POLICY FOR SAFEGUARDING OF VULNERABLE ADULTS
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
1.1 Carey Baptist Church is committed to encouraging an environment where all people, and especially those who may be at risk for any reason, are able to be involved in church activities in safety.
1.2 The Trustees of Carey Baptist Church take seriously their safeguarding obligations and responsibilities and are committed to:
- a) Promoting the wellbeing of all adults who have some involvement with the ministries and activities of the Church
- b) Safeguarding vulnerable adults
- c) Preventing abuse of vulnerable adults and reporting any abuse that we discover or suspect
- d) Equipping church workers and members to be alert to the abuse of adults and aware of their duty to report any suspected abuse or neglect
- e) Promoting safe practice by those in positions of trust
- f) Recruiting with care all church workers involved in any pastoral role and using the enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for all pastoral staff and church members who have regular contact with vulnerable adults
- g) Supporting, resourcing, training and regularly reviewing those who interact with vulnerable adults
- h) Adhering to the guidance and principles of the Care Act 2014 on the Safeguarding of adults and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 when appropriate (see Appendix A)
- i) Recognising our duty to work together with the local authority and police and other agencies to seek their advice when necessary
- j) Supporting anyone who has suffered abuse by offering or arranging sensitive and informed pastoral care, including support to make a complaint if so desired
1.3 The Church has a designated Safeguarding Co-Ordinator to safeguard vulnerable adults entering or using our Church premises who may be at risk of abuse or neglect, and to ensure the implementation of this policy.
1.4 This policy was agreed by the Trustees of Carey Baptist Church on 16 October 2018.
1.5 This policy will be reviewed, as necessary and annually by the Trustees of Carey Baptist Church.
1.6 All people within the church who work with adults who may be at risk of abuse or neglect will read and agree to abide by this Safeguarding Policy and attend occasional training.
1.7 The Trustee with particular responsibility for adult safeguarding is David Magowan.
2. Adults at Risk
2.1 Safeguarding means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It requires individuals and organisations to work together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the person’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. We recognise that people sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.
2.2 We recognize that there are different levels of vulnerability and that everyone may be regarded as vulnerable at some time in their lives. However, for the purposes of this document, a vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who needs care and support (whether that is being provided or not by others) and who is not able to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
2.3 Adults at risk may be:
- A person whose health or usual function is compromised;
- A person with a physical disability, a learning difficulty or a sensory impairment;
- Someone with mental health needs, including dementia or a personality disorder;
- A person with a long-term health condition;
- Someone who misuses substances or alcohol to the extent that it affects their ability to manage day-to-day living; or
- A person with reduced independence including those who do not speak English as their first language.
2.4 Issues of capacity and consent are key elements in the safeguarding of vulnerable adults. Capacity refers to the ability to make and understand a decision, act, or transaction. However, there remains a fundamental duty to balance the person’s right to autonomy with their need for protection. The law assumes that adults are able to make their own decisions unless proved otherwise.
3. Abuse of Adults
3.1 There are many ways in which adults can be abused:
- Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
- Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse for those in family or close relationships, as well as so called ‘honour’ based violence.
- Sexual abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
- Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
- Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
- Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
- Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
- Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one-off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice.
- Neglect or acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
- Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding
- Spiritual Abuse – misuse of authority within a church setting; intrusive healing and deliverance ministries; the denial of the expression of their Christian faith.
- Radicalisation – exploitation and pressure to be involved in terrorism for religious or political purposes e.g. far-right, islamist
3.2 People who abuse may be relatives or other family members; neighbours; friends; carers; professional staff; volunteers; other service users; care practitioners; strangers; and people who deliberately exploit adults they perceive to be vulnerable. Within the church they may include church workers and members and others attending church activities.
4. Procedures if abuse of an adult is suspected or disclosed
4.1 If a church member or worker suspects that an adult is being, or is at risk of being, abused or neglected, they must take responsibility to act on their concerns. Not responding may be seen as act of abuse in itself.
4.2 Adults may find it difficult to disclose abuse and need support to tell their story. They should be listened to without leading questions or suggestions that may influence or confuse the story. The listener should not show shock or judgment.
