This policy will enable the RSPCA Coventry & District Branch to demonstrate its commitment to keeping safe vulnerable young people and adults with whom it works alongside and comes into contact with. The RSPCA Coventry & District Branch acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse or to investigate any donations made to the charity by a vulnerable person.
It is important to have the policy and procedures in place so that staff, volunteers, management and committee can work to prevent abuse and to prevent donations / large sums of money being given to the charity by vulnerable people and know what to do in these events.
The Policy Statement and Procedures have been drawn up in order to enable the RSPCA Coventry and District Branch to:
- promote good practice and work in a way that can prevent harm, abuse and coercion occurring;
- to ensure that any allegations of abuse or suspicions are dealt with appropriately and the person experiencing abuse is supported;
- to stop that abuse occurring;
- to prevent large sums of money being donated to the charity by a vulnerable person.
The Policy and Procedures relate to the safeguarding of vulnerable young people and adults. Vulnerable young people and adults are defined as:
- a person who is or may be for any reason unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
The policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, management committee members, trustees, paid staff, volunteers, students and anyone working on behalf of the RSPCA Coventry and District Branch.
It is acknowledged that significant numbers of vulnerable young people and adults are abused and exploited and it is important that the RSPCA Coventry and District Branch has a Safeguarding Policy and a set of procedures to follow and puts in place preventative measures to try and reduce those numbers.
In order to implement the policy the RSPCA Coventry and District Branch will work:
- to promote the freedom and dignity of the person who has or is experiencing abuse;
- to promote the rights of all people to live free from abuse and coercion;
- to ensure the safety and well being of people who do not have the capacity to decide how they want to respond to abuse that they are experiencing;
- to manage services in a way which promotes safety and prevents abuse;
- recruit staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made;
- provide effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
The RSPCA Coventry and District Branch will:
- ensure that all management, committee members, trustees, staff, volunteers, are familiar with this policy and procedures;
- act within its confidentiality policy and will usually gain permission from the young person / adult before sharing information about them with another agency;
- inform the young person / adult that where a person is in danger, a child is at risk or a crime has been committed then a decision may be taken to pass information to another agency without the individual’s consent;
- make a referral to the Social Services team as appropriate;
- endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to preventing abuse and welfare of adults and young people;
- ensure that the Designated Named Person understands his/her responsibility to refer incidents of adult abuse to the relevant statutory agencies (Police/Adult and Culture Services Directorate).
The Designated Named Person for Safeguarding vulnerable young person / adults whilst at the RSPCA Coventry and District Branch is:
Telephone: 02476 336 616
They should be contacted for support and advice on implementing this policy and procedures
These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of any vulnerable young person / adult who works or volunteers at the RSPCA Coventry and District Branch and any vulnerable person that makes a donation to the centre. The procedures recognise that adult abuse and coercion can be a difficult subject for workers to deal with. The RSPCA Coventry and District is committed to the belief that the protection of vulnerable young people / adults from harm and abuse is everybody’s responsibility and the aim of these procedures is to ensure that all managers, trustees of the organisation, committee members, staff and volunteers act appropriately in response to any concern around vulnerable young people / adult abuse or coercion.
2. Preventing abuse
The RSPCA Coventry and District Branch is committed to putting in place safeguards and measures to reduce the likelihood of abuse or coercion taking place within the centre and that all those involved within the RSPCA Coventry and District Branch will be treated with respect.
Therefore this policy needs to be read in conjunction with the following policies:
- Equal Rights and Diversity
- Grievance Procedure
- Whistle Blowing
- Data Protection
- Recruitment and Selection
- Grievance procedure
- Harassment and Bullying Policy Statement
- Donation Policy Statement
- Vulnerable Donors
- Working with Vulnerable People
- Maintaining Professional Boundaries Policy
The RSPCA Coventry and District Branch is committed to safer recruitment policies and practices for paid staff, trustees and volunteers. This may include CRB disclosures for staff and volunteers, ensuring references are taken up where required.
Management committee members/trustees will be required to provide two references and where appropriate have a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure.
The organisation will work within the current legal framework for reporting staff or volunteers that are abusers or those suspected of coercion.
3.Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse and coercion
The RSPCA Coventry & District Branch is committed to ensuring that all staff, the management, committee, trustees and volunteers undertake training to gain a basic awareness of signs and symptoms of abuse and coercion. We will ensure that the Designated Named Person and other members of staff and trustees have access to training around Safeguarding Young people / adults.
“Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons” (No Secrets: Department of Health, 2000)
- physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, punching, burning, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint;
- sexual abuse: including rape, indecent assault, inappropriate touching, exposure to pornographic material;
- psychological or emotional abuse: including belittling, name calling, threats of harm, intimidation, isolation;
- financial or material abuse: including stealing, selling assets, fraud, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits;
- neglect and acts of omission: including withholding the necessities of life such as medication, food or warmth, ignoring medical or physical care needs;
- discriminatory abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment
- institutional or organisational: including regimented routines and cultures, unsafe practices, lack of person-centered care or treatment.
Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly. Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts.
People who behave abusively come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They may be doctors, nurses, social workers, advocates, staff members, volunteers or others in a position of trust. They may also be relatives, friends, neighbours or people who use the same services as the person experiencing abuse.
