THE F-LIST FOR MUSIC CIC SAFEGUARDING POLICY
Appendix 3 Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy
1 VULNERABLE ADULTS SAFEGUARDING POLICY
The F-List for Music:
- Is committed to safeguarding adults in line with national legislation and relevant national and local guidelines and will safeguard adults by ensuring that our activities are delivered in a way which keeps all adults safe.
- Is committed to creating a culture of zero-tolerance of harm to adults which necessitates: the recognition of adults who may be at risk and the circumstances which may increase risk; knowing how adult abuse, exploitation or neglect manifests itself; and being willing to report safeguarding concerns.
- Is committed to best safeguarding practice and to uphold the rights of all adults to live a life free from harm from abuse, exploitation and neglect.
- Is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment and an open, listening culture where people feel able to share concerns without fear of retribution.
- Acknowledges that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and is committed to prevent abuse and neglect through safeguarding the welfare of all adults involved.
- Recognises that health, well-being, ability, disability and need for care and support can affect a person’s resilience. We recognise that some people experience barriers, for example, to communication in raising concerns or seeking help. We recognise that these factors can vary at different points in people’s lives.
The purpose of this policy is to demonstrate the commitment of The F-List for Music to safeguarding adults and to ensure that everyone involved in The F-List for Music is aware of:
- The legislation, policy and procedures for safeguarding adults.
- Their role and responsibility for safeguarding adults.
- What to do or who to speak to if they have a concern relating to the welfare or wellbeing of an adult within the organisation.
This safeguarding adult policy and associated procedures apply to all individuals involved in The F-List for Music including directors, contractors and volunteers and to all concerns about the safety of adults whilst taking part in our organisation, its activities and in the wider community.
In order to implement this policy The F-List for Music will ensure that:
- If any director, contractor or volunteer involved with a The F-List for Music activity believes one of the adults participating who is classified as vulnerable under the legislation is being abused they are to immediately inform the DSL.
- The well-being of those at risk of harm will be put first and the adult actively supported to communicate their views and the outcomes they want to achieve.
- Any actions taken will respect the rights and dignity of all those involved and be proportionate to the risk of harm.
- The F-List for Music will cooperate with the Police and the relevant Local Authorities in taking action to safeguard an adult.
- All directors, contractors and volunteers understand their role and responsibility for safeguarding adults appropriate for their role.
- The F-List for Music uses safe recruitment practices and continually assesses the suitability of contractors and volunteers to prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals in this organisation.
- The F-List for Music shares information about anyone found to be a risk to adults with the appropriate bodies. For example: Disclosure and Barring Service, Services, Police, Local Authority/Social Services.
- Actions taken under this policy are reviewed by the Board on a bi-annual basis and whenever there are changes in relevant legislation and/or government guidance.
5 KEY POINTS
- There is a legal duty on Local Authorities to provide support to ‘adults at risk’.
- Adults at risk are defined in legislation and the criteria applied differs between each home nation.
- The safeguarding legislation applies to all forms of abuse that harm a person’s well-being.
- The law provides a framework for good practice in safeguarding that makes the overall well-being of the adult at risk a priority of any intervention.
- The law emphasises the importance of person-centred safeguarding.
- The law provides a framework for making decisions on behalf of adults who can’t make decisions for themselves (Mental Capacity).
- The law provides a framework for all organisations to share information and cooperate to protect adults at risk.
6 DEFINITION OF AN ADULT AT RISK
The Safeguarding Adults legislation creates specific responsibilities on Local Authorities and the Police to provide additional protection from abuse and neglect to adults at risk.
When a Local Authority has reason to believe there is an adult at risk, they have a responsibility to find out more about the situation and decide what actions need to be taken to support the adult.
The actions that need to be taken might be by the Local Authority (usually social services) and/or by other agencies, for example the Police and Health. An organisation may need to take action as part of safeguarding an adult, for example, to use the disciplinary procedures in relation to a contractor or volunteer who has been reported to be harming a participant.