4.3 If the person fulfils the criteria for being an adult at risk of abuse or neglect, or if they express suicidal thoughts, they should be informed that the information will have to be passed on as part of our duty of care, preferably with their consent (unless they lack the capacity to give this).
4.4 Careful notes must be kept, recording factual information and direct quotes where possible. Notes should be signed and dated and kept securely.
4.5 If the person is at immediate risk of harm or danger, the police and/or the local authority Adult Social Services team must be contacted. The Safeguarding Co-Ordinator or, in their absence one of the Pastors, should be informed as soon as possible.
4.6 If the person is not at immediate risk, the Safeguarding Co-Ordinator should be informed in the first instance. They may make a referral to the Adults Social Services Team of the relevant local authority. If a criminal offence has occurred the police will be informed.
4.7 Where the concern is about the quality of care provided by a nursing home, residential home, or domiciliary provider, the Care Quality Commission should be informed.
4.8 Families of the vulnerable adult should be informed of an allegation of abuse and the action being taken, unless the adult is able to give informed consent and does not want their family to be informed, or if the alleged perpetrator is a family member, or where a police investigation is likely and the rules of evidence apply.
4.9 Pastoral care and support will be offered to the person who has disclosed the abuse or is at risk of abuse and neglect.
5. Good Practice
5.1 An assessment of need should be carried out by the leaders and helpers for any vulnerable adults regularly attending services or other church activities. Support should be provided to enable the vulnerable adult to participate in the activities as fully as possible and in safety.
5.2 Welcome Team leaders and ministry team leaders should be made aware of vulnerable adults regularly attending church services or other meetings/activities so that they can inform other team members to ensure any necessary care and support is provided.
5.3 Contact details for particularly vulnerable adults will not be generally made available to the whole membership but rather will be kept by the Church Office. This information will be released to individuals only on the agreement of the Safeguarding Co-Ordinator or Pastors.
5.4 Unless appointed by a Power of Attorney agreement, where a church member is involved in any aspect of personal finance for a vulnerable adult connected to the church, they should ensure there is accountability. Another church member must be involved to ensure informed consent and to be aware of the decisions and actions taken on behalf of the vulnerable adult.
5.5 Those regularly providing transport to vulnerable adults will require an enhanced DBS check and should be physically able to provide any required assistance to the vulnerable adult.
Carey Baptist Church Safeguarding Co-Ordinator
Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS)
0303 003 1111
Reading Borough Council : Safeguarding Adults Team
0118 937 6550 (during working hours)
01344 786543 (Emergency Duty Team – out of working hours)
West Berkshire Council : Safeguarding Adults Team
Wokingham Council : Safeguarding Adults Board
0300 365 1234
01344 786543 (Emergency Duty Team – out of working hours)
Safeguarding Adults Board : Reading, West Berkshire & Wokingham
Care Quality Commission
0333 405 3333
Thames Valley Police
0800 678 1174
STATUTORY PRINCIPLES FOR SAFEGUARDING ADULTS
The Care Act 2014
The Care Act is the first piece of legislation that puts Adult Safeguarding on a statutory basis. It came into force on 1 April 2015. Its key principles are:
- Empowerment – people being supported and encouraged to make their own decision 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 (including the church) have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
- Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005
Some adults within the church or served by the church may have “an impairment of the mind or brain, or a disturbance affecting the way their mind or brain works”. If this means that the person is unable to make a decision at the time it needs to be made, they may be said to lack the mental capacity to do so. It must not be assumed that someone lacks mental capacity on the basis of their age, appearance, condition or an aspect of their behaviour.
The five key principles of the Mental Capacity Act are:
1. A presumption of capacity: Every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise. We cannot assume that someone cannot make a decision for themselves just because they have a particular medical condition or disability.
2. Individuals being supported to make their own decisions: Every effort must be made to encourage and support people to make the decision for themselves.
3. Unwise decisions: People have the right to make what others might regard as an unwise or eccentric decision. We cannot treat them as lacking capacity for that reason.
4. Best interests: Any action taken, or any decision made for, or on behalf of that person, must be made in his or her best interests.
5. Least restrictive option: Before any decisions are made or actions taken on behalf of the person, consideration must be given as to whether there is another way to effectively achieve the same purpose that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action.