The characteristics of adult abuse can take a number of forms and cause victims to suffer pain, fear and distress reaching well beyond the time of the actual incident(s). Victims may be too afraid or embarrassed to raise any complaint. They may be reluctant to discuss their concerns with other people or unsure who to trust or approach with their worries.
There may be some situations where victims are unaware that they are being abused or have difficulty in communicating this information to others.
Aim of Policy
The aim of this policy is to ensure the safety of vulnerable adults by outlining clear procedures and ensuring that all staff members are clear about their responsibilities.
A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited.
This may include a person who:
• Is elderly and frail
• Has a mental illness including dementia
• Has a physical or sensory disability
• Has a learning disability
• Has a severe physical illness
• Is a substance misuser
• Is homeless
What is abuse?
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. It can take a number of forms:
a) Physical abuse e.g. hitting, pushing, shaking, inappropriate restraint, force-feeding, forcible administration of medication, neglect or abandonment
b) Sexual abuse e.g. involvement in any sexual activity against his/her will, exposure to pornography, voyeurism and exhibitionism
c) Emotional/psychological abuse e.g. intimidation or humiliation
d) Financial abuse e.g. theft or exerting improper pressure to sign over money from pensions or savings etc.
e) Neglect or acts of omission e.g. being left in wet or soiled clothing, or malnutrition
f) Discriminatory abuse e.g. racial, sexual or religious harassment
g) Personal exploitation – involves denying an individual his/her rights or forcing him/her to perform tasks that are against his/her will
h) Violation of rights e.g. preventing an individual speaking his/her thoughts and opinions
i) Institutional abuse e.g. failure to provide a choice of meals or failure to ensure privacy or dignity
If the allegation or suspicion of abuse is discovered by a student then they should inform a member of staff as soon as possible. The member of staff will then inform the Manager or in her absence, another member of staff. A member of staff discovering an allegation or suspicion of abuse will, similarly, report it to the Manager.
The member of staff should make a written record of the allegation or suspicion of abuse and discuss the situation with the Manager. The staff member responsible should carry out a risk assessment and contact the local Social Services Team or other agency recognised as appropriate.
If a volunteer/staff member has been told about the allegation of abuse in confidence, they should attempt to gain the consent of the student to make a referral to another agency. However, the gaining of the consent is not essential in order for information to be passed on. Consideration needs to be given to:
1. The scale of the abuse
2. The risk of harm to others
3. The capacity of the student to understand the issues of abuse and consent
If there is any doubt about whether or not to report an issue to Social Services then it should be reported.
In emergency situations (e.g. where there is the risk or occurrence or severe physical injury), where immediate action is needed to safeguard the health or safety of the individual or anyone else who may be at risk, the emergency services must be contacted.
Where a crime is taking place, has just occurred or is suspected, the police must be contacted immediately.
All members of staff and volunteers will receive Safeguarding Induction Training within the first week of tasking up position. Safeguarding training will be updated throughout the year as legislation and policy amendments occur, or as per specific project requirement or safeguarding issues are identified.
Project Manager and Trustees will be responsible for updating of Safeguarding knowledge and legislation on a regular (monthly basis) and disseminating through project (staff and volunteer) notices or face-to-face training as appropriate.
All members of staff and volunteers have a responsibility to be aware of this policy and to report any suspicions that they might have concerning adult abuse.
The staff member responsible for adult protection is Adele Spiers.
The Trustee responsible for ‘championing’ this issue at Board level is Lee Omar.
All newly recruited staff and volunteers who have contact with participants are DBS checked every 2 years, unless they can present a Roaming DBS certificate reference number completed in the last 12 months.
1. Social Services– c/o 0151 233 3000
This policy is informed by, and adheres, to the SOLA ARTS Protection Policy and Procedures, and to the following legislation:
NHS and Community Care Act 1990
Mental Health Act 1983
Mental Capacity Act 2005
Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
Care Standards Act 2000
Protection of Vulnerable Adults Policy
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