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Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults 

Introduction

ReBourne Recovery CIC is committed to supporting the right of adults at risk to be protected from abuse.  We ensure all staff and volunteers work together and act promptly when dealing with allegations or suspicions of abuse.

We think that:

SAFEGUARDING IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS and is the responsibility of everyone.  We will work together to prevent abuse.  If we have concerns that someone is being abused our loyalty to the vulnerable person comes before anything else.  Equal attention and care is focussed on our group, other service users, our colleagues and the person’s friends and family.


DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION – If we know or suspect that a vulnerable adult is being abused, we will do something about it and ensure our work is properly recorded.  We will work within the boundaries of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Procedures.


Definitions –

The definition of a vulnerable adult is a person over the age of 18 years who:

Is or may be in need of/eligible for Community Care Services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness

AND is unable to take care of him/herself

OR is unable to protect him/herself from significant harm or exploitation. 


A vulnerable person may fall into any one of the following groups: older and frail people, people with a mental health need, a learning difficulty, a physical impairment, a sensory impairment, people who are substance or alcohol dependent, or family carers providing assistance to another vulnerable adult.


The definition of abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other persons(s) or group of people.  Abuse may be single or repeated acts.

It can be: 

Physical: for example, hitting, slapping, burning, pushing, restraining or giving the wrong medication.  


Psychological and emotional: for example, shouting, swearing, frightening, blaming, ignoring or humiliating a person, threats of harm or abandonment, intimidation, verbal abuse.


Financial: including the illegal or unauthorised use of a person’s property, money, pension book or other valuables, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance.


Sexual: such as forcing a person to take part in any sexual activity without his or her informed consent – this can occur in any relationship.  


Discriminatory: including racist or sexist remarks or comments based on a person’s disability, age or illness, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.  This also includes stopping someone from being involved in religious or cultural activity, services or support networks. 


Institutional: the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to vulnerable people.  This includes a failure to ensure the necessary safeguards are in place to protect vulnerable adults and maintain good standards of care in accordance with individual needs, including training of staff, supervision and management, record keeping and liaising with other providers of care.


Neglect and acts of omission: including ignoring medical or physical care needs. These can be deliberate or unintentional, amounting to abuse by a carer or self-neglect by the vulnerable person: for example, where a person is deprived of food, heat, clothing, comfort or essential medication, or failing to provide access to appropriate health or social care services.


How Might We Notice Abuse?

Concerns about or evidence of abuse can come to us through:
1. A direct disclosure by the vulnerable adult.

2. A complaint or expression of concern by another member of staff, a volunteer, another service user, a carer, a member of the public or relative.

3. An observation of the behaviour of the vulnerable adult by the volunteer, member of staff or carer.

4. Noticing cuts, bruises changes in posture, demeanour, incongruent emotional dispositions, withdrawing, if someone seems to be struggling to manage their emotions or if a person seems to be discreetly nursing an injury. 

5. Absenteeism or ongoing lateness within  the workplace or ongoing missed appointments by service users. 


Our Commitment:

To support vulnerable adults who are experiencing, or at risk from, abuse, Rebourne Recovery CIC is committed to:

  • Identifying the abuse of vulnerable adults where it is occurring.

  • Responding effectively to any circumstances giving grounds for concern, or where formal complaints or 

    expressions of anxiety are expressed.

  • Ensuring the active participation of individuals, families, groups and communities wherever possible 

    and appropriate.

  • Raising awareness of the extent of abuse on vulnerable adults and its impact on them.

  • Promoting and supporting work designed to reduce abuse and the fear of abuse as experienced by 

    vulnerable adults.

  • Regularly monitoring and evaluating how our policies, procedures and practices for protecting 

    vulnerable adults are working.

  • Making sure our policies, procedures and practices stay up to date with good practice and the law in 

    relation to safeguarding vulnerable adults.


Prevention and Confidentiality

All ReBourne Recovery staff will have DBS checks undertaken as they may potentially work alone with vulnerable adults, including our own volunteers.


All staff and volunteers will be asked to read ReBourne Recovery's Safeguarding Policy.


ReBourne Recovery will work with vulnerable adults in a way that meets all the aspects of confidentiality in our different policies, but where abuse to a vulnerable person is alleged, suspected, reported or concerns are raised, the Safeguarding Adults Procedure must be followed.  The confidentiality of the vulnerable person will be respected wherever possible and their consent obtained to share information.  The vulnerable person should be made aware that staff cannot ignore issues around abuse and that steps will be taken to deal with them in as sensitive a manner as possible. The welfare of the individual is paramount.


Safeguarding Procedure

If you think abuse has or may have occurred. Act immediately.


It is the responsibility of the person first becoming aware of a situation where there may be a vulnerable adult subject to, or at risk of, abuse to:

Make Safe and Deal with the immediate needs of the person.  This may mean taking reasonable steps to ensure the adult is in no immediate danger and seeking medical treatment if required as a matter of urgency.

