Safeguarding and Vulnerable Persons Policy
(Including Procedures and Code of Behaviour)
The Covid 19 pandemic has increased the risk of vulnerable/isolated individuals being scammed, duped and/or abused. In addition, the additional pressure on support services has led to a reduction in the help available from those services. Arts Together therefore acknowledges that its contracted staff and volunteers must be extra vigilant in identifying and reporting any suspicious activity and advising members accordingly whilst not causing them any undue alarm.
Arts Together is aware that abuse of vulnerable adults is widespread but frequently unrecognised
This policy informs the recruiting and the attitudes of those working for and involved with Arts Together as well as the actions to be taken.
Arts Together has agreed the following policies and procedures because;
- When working with vulnerable adults, their welfare and safety is paramount and specific measures must be taken to safeguard them from any harm
- We have a duty to be aware of the potential for abuse and to take any allegation seriously no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time.
3 Arts Together’s principles
We follow the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998, particularly;
- all individuals have the right to live their lives free from coercion, intimidation, oppression and physical, sexual, emotional or mental harm
- individuals have a right to confidentiality in respect of personal information insofar as this does not infringe the rights of other people
All individuals have the right to the protection of the law and access to the judicial process
All Arts Together contracted staff and frontline volunteers will be required to subscribe to a code of behaviour and practice designed to safeguard vulnerable adults from harm and to follow published procedures in reporting allegations of abuse.
Before starting work with vulnerable adults, Arts Together contracted staff or frontline volunteers will be required to produce evidence of having satisfied the DBS (CRB) currently prescribed.The policy is deemed to be incorporated in the contract of employment and it is a condition of service with Arts Together that the contracted staff and frontline volunteers understand and operate the policy fully.
All Arts Together contracted staff and frontline volunteers will be briefed on and be given a copy of this policy and must agree to apply it in practice. A copy will be freely available to other groups involved in any events or meetings held by Arts Together.
Arts Together will:
- Work closely with Wiltshire County Council Adult Care to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all vulnerable adults within Arts Together’s care.
- Actively promote the empowerment and well-being of vulnerable adults through the service we provide.
- Be aware of its responsibilities under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, the Care Act 2014, the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Human Rights Act 1998
- Ensure that the law and statutory requirements are known and used so that vulnerable adults receive the protection of the law and access to the judicial process
4 A summary of procedures for all Arts Together facilitators, frontline volunteers
and contracted managers;
- Ensure that Arts Together activities do not compromise its principles
- Adhere to the Arts Together Code of Practice
- In case of abuse or the possibility of abuse:
- Ensure your own safety.
- Ensure the immediate wellbeing of the vulnerable adult.
- Inform the Designated Person.
- Record the incident.
- Ensure confidentiality
The Designated Person will:
- Call all agreed agencies
- Work with agreed agencies within the framework of the Safeguarding Adult Team
Vulnerable adult is the term applied to people aged 18 or over who may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves against significant harm or exploitation.
Designated Person is the term for the person in an organisation responsible for dealing with concerns or allegations of abuse. At Arts Together the Designated Person is the relevant Hub Manager or, in their absence, the Arts Together Manager or the Safeguarding Lead Trustee.
Independent Person is the term for someone nominated to be available for a vulnerable adult to consult if they have concerns about being exploited or abused. When working within the framework of another organisation, Arts Together contracted staff must find out the contact details of the Independent Person.
Physical Abuse is causing physical injury, or failing to prevent physical injury or suffering. It may involve hitting, shaking, slapping pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint, or inappropriate sanctions and
Institutional abuse; indicated by repeated instances of unsatisfactory professional practice, pervasive ill treatment or gross misconduct indicating an abusive climate.
Psychological abuse; including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation or contact or communication, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks,
Discriminatory abuse; including that based on a person’s ethnic origin, religion, language, age, sexuality, gender, disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment,
Sexual Abuse; including rape and sexual assault, contact or non-contact sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressurised into consenting,
Neglect or acts of omission; including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating,
Financial or material abuse; including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
6.1 Dealing with Concerns or Allegations.
If you suspect a vulnerable adult is being abused:
- If the person is in need of medical assistance call the emergency services
- Immediately inform the Designated Person
- Record the facts as you know them and give a copy to the Designated Person
- Ensure vulnerable adult has access to an Independent Person
- Ensure that no aspect of the Arts Together’s activities could cause further concern
If a vulnerable adult discloses to you abuse by someone else:
- Allow the vulnerable adult to speak without interruption, accepting what is said without interrogation
- Attempt to alleviate feeling of guilt and isolation, whilst passing no judgement.