Definition of coercion:
the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats
Coercion could be for someone to part with money, in this instance in the form of a donation to the centre or by any Member of staff to another or a volunteer in getting them to do something against their will.
4. Designated Named Person for safeguarding adults / young people
The RSPCA Coventry and District Branch has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any safeguarding adults / young people’s concerns. In their absence, the deputy manager will be available for workers to consult with. The Designated Named Person(s) for Safeguarding Young people & adults within the RSPCA Coventry and District Branch is/are:
Lorraine Bryan-Arnold or in their absence David Budd
Centre Manager Deputy Centre Manager
Tel: 02476 336 616 Tel: 02476 336 616
The roles and responsibilities of the named person(s) are:
- to ensure that all staff including trustees / committee members are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have concerns that a vulnerable young person / adult may be experiencing, or has experienced abuse, neglect or coercion;
- to ensure that concerns are acted on, clearly recorded and referred to an Social Services team where necessary;
- to follow up any referrals and ensure the issues have been addressed;
- consider any recommendations from the Safeguarding Adult / young person process;
- to reinforce the utmost need for confidentiality and to ensure that staff and volunteers are adhering to good practice with regard to confidentiality and security. This is because it is around the time that a person starts to challenge abuse / coercion that the risks of increasing intensity of abuse / coercion are greatest;
- to ensure that staff and volunteers working directly with vulnerable young people and adults who have experienced abuse / coercion, or who are experiencing abuse / coercion, are well supported and receive appropriate supervision;
- if appropriate staff or volunteers will be given support and afforded protection if necessary under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998: they will be dealt with in a fair and equitable manner and they will be kept informed of any action that has been taken and its outcome.
5. Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse / coercion
The RSPCA Coventry and District Branch recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse, neglect or coercion. It also acknowledges that taking action in cases of abuse is never easy.
How to respond if you receive an allegation:
- Reassure the person concerned;
- Listen to what they are saying;
- Record what you have been told/witnessed as soon as possible;
- Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief;
- Tell them that the information will be treated seriously;
- Don’t start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions;
- Don’t promise to keep it a secret.
If you witness abuse or abuse / coercion has just taken place the priorities will be:
- To call an ambulance if required;
- To call the police if a crime has been committed;
- To preserve evidence;
- To keep yourself, staff, volunteers and service users safe;
- To inform the Designated Named Person in your organisation;
- To record what happened .
All situations of abuse / coercion or alleged abuse / coercion will be discussed with the Designated Named Person. If a member of the management committee, a trustee, staff member or volunteer feels unable to raise this concern with the Designated Named Person then concerns can be raised directly with Social Services Direct. The alleged victim will be told that this will happen. This stage is called the alert.
If it is appropriate and there is consent from the individual, or there is a good reason to override consent, such as risk to others, a referral (alert) will be made to Social Services team.
If the individual experiencing abuse / coercion does not have capacity to consent a referral will be made without that person’s consent, in their best interests.
The Designated Named Person may take advice at the above stage from Social Services and/or other advice giving organisations such as Police.
Adult Social Care
Phone: 024 7683 3003 (9am – 5pm)
Phone: 024 7683 2222 (Out of office hours)
Young person Social Care
Referral and Assessment Service on 024 7678 8555
Social Work out of hours: 024 7683 2222
0345 113 5000 or, call 999 in an emergency.
The Designated Named Person will have an overview of this process so they can explain it to the person concerned and offer all relevant support to the person and process. This could be practical support e.g. providing a venue, or information and reports and emotional support.
Information should be provided to the individual. This could be about other sources of help or information that could enable them to decide what to do about their experience, enable them to recover from their experience and enable them to seek justice.
6. Managing allegation made against member of staff or volunteer
The RSPCA Coventry and District Branch will ensure that any allegations made against members or member of staff will be dealt with swiftly.
Where a member of staff/volunteer is thought to have committed a criminal offence the police will be informed. If a crime has been witnessed the police should be contacted immediately.
The safety of the individual(s) concerned is paramount. A risk assessment must be undertaken immediately to assess the level of risk to all service users posed by the alleged perpetrator. This will include whether it is safe for them to continue in their role or any other role within the service whilst the investigation is undertaken.
The Designated Named Person will liaise with Adult / Child Social Care to discuss the best course of action and to ensure that the RSPCA Coventry, Nuneaton and District Branch’s disciplinary procedures are coordinated with any other enquiries taking place as part of the ongoing management of the allegation.
RSPCA Coventry and District Branch has a whistleblowing policy and staff are aware of this policy. Staff will be supported to use this policy.
7. Recording and managing confidential information
The RSPCA Coventry and District Branch is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information around Safeguarding Adults / Young people issues should be shared only with those who need to know. For further information, please see RSPCA Coventry and District Branches confidentiality policy.
All allegations/concerns should be recorded. The information should be factual and not based on opinions, record what the person tells you, what you have seen and witnesses if appropriate.
The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with data protection.
8. Disseminating/Reviewing policy and procedures
This Safeguarding Vulnerable Young people / Adults Policy and Procedure will be clearly communicated to staff, trustees. The Designated Named Person will be responsible for ensuring that this is done.
The Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures will be reviewed annually by Lorraine Bryan-Arnold will be involved in this process and can recommend any changes. The Designated Named Person will also ensure that any changes are clearly communicated to staff, trustees and volunteers.