Do NOT discuss the allegation of abuse with the alleged perpetrator.  Initially ONLY discuss details with the vulnerable person and your direct supervisor and/or appointed  safeguarding officer. 
Do NOT disturb or destroy articles that could be used in evidence.


Inform the Project Coordinator, Safeguarding Officer or a Director immediately if possible. Contact the police if it is thought a crime has just been committed. 

Record details of the allegation as soon as possible somewhere that can be kept secure. Include:

a. The allegation or concerns, including the date and time of the incident, what the vulnerable adult said about the abuse and how it occurred or what has been reported to you.

b. The appearance and behaviour of the victim.

c. Any injuries observed.


Implementation and Quality Assurance

Implementation is immediate and this Policy shall stay in force until any alterations are formally agreed by Directors.  This Policy will be reviewed annually by the Directors, sooner if legislation, best practice or other circumstances indicate this is necessary.

All aspects of this Policy shall be open to review at any time. If you have any comments or suggestions on the content of this policy please contact Bash Bashford (Safeguarding Officer) on 07737 314232 rebournerecovery@gmail.com

Latest version updated 11 December 2020

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Child Protection Policy 

Introduction


All staff and volunteers, without exception, will be made fully aware and trained regarding the ReBourne Recovery CIC Child Protection Policy.  They will also be informed of any updates and reviews of this policy. 


Although ReBourne Recovery does not treat children directly, we recognise that due to the nature of our services adults who engage with us are usually vulnerable themselves and may have children or be guardians for children.  Consequently we ensure all staff are trained to be acutely aware of the possibility that any child from 0-17 years may be at some risk of abuse or neglect. 


Definitions:

Abuse of a child is predominantly seen as the parent or guardian being unable to manage their emotions, choices, actions or behaviours resulting in a negative impact on any child in their care or vicinity. 


Neglect Is seen as any basic needs that a child has that are unmet.  This may be in the form of nutrition, warmth, shelter, clothing, emotional support, guidance, presence, supervision, awareness of the child's safety, health and wellbeing, school attendance and healthy boundaries. 


ReBourne Recovery CIC aims to ensure the safety and protection of all children connected in any way to our service users, employees and volunteers through adherence to this Child Protection Policy.


This policy applies to all users of ReBourne Recovery CIC premises, consultants, employees, volunteers, service users, people supporting service users, their families and carers.


Some participants of Rebourne Recovery CIC will have their own Child Protection Policy, however we recognise that other groups or individuals will not have a policy and we therefore expect those groups to read, agree and accept this policy.


This policy is available at all of our premises and online.


Aims:

This policy is intended to protect children and young people who are in the care of anyone connected to ReBourne Recovery, these being: service users, employees, volunteers, consultants, people supporting service users, their families and carers.


The policy provides a framework which enables ReBourne Recovery employees and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.


ReBourne Recovery CIC has a Health and Safety Policy and undertakes risk assessments to ensure the protection of children.  


RECOGNITION OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT

Abuse or neglect of a child is caused by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm.  Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting: by those known to them or by a stranger. 


Definitions:


Physical Abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. This situation is commonly described using terms such as, Fabricated and Induced Illness (FII) fabricated illness by proxy or Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. 


Emotional Abuse:

Emotional abuse is the persistent, emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.  An example of this would be if a child was given an excessive amount of responsibility for their siblings, other children, adults or animals.  It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children in the form of allocating too many household responsibilities or even sending a child to work to contribute to the family income.  Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child though it may occur alone.


Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts.  They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. 


Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.  It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.  It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.  It may also be a child being left alone or unattended for short or long periods of time in the home or outdoors. 


Procedures:

Immediate Action to Ensure Safety may be necessary at any stage of involvement with employees, volunteers and service users. 


IN ALL CASES IT IS VITAL TO TAKE WHATEVER ACTION IS NEEDED TO SAFEGUARD THE CHILDREN

i.e: If emergency medical attention is required this can be secured by calling an ambulance (dial 999) or taking a child to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department.

If a child is in immediate danger the police should be contacted (dial 999) as they alone have the power to remove a child immediately if protection is necessary via a Police Protection Order.


Responding to allegations or suspicions

It is not the responsibility of anyone working for ReBourne Recovery CIC, in a paid or unpaid capacity, to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place.  However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the Child Protection Representative (Emma Disney) or the appropriate authorities.


Staff and volunteers should abide by the following guidelines:


When dealing directly with children. 


DO:  explain that for the clarity and safety of all concerned it is advisable to have a second person (witness) present and make written and voice recordings of all enquiries relating to child abuse and neglect.  Please make it clear that these will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. 

• Do treat any allegations extremely seriously and act at all times towards the child as if you believe what they are saying.

• Do tell the child they are right to tell you.

• Do reassure them that they are not to blame.

• Do be honest about your own position, who you have to tell and why.

• Do tell the child what you are doing and when, and keep them up to date with what is happening.

• Do take further action – you may be the only person in a position to prevent future abuse – tell your nominated person immediately.

• Do write down everything said and what was done. 


DON’T:

• Don’t make promises you can’t keep. 

• Don’t interrogate the child – it is not your job to carry out an investigation – this will be up to the police and social services, who have experience in this.

