Safeguarding adults policy and procedures
The purpose of this policy is to protect people, particularly adults at risk and beneficiaries of assistance, from any harm of which the Masonic Charitable Foundation becomes aware.
This policy applies to all staff and volunteers and should be read alongside the “Safeguarding Policy and Procedures: Children and Young People”
What is safeguarding?
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.
The key principles (from the Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance) that underpin adult safeguarding are:
- Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions 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.
- Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
Making safeguarding personal means it should be person-led and outcome-focused. It engages the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety” (Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance).
Who is defined as an adult at risk?
The safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:
- has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
- is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
- as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect
What is abuse?
Abuse is a violation of a person’s human rights or dignity by another person or persons. It can happen anywhere including in a domestic setting or online. Abuse often occurs where the person should expect to be safe (for example in the home, during a medical examination or in a public place). The act of abuse might happen once; it might be a repeated act of abuse; or it might involve a combination of different kinds of abuse. All forms of abuse are wrong and will not be tolerated by the Foundation.
What do we mean by abuse?
Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Domestic abuse – any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
It can include so called ‘honour’ based violence; Female Genital Mutilation; forced marriage. (Note that domestic abuse does not include unrelated people sharing the same household).
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; this includes Disability Hate Crime.
Organisational or institutional abuse: this is where abuse occurs as a result of the structure, policies, processes, practices or staff culture within an organisation or individual care setting (as opposed to abuse by individual staff that is contrary to the organisation’s or care settings’ structure, policies, processes, practices or staff culture).
Neglect and 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. Pressure sores (also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers) may also be reportable as abuse if in the opinion of a medical practitioner they are caused by neglect.
Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour such as neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
What to do if you suspect an adult is being abused
If you are concerned that someone is suffering harm, has suffered harm, or is likely to suffer harm from another person, then you have a responsibility to report your concerns immediately in accordance with the following procedure:
It is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (“DSL”) to ensure that these procedures are rigorously adhered to. If the allegation concerns the DSL, the deputy should be informed. In the exceptional circumstances that both are involved, it is the duty of the person concerned to directly contact adult social care.
If a serious event, whether actual or alleged, takes place which involves the Foundation then it is the duty of the Chief Executive to inform the Charity Commission.
If anyone is concerned the Foundation is not managing safeguarding concerns appropriately they can refer directly to the police or their local adult social Care service.
Any staff reporting concerns, or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels will be protected by the Foundation’s Whistleblowing Policy.
The Foundation will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff and volunteers found in breach of this policy.
The Foundation will recruit using appropriate procedures, safeguards and checks. The DSL will be responsible for monitoring this.
All roles will have a written job description. At interview the Foundation has procedures and recording to ensure it is satisfied, and can evidence that the applicant is appropriate for the role.
The Foundation will take up two written references for all paid posts and volunteer roles prior to appointment. Where the role is eligible we will use Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks at the appropriate level to help us to assess suitability.
The Foundation will regularly review our recruitment procedures in response to changes in legislation and systems external to our organisation (e.g. DBS and barring list checks).
The Foundation will renew DBS checks for staff on a regular basis in line with guidance issued by the DBS.
Any positive DBS checks will be subject to a risk assessment made on a case by case basis, in consultation with the DSL.
Masonic Charitable Foundation employees and volunteers with relevant roles and responsibilities will receive training in safeguarding during their induction, and annually as mandatory training thereafter.
We will communicate this policy to all staff, volunteers, service users and their families/carers. For example, by publishing it on our website and referring to it in appropriate communications.
To encourage everyone involved in our organisation to understand that safeguarding is everybody’s business and is our collective responsibility, we will provide training and opportunities for discussions about issues and concerns, review and continue to learn and improve our safeguarding responsibilities.
The Foundation endorses the principle that the welfare of the individual overrides any obligations of confidentiality we may hold to others. If information is shared or discussed it will only be on a “need to know” basis.
DSL details and role
The Foundation’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Claire Smith. The Foundation’s Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSO) are Emma Rider and Steve Warren.
Telephone: 020 3959 2817
(Office hours only. If there is an emergency or an immediate risk of significant harm then contact the police immediately).
The role of the DSL and Deputy DSL is to oversee and ensure that the Foundation’s Safeguarding Adults at Risk policy is fully implemented. The deputy will be available to support or cover for the DSL. They will also handle any complaints or allegations against the DSL if appropriate.
This policy is reviewed by Masonic Charitable Foundation’s Board of Trustees on an annual basis.
Approved by Sir Paul Williams, Chairman
Last reviewed / updated: November 2022
Next review / update due: November 2023