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Safeguarding adults policy

This policy was last updated April 2022.

Our safeguarding adults policy in detail

1. Purpose and aim

Blind Veterans staff including volunteers and those working to provide services and support on behalf of the charity, will ensure that all beneficiaries and members of the community who are considered to be at risk of abuse, are protected and brought to the attention of the relevant authorities. This policy will detail the guiding principles that direct our approach to adult safeguarding, outline our duties in working collaboratively with partner organisations and the safeguarding governance structures that frame the organisation.

The aim of this policy is to ensure that Blind Veterans UK undertakes its responsibilities to protect all adults and respond to concerns appropriately. Whilst local authorities are often charged as the lead agency to lead safeguarding adult enquiries, safeguarding adults is everyone’s responsibility, and everyone has a role to play.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, bank workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of Blind Veterans UK. Staff must be familiar with this policy and comply with it. The policy establishes a framework to support those working for or on behalf of Blind Veterans UK in their practices and clarifies the organisations expectations.

3. Equality statement

Blind Veterans UK is committed to providing services which embrace diversity and promote equality of opportunity. Everyone who accesses our services or works for us in a paid or voluntary capacity should be safe, empowered to play a part in promoting their own welfare and that of others and able to live a life free from abuse. This applies to all, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, or belief.

4. What is adult safeguarding?

Adult safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. It is important to recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear, or unrealistic about their personal circumstances. Blind Veterans UK will always promote the adult’s wellbeing in their safeguarding arrangements.

5. Legislation

Adults accessing our services may not meet the eligibility threshold for social care provision, nonetheless, the definition of an adult at risk means they may well meet the criteria for a safeguarding enquiry and therefore Blind Veterans UK has a legal duty to ensure safeguarding adult procedures are followed. The statutory safeguarding adult guidance and definitions of what constitutes an ‘Adult at Risk’ across the four jurisdictions of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found in the Safeguarding Policy guidance. Below is the overarching statute that govern safeguarding adult procedures:

  • England: The Care Act 2014.
  • Wales: The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.
  • Scotland: Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007.
  • Northern Ireland: Adult Safeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership policy.

6. Guiding principles

Blind Veterans UK are guided by the principles set out in the Care and Support Statutory Guidance 2014 (revised 2015) and aim to demonstrate and promote these principles in our work.

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility: Everyone working or volunteering for Blind Veterans UK has a responsibility to keep adults who need care and support safe from abuse and neglect.

Prevention: We will put sensible measures in place to prevent abuse, including the use of safe recruitment practices, promoting safe working practice, and raising awareness of safeguarding.

Protection: We will provide policy, procedures, information, and training to enable all Blind Veterans UK staff and volunteers to identify and respond appropriately to concerns about abuse.

Partnership: Blind Veterans UK will work in Partnership with statutory, regulatory, and other relevant organisations to ensure that safeguarding concerns are responded to appropriately.

Empowerment: We will be person-centred and uphold rights in our safeguarding work.

Accountability: We aim to be transparent in our approaches and recognise the need for continuous learning and improvement.

Proportionality: We will take the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.

Making Safeguarding Personal: We will aim to ensure that safeguarding is person-led and focused on the outcomes that individuals want to achieve. We will engage in a conversation about how best to respond to safeguarding situations in a timely way that enhances individual’s involvement, choice, and control.

7. Types of abuse

Blind Veterans UK will ensure that staff and volunteers working for and on behalf of Blind Veterans UK recognise and respond to the main forms of abuse detailed in the Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance. This list is not exhaustive but provide an illustration as to the sort of behaviour that could give rise to a safeguarding concern:

  • Physical abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Organisational abuse
  • Neglect and acts of omission
  • Self-neglect

8. Multi organisational approach

In delivering our services Blind Veterans UK will take all steps to ensure prevention and early detection of any form of abuse and neglect. When a safeguarding concern is identified Blind Veterans UK will work collaboratively with other required agencies, including liaison in relation to the investigation of allegations and will ensure its procedures dovetail with the relevant Local Authorities multi-agency procedures.

In supporting any adult subject to safeguarding adult procedures, we will commit to ensuring that:

  • All safeguarding concerns are investigated fully and in accordance with the timescales set out in the Safeguarding Procedure.
  • The needs and interests of adults at risk are always respected and upheld
  • The human rights of adults at risk are respected and upheld
  • A proportionate, timely, professional, and ethical response is made to any adult at risk who may be experiencing abuse
  • All decisions and actions are taken in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005

In achieving the above, we will always endeavour to ensure that, each adult at risk maintains:

  • Choice and control
  • Safety
  • Health
  • Quality of life
  • Dignity and respect

9. Governance

Safeguarding adults is a governance priority and fundamental to operating as a charity for the public benefit. The Charity Commission requires Blind Veteran UK Trustees, employees, and volunteers to promote a fair, open, and positive culture to safeguarding so all involved feel able to report concerns, confident that they will be heard and responded to. Below is a breakdown of the different roles and responsibilities that are held by staff within Blind Veterans UK.

Blind Veterans UK Trustees have a responsibility to ensure safeguarding policies are in place. They have a duty of care to the charity, which includes taking the necessary steps to safeguard those at risk from abuse, managing risk and protecting the reputation of the charity.

The Senior Leadership Team have a responsibility to ensure that safeguarding is included, where appropriate, in the strategic plans, risk assessments, communications and quality assurance processes of their Directorate. In some cases, they will be required to make decisions relating to complex or serious safeguarding concerns.

Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for developing quality assurance safeguarding activity across the charity and supporting best practice. They will receive respond seriously, swiftly, and appropriately to any concerns related to safeguarding practice. In some cases, they will be required to make decisions relating to complex or serious safeguarding concerns.

Safeguarding Committee will ensure Blind Veterans UK meets its legal requirements. The committee will review data relating to safeguarding referrals, it will establish what action is required to ensure our legal and organisation responsibilities are met and review any lessons learnt relating to safeguarding practice.

Managers will ensure the staff and volunteers they supervise are aware of Blind Veterans UK safeguarding policies and procedures and have undertaken relevant training when required. They will be responsible for making decisions relating to safeguarding concerns and ensuring safeguarding referrals are followed up and all actions required are taken.

Staff and volunteers are responsible for ensuring they are familiar with safeguarding policies and procedures and have completed all relevant training as required. They will be responsible for ensuring all safeguarding concerns are recorded and reported.

10. Recruitment and training

All new staff and volunteers must be fully mentored whilst working with beneficiaries and will not work unaccompanied with beneficiaries until the criminal record check relevant to their specific job role has been fully completed.

Staff and volunteers will be provided with training regarding Safeguarding to ensure that they are confident in dealing with safeguarding issues and can comply with all aspects of this policy. The completion of this training must be in accordance with the requirement of the job role as outlined in the organisation mandatory training matrix.

11. Whistleblowing and allegations management

Blind Veterans UK recognises its duty to respond to any safeguarding allegations made against its staff (paid or unpaid). If a safeguarding concern involves a member of staff or volunteer, then the Head of Organisation Development (People Development Directorate) and Assistant Director/Director (Operations) must be notified. If a safeguarding concern involves a Trustee, then the Chair of Trustees and Head of Governance and Risk (Secretariat) should also be notified.

If any safeguarding concern involving a staff member is referred to the relevant Local Authority, then Blind Veterans UK should be guided by how the Local Authority wish to proceed their enquiries. Blind Veterans UK may wish to implement its own Investigation Procedure but should be careful not to take any decisions or any action that might compromise any Local Authority enquiry.

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