England (Care Act 2014)
An adult at risk is an individual aged 18 years and over who:
(a) has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) AND;
(b) is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect, AND;
as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
The Safeguarding Adults Legislation in each Home Country defines categories of adult abuse and harm as follows.
7 SIGNS AND INDICATORS OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT
An adult may confide to a director, contractor, volunteer, or another participant that they are experiencing abuse inside or outside of the organisation’s setting. Similarly, others may suspect that this is the case. There are many signs and indicators that may suggest someone is being abused or neglected. The signs and symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Unexplained bruises or injuries – or lack of medical attention when an injury is present.
- Person has belongings or money going missing.
- Person is not attending / no longer enjoying their sessions.
- Someone losing or gaining weight / an unkempt appearance.
- A change in the behaviour or confidence of a person.
- A fear of a particular group of people or individual.
- A parent/carer always speaks for the person and doesn’t allow them to make their own choices.
- They may tell you / another person they are being abused – i.e. a disclosure.
8 PERSON CENTRED SAFEGUARDING/ MAKING SAFEGUARDING PERSONAL
The legislation also recognises that adults make choices that may mean that one part of our well-being suffers at the expense of another – for example we move away from friends and family to take a better job. Similarly, adults can choose to risk their personal safety; for example, to provide care to a partner with dementia who becomes abusive when they are disorientated and anxious.
The concept of ‘Person Centred Safeguarding’/’Making Safeguarding Personal’ means engaging the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their situation in a way that enhances their involvement, choice and control, as well as improving their quality of life, well-being and safety. The adult’s views, wishes, feelings and beliefs must be taken into account when decisions are made about how to support them to be safe.
It is good practice to get as much information about the person as possible. Some people with care and support needs will have a ‘One page profile’ or a ‘This is me’ document that describes important things about them. Some of those things will be about how to support the person, their routines, food and drink choices etc. but will also include things they like and don’t like doing. It’s also important to have an agreement with the person who has enrolled the adult in the activity about how different types of decisions will be made on a day-to-day basis.
- THE ACT’S PRINCIPLES ARE:
- 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.
10 MENTAL CAPACITY AND DECISION MAKING
We make many decisions every day, often without realising. UK Law assumes that all people over the age of 16 have the ability to make their own decisions unless it has been proved that they can’t. It also gives us the right to make any decision that we need to make and gives us the right to make our own decisions even if others consider them to be unwise. The Law says that to decide we need to:
- Understand information.
- Remember it for long enough.
- Think about the information.
- Communicate our decision.
A person’s ability to do this may be affected by things such as learning disability, dementia, mental health needs, acquired brain injury and physical ill health.
Most adults have the ability to make their own decisions given the right support however, some adults with care and support needs have the experience of other people making decisions about them and for them.
If someone has a disability that means they need support to understand or make a decision this must be provided. A small number of people cannot make any decisions. Being unable to make a decision is called “lacking mental capacity”.
Mental capacity refers to the ability to decide at the time that decision is needed. A person’s mental capacity can change. If it is safe/possible to wait until they are able to be involved in decision making or to make the decision themselves. For example:
- A person with epilepsy may not be able to make a decision following a seizure.
- Someone who is anxious may not be able to make a decision at that point.
- A person may not be able to respond as quickly if they have just taken some medication that causes fatigue.
Mental Capacity is important for safeguarding for several reasons. Not being allowed to make decisions one is capable of making is abuse. For example, a disabled adult may want to take part in an activity but their parent who is their carer won’t allow them to and will not provide the support they would need. Conversely the adult may not seem to be benefiting from an activity other people are insisting they do.
Mental Capacity must also be considered when we believe abuse or neglect might be taking place. It is important to make sure an ‘adult at risk’ has choices in the actions taken to safeguard them, including whether or not they want other people informed about what has happened, however, in some situations the adult may not have the mental capacity to understand the choice or to tell you their views.
If a person who has a lot of difficulty making their own decisions is thought to be being abused or neglected you will need to refer the situation to the Local Authority, and this should result in health or social care professionals making an assessment of mental capacity and/or getting the person the support they need to make decisions.