This policy applies to the protection of adults at risk, young people and the protection of children.
As a provider of social housing, jLiving has a responsibility to ensure that all of its tenants and leaseholders are kept safe.
There are various ways in which concerns may be raised in relation to tenants and consequently managed by the Association, this may include but is not limited to appropriate health and safety procedures, tenancy management and enforcement procedures and the provision of support to tenants and leaseholders.
This policy is to sit within our overall levels of organisational responsibility and relates specifically to any of jLiving’s tenants or leaseholders who