To ensure vulnerable tenants living in jLiving properties and schemes are safeguarded from abuse by effectively integrating policies, strategies and procedures in working practices.
jLiving is committed to preventing abuse and protecting the tenants in our care.
jLiving endorses the key principles of community care which include a commitment to securing peoples’ freedom from neglect, abuse exploitation, harassment and discrimination.
Abuse of vulnerable persons constitutes a clear infringement of their rights and violates this principle. Abuse is never acceptable.
This policy recognises that vulnerable tenants can be subjected to abuse and aims at minimising the possibility of abuse happening.
It is also aimed at raising awareness and understanding of what is expected of jLiving staff by providing guidelines and procedures for preventing and protecting tenants who may be at risk of abuse either by themselves or others, from potential abuse.
Who is a vulnerable person?
Any person aged 18 years or over who is 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 him or herself, or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or exploitation.
What is abuse?
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil right by any other person or persons.
It may constitute a single act or repeated acts that may be physical, verbal or psychological.
It may be an act of neglect or an omission to act or may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to do something that she/he has not consented or cannot consent.
Abuse may result in significant harm to or exploitation of the person subjected to it.
A vulnerable person may be subjected to abuse as a result of deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance. The Department of Health’s ‘No Secrets’ guidance has the following as examples the main forms of abuse:
- Physical abuse.
- Sexual abuse.
- Psychological abuse.
- Financial or material abuse.
- Neglect or acts of omission.
- Discriminatory abuse.
Responding to Abuse
It is staff responsibility to try and prevent abuse of any kind to vulnerable tenants. To safeguard tenants from potential abuse, Scheme Managers are expected to:
- Provide a high standard of professional practice: It is the right and duty of Housing Managers to raise concerns about the treatment and well being of vulnerable tenants. If staff witness, hear of or learn of a potentially abusive situation in relation to a vulnerable tenant he/she must respond to it immediately. It is never someone else’s responsibility!
- Safeguard tenants from abuse, by self or others, through good practice: Staff must be familiar with the ‘signs’ that indicate possible abuse by either the vulnerable tenant themselves or others people (see Appx 1.). Staff should always be vigilant and must always act on their suspicions should they become aware of a potentially abusive situation. Perpetrators of abuse can also be persons placed in positions of authority e.g. staff or other agencies. jLiving recognises this and operates safe recruitment procedures and requires support staff to undergo criminal record checks. In addition, staff are required to attend training sessions so as to develop awareness and skills in preventing abuse. It is expected that staff maintain professional boundaries when relating with tenants, staff are encouraged to ‘whistle-blow’ should they become aware of abusive relationships to safeguard tenants.
- Respond appropriately where abuse does occur: While everything is done to ensure that abuse does not happen, staff should encourage victims/witnesses to report abuse should it occur. This is viewed as a positive opportunity to respond to concerns as well as improve services. As such,
- Tenants must be informed of the incident reporting procedures
- Staff should be familiar with the procedures for responding to and recording abuse.
- Staff should also be familiar with alternative agencies to involve should the internal procedures prove insufficient.
The range of agencies might include, though not limited to, the Police, Benefit Agency, GPs and other health professionals, Probationary services, Legal services, community groups/user-led groups, advice & support organisation.
Other relevant policies
Staff must also familiarise themselves with the wider Association policies and procedural context that seek to prevent and respond to abuse and harm. These would include:
- Equal opportunities.
- Grievances and Complaints.
- Risk assessments.