Policy Statement– Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups
Who are Vulnerable Groups?
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 defines two groups of people within its scope;
- Vulnerable Adults
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 defines a vulnerable adult as;
- Those in residential accommodation provided in connection with care or nursing or in receipt of domiciliary care services
- Those receiving health care
- Those in lawful custody or under the supervision of a probation officer
- Those receiving a welfare service of a prescribed description or direct payments from a social services authority
- Those receiving services, or taking part in activities, aimed at people with disabilities or special needs because of their age or state of health
- Those who need assistance in the conduct of their affairs
The Children Act 1989 defines a child as;
- Any person under the age of 18 years including those persons under the age of 18 that;
- Are living independently
- Is in further education
- Is a member of the armed forces
- Is in hospital
- Is in prison or a young offenders institution
- Any person aged 18, 19 or 20 who;
- Has been looked after by a local authority at any time after attaining the age of 16, or
- Has a learning disability
As a provider of care services to our clients we recognise that our staff have contact with a range of vulnerable groups on a day to day basis. It is our aim to provide staff that will have a positive influence on those cared for and to aid the development of self esteem and social awareness of those people.
This policy and accompanying procedural guidance is designed to promote the welfare of vulnerable groups, to protect from potential abuse and to protect staff from potential false allegations of abuse.
All staff are expected to adhere to this policy who may come into contact with vulnerable groups in the course of their work, whether in someone’s home, on client premises or in the community.
Prime Time Care Services works with its clients to help ensure the safety and protection of vulnerable groups with the intention of giving them the very best level of care and attention. We believe that;
- Abuse is never acceptable.
- Abuse involves the abuse of person’s rights.
- All people have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation.
- All parties involved with the care of vulnerable groups have a responsibility to meet and exceed minimum standards of protection for them.
Any questions relating to this Policy should be addressed to;
Kevin Porter – Director
Prime Time Recruitment
55 – 57 Sheep Street
We will meet our commitment to protect vulnerable groups from abuse through the following means;
- Safe Recruiting – we will adopt stringent vetting and selection processes to prevent those people unsuitable to work in a care environment from being placed on assignment.
- Awareness – we will ensure that all staff are aware of the problem of abuse and the risks to vulnerable groups.
- Prevention – we will ensure, through awareness and good practice, that staff and others minimise the risks to vulnerable groups.
- Reporting – we will ensure that staff and others are clear what steps to take where concerns arise regarding the safety of vulnerable groups.
- Responding – we will ensure that action is taken to support and protect vulnerable groups where concerns arise regarding possible abuse.
In order that the above standards are met we will;
- Train our branch staff in the principles of safe recruiting and interviewing of potential members of staff for a care setting. Ensuring that our recruitment procedures include checks on suitability for working with the service user group.
- Prepare, train and support our care and support staff to be able to promote the safety and welfare of vulnerable user groups.
- Train our staff, both branch and mobile, on protection issues and identifying possible signs of abuse. As part of our staff induction we give each individual a “Mobile Worker Handbook” giving contact details for reporting possible abuse and Whistleblowing.
- Work in partnership with our clients and their service users to ensure their protection.
- Take seriously any concerns raised as per our Investigation and Resolution of Complaints Policy.
- Take positive steps to ensure the protection of vulnerable groups who are the subject of any concerns.
- Listen to, take seriously and support vulnerable groups, staff or other adults who raise concerns or who are the subject of concerns.
- Act appropriately and effectively in instigating or co-operating with any subsequent process of investigation.
- Maintain and adhere to all relevant regulations and guidance as set by, but not limited to;
- Criminal Records Bureau
Staff Code of Conduct
Our staff code of conduct and expectations is detailed within the “Mobile Worker Handbook”. Staff must never;
- Hit or otherwise physically assault or physically abuse service users.
- Develop physical/ sexual relationships with those in their care.
- Develop relationships which could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive.
- Act in ways that may be abusive or may place a vulnerable person at risk of abuse.
- Use language, make suggestions or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive.
- Behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative.
- Have a service user with whom they are working to stay overnight at their home.
- Sleep in the same room or bed as a vulnerable person with whom they are working.
- Do things of a personal nature that they can do for themselves.
- Condone, or participate in, behaviour which is illegal, unsafe or abusive.
- Act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade or otherwise perpetrate any form of emotional abuse.
- Discriminate against, show differential treatment, or favour particular service users to the exclusion of others.
- Accept money direct from the client for personal gain e.g for personal favours or jobs outside of the remit of the job, or work privately for the client unless agreed in writing by a Director of Prime Time Recruitment.
- Agree to witness or be named as either an executor or beneficiary of a clients or relatives will or testament.
This list is not exhaustive or exclusive. The principle is that staff should avoid actions or behaviour which may constitute poor practice or potentially abusive behaviour.
It is important for all staff and others in contact with vulnerable groups to;
- Be aware of situations which may present risks and manage these.
- Plan and organise the work and the workplace so as to minimise risks.
- As far as possible, be visible in working with vulnerable groups.
- Ensure that a culture of openness exists to enable any issues or concerns to be raised and discussed.
- Ensure that a sense of accountability exists between staff so that poor practice or potentially abusive behaviour does not go unchallenged.
- Talk to vulnerable groups about their contact with staff or others and encourage them to raise any concerns.
- Empower service users – discuss with them their rights, what is acceptable and unacceptable, and what they can do if there is a problem.
Responding to Whistle Blowing and Allegations of Abuse
By a Member of Staff
Any allegation of abuse made by a member of staff will be investigated and reported in conjunction with the relevant client’s policy and process.
By a Client
Any allegation of abuse made by a client regarding a member of our staff will be investigated and reported in line with the Company’s “Investigation and Resolution of Complaints” Policy and Process.
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with thosewho need to know. If there are concerns within a setting it is important that all relevant parties are made aware of them. Any information shared with external agencies is done under the guidance of the ISA.
Other Relevant Documentation
The following processes and policy documents should be reviewed in conjunction with this document;
- Investigation and Resolution of Complaints Policy and Process
- Rehabilitation of Offenders Policy and Process
- Disclosure Checking Policy and Process
- Whistleblowing Policy and Process
- Equality and Diversity Policy
- Recruitment, Selection and Vetting of Care/ Support Staff
- Mobile Worker Registration Policy and Process
- Mobile Worker Handbook
- Service User Guide
Action taken in response to any allegations of abuse or whistle blowing will be conducted in partnership with the local Social Services, and in accordance with the local Councils’ Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy. A copy of this policy is available in the branch for review and guidance.