- Advise that you will try to offer support, but that you must pass on the information given
- Then take the steps, as above, in suspecting a vulnerable adult is being abused.
If you receive an allegation about an adult or about yourself:
- Immediately tell the Designated Person
- Record the facts as you know them and give a copy to the Designated Person.
- Try to ensure that no-one is placed in a position which could cause further compromise
6.2 Inappropriate Advances.
Vulnerable adults can sometimes make suggestive approaches. Sometimes inappropriate physical contact can happen quite accidentally. It is vital that you take responsibility to:
- Inform the vulnerable adult that their language or behaviour is unacceptable.
- Inform the Designated Person about the incident
- Record the incident in case accusations are made later
- Consult with the Designated Person in deciding what actions should be taken to help the vulnerable adult, and prevent a re-occurrence.
6.3 Record keeping – You must refer. You must not investigate.
Facts to be recorded when a disclosure or allegation of abuse is made:
1. Name of the vulnerable adult and carer’s details.
2. Vulnerable adult’s address and relevant telephone numbers.
3. What is said to have happened or what was seen and heard.
4. When did it occur?
5. Who else, if anyone, was there?
6. What evidence of abuse can be recorded? ( See Definitions and ‘No Secrets’ guidance)
7. Who was involved in the incident, and in what way?
8. What was said by those involved?
9. If the vulnerable adult was able to say what happened, how did they describe it?
10. Was anyone else informed? If so by whom and when?
Do not discuss the disclosure with anyone outside the investigation.
6.4 Prevention and being alert
All Arts Together facilitators, frontline volunteers and contracted managers must:
- Read and keep for reference the Arts Together Safeguarding 2022 leaflet
- Give a copy of the Arts Together Safeguarding 2022 leaflet to anyone visiting a group and to each artist and volunteer before they work with a group
- Read Wiltshire Safeguarding Vulnerable People Partnership guidance and be aware of indicators of possible abuse and the basic guidance for Alerters
- Refer any suspicion, no matter how slight, to the Designated Person.
- Conduct themselves in a way that respects all others and does not compromise Arts Together’s principles
- Adhere to Arts Together’s code of behaviour.
6.5 Designated person’s responsibilities
The designated person will:
- Actively promote a culture in which anyone who expresses concern will be treated seriously.
- Ensure that all Arts Together personnel are familiar with this policy and receive appropriate training and support.
- Ensure that confidentiality and information sharing, regarding everyone concerned (the vulnerable adult, perpetrator and reporter) are maintained within Arts Together policies.
- Work together with relevant agencies to ensure the well being and safety of all vulnerable adults within the care of Arts Together.
6.6 Reporting procedure
When an allegation of abuse is reported immediately:
- Refer to the Wiltshire Council Safeguarding Adults- Good Referrals guidance
- To report a safeguarding concern or seek advice
The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) provides support and advice, contact them on
Tel: 0300 456 0111 Out of hours: 0845 607 0888
Email: [email protected]
- If appropriate, inform the relevant housing association
- Take any necessary appropriate actions and carry out reviews with the guidance of Safeguarding Adult Team.
- Keep all records securely and confidentially.
- Make records available to the Safeguarding Adult Team investigation.
- Debrief the relevant Arts Together personnel to identify any support or training needs they may have.
6.7 Code of appropriate behaviour when working with vulnerable adults
- treat everyone with respect.
- provide a good example that others will follow.
- plan activities which always involve more that one person being present, or at least within sight or hearing of others.
- respect a vulnerable adult’s right to personal privacy.
- encourage vulnerable adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes and behaviours they do not like.
- remember that someone else might misinterpret your action, no matter how well intentioned.
- recognise that caution is required when dealing with bullying, bereavement or abuse.
- leave vulnerable adults in unsupervised charge of activities involving other children, young people and vulnerable adults
- permit abusive peer activities such as initiation ceremonies, ridiculing or bullying
- play physical contact games with vulnerable adults
- have any inappropriate physical or verbal contact with others
- jump to conclusions about others
- allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour such as tantrums or crushes
- exaggerate or trivialise abuse issues
- show favouritism to any individual
- make suggestive remarks or gestures in the presence of vulnerable adults
- invite vulnerable adults to your home alone
- rely on just your good name to protect you
- conduct or plan activities outside Arts Together’s agreed terms of reference