal record will not automatically bar a person from successfully taking up this post”.
She has appropriate training and should keep up to date with developments in Adults at Risk protection issues. She also has responsibility for making new staff and volunteers aware of the existing Adults at Risk’ protection policy.
He/she will be the main contact point for Adults at Risk’ Protection issues and will have contact details for relevant organisations available for employees and volunteers. This list will usually include contact details of relevant individuals and the local police.
Partner project: Hope House
The Church has partnered with Hope into Action to provide support to formerly homeless people, some of whom may fall within the remit of this policy. Hope into Action has its own policy for safeguarding procedures which contains the following clause ‘In the event of a safeguarding incident, Hope into Action will lead on responding and the Hope into Action policy will take precedence. However, if the allegation of abuse is against a church volunteer then the church will lead on the investigation.’ Where safeguarding concerns exist on the Hope House project we will defer to the policy of Hope into Action unless one of our own volunteers has had an allegation of abuse levied against them, in which case we will follow the processes set out in this policy. We will share information with the partner organisation conducting an investigation in so far as it is deemed necessary to safeguard adults at risk.