DLS supports and works with a wide range of people throughout England & Wales and we recognise that some people with whom we are in contact may be at risk of harm. The charity supports the rights of people to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. We aim to provide a safe and trusted environment that safeguards everyone, including beneficiaries, employees and volunteers.
The aim of this policy is to promote an organisational culture that prioritises safeguarding and manages reported incidents or concerns sensitively and properly.
Who does the policy cover?
Given the nature of the services that the charity provides, the most likely individuals that we will come into contact with, in the context of this policy, are ‘Adults at Risk’; however, the policy also covers children.
An ‘adult at risk’ could include: people with a disability/physical impairment, older people, people with learning difficulties/disabilities, people with mental health needs, people with sensory impairments, people who have suffered a head/brain injury, people who misuse drugs and alcohol.
There is no formal definition of children at risk. The Government’s 2018 guidance Working together to Safeguard Children advises that all agencies should take a child-centred approach to working with children; this means keeping the child in focus when making decisions about their lives and working in partnership with them and their families.
Our policy covers anyone with whom DLS comes into contact, they do not need to fall into a specific risk group.
What is abuse?
Abuse could include:
- Self abuse – includes actual or threatened self-harm and threatened suicide or evidence of suicidal thoughts
- Psychological – includes emotional abuse / threats of harm or abandonment / deprivation of contact / humiliation / controlling behaviour / exploiting, corrupting/ cyber bullying / exposure to the ill treatment of someone else.
- Discriminatory – includes forms of harassment/slurs or similar treatment because of race/gender/gender identity/age/disability/sexual orientation or religion.
- Physical – includes assault/ hitting/ slapping/ pushing/ restraint/ inappropriate punishment/ shaking/ burning etc.
- Misuse of medication and/ or physical harm caused when a parent/carer fabricates the symptoms of or deliberately induces illness in a child.
- Financial/material – includes theft/fraud/internet scams/coercion/misuse or misappropriation of property or possessions etc.
- Neglect/acts of omission – persistent ignoring of medical, emotional or physical care needs / failure to provide access to appropriate healthcare / withholding the necessities of life / unsupervised in inappropriate situations.
- Sexual – Includes rape / indecent exposure / sexual harassment / exposure to pornography against the person’s will / other sexual acts without consent etc.
- Organisational – covers neglect and poor practice within an institution or specific care setting or in someone’s own home. Can be through neglect or poor professional practice resulting from policies/culture/systems.
- Self-neglect – covers a wide range of behaviour e.g. neglecting to care for one’s own health/hygiene/surroundings/hoarding etc.
- Modern slavery – covers human trafficking / forced labour / domestic servitude / forcing individuals into a life of abuse or inhumane treatment.
- Domestic violence and abuse –any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional, controlling and coercive) between those aged 16 and over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality. This includes issues such as so-called ‘honour’ killings.
Our approach to safeguarding
Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities are a priority for DLS. We aim to provide a safe, trusted environment for all employees, volunteers and beneficiaries and to respond promptly and appropriately to reports of adults or children who are actually or potentially at risk. We do this by:
- a) Safeguarding the welfare of all our beneficiaries, employees and volunteers, embedding it in everything that we do.
- b) Providing training to all employees, trustees and volunteers to ensure they understand and follow the approach and procedures laid out in this policy.
- c) Having procedures to ensure that concerns of abuse or neglect are dealt with appropriately and that action is taken promptly.
- d) Providing all employees and volunteers with access to a designated lead who will have the details of the appropriate agencies to whom they can report concerns of abuse.
Accountability and Reporting
The Trustee Board holds ultimate accountability for the governance of all safeguarding matters. All employees and volunteers have a responsibility to report concerns relating to abuse or neglect that arise in the course of their work.