• Don’t cast doubt on what the child has told you, don’t interrupt or change the subject.

• Don’t say anything that makes the child feel responsible for the abuse.

• Don’t do nothing – make sure you tell your nominated Safeguarding Children Officer immediately – they will know how to follow this up and where to go for further advice.


• Any suspicion that a child has been abused by a staff member or volunteer should be reported to a company director, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk. 

• The company director will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police.

• The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department if it is safe to do so.

• If the company director is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to another director.


When dealing with adults whom you suspect may be abusing or neglecting a child. 


DO:

• Do draw attention to the descriptions and definitions of child abuse and neglect as detailed in the ReBourne Recovery Child Protection Policy. 

• Do take detailed notes from the outset including names, dates of birth, times and dates of incidents, nature of events and what action/involvement has been taken by the employee or volunteer. 

• Do remain discompassionate and non judgemental.  This will create a safe space for the person involved to disclose fully and honestly the nature of what could be having a negative effect on any child concerned. 

• Do involve a second person (witness) and/or Child Protection Representative as early as possible. 

• Do explain that it is company policy to involve the Child Protection Representative. 

• Do make it clear that ReBourne Recovery, social services and the police are here to protect the child and repair the adult/child relationship where possible in preference to pressing charges on the adult concerned. 

•  Do treat any admissions extremely seriously and act at all times towards the person as if you believe what they are saying.

• Do tell the person they are right to tell you.

• Do reassure them that you are here to help the person not to condemn them. 

• Do be honest about your own position, who you have to tell and why.

• Do tell the person what you are doing and when, and keep them up to date with what is happening.

• Do take further action – you may be the only person in a position to prevent future abuse – tell your nominated person immediately.

• Do write down everything said and what was done. 


DON’T:

• Don’t make promises you can’t keep. 

• Don’t interrogate the person – it is not your job to carry out an investigation – this will be up to the police and social services, who have experience in this.

• Don’t cast doubt on what the person has told you, don’t interrupt or change the subject.

• Don’t say anything that makes the person feel guilty about what they are telling you.  It is important to keep communications flowing. 

• Don’t do nothing – make sure you tell your nominated Child Protection Officer (Emma Disney) immediately – they will know how to follow this up and where to go for further advice.


Allegations of previous abuse:

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or a volunteer who is still currently working with children).  Where such an allegation is made, the procedures as detailed above should be followed and the matter should be reported to social services or the police. This is because other children may be at risk from this person.


To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should include the following:

• The child’s name, age and date of birth of the child.

• The child’s home address and telephone number. 

• Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.

• The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.

• Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.

• A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also, any indirect signs, such as behavioral changes.

• Details of witnesses to the incidents. 

• The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.

• Have the parents been contacted? 

• If so what has been said? 

• Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details.

• If the child was not the person who reported the incident? Has the child been spoken to? If so, what was said?

• Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.

• Where possible, referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.

• If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse with a senior colleague, you can contact social services or the police direct, or the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or Childline on 0800 1111.


Whistle Blowing Procedure (Procedures to deal with in house allegations against staff/volunteers).  Please take all concerns to a Company Director or The Child Protection Representative (Emma Disney) 


All ReBourne Recovery CIC staff and volunteers must be aware of the need to maintain professional boundaries in their relationships with children and their carers. Smacking children and other forms of physical punishment are not permitted and should be referred as possible child abuse. 

It is important to make a distinction between a complaint and an allegation of abuse.  When a complaint by, or on behalf of a child implies an allegation of ill treatment then this should be treated in the first instance as a child protection matter, the complaint procedure would then be applied following the conclusion of child protection enquiries, if the complaint remains outstanding.

Where allegations of abuse are made against a consultant or volunteer, the matter should always be referred to social services, in the same way as any other concern about possible abuse.  It is the responsibility of the social services in consultation with the police to decide whether the allegation necessitates a child protection enquiry, and/or a police investigation into a possible offence.


Confidentiality:

Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:

• the Company Directors 

• the parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused – if it is safe to do so

• the person making the allegation 

• social services/police 

Any written information regarding Safeguarding Children issues concerning individuals needs to be kept in a safe locked place to ensure confidentiality as per our Data Protection Policy, however the safety of the child is paramount.


DBS Checks 

All employees volunteers of Rebourne Recovery CIC need to have undertaken an enhanced DBS check.  


Concerns about poor practice

If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice by an employee or volunteer a Company Director will investigate and take appropriate measures to resolve the issue by drawing attention to this policy, administering further training or following our Letting Go of employees and volunteers Policy.


Implementation and Quality Assurance


Implementation is immediate and this Policy shall stay in force until any alterations are formally agreed by Directors.  This Policy will be reviewed annually by the Directors, sooner if legislation, best practice or other circumstances indicate this is necessary.


All aspects of this Policy shall be open to review at any time.  If you have any comments or suggestions on the content of this policy please contact Emma Disney (Safeguarding Children Representative) and Director on  rebournerecovery@gmail.com


Latest version updated 30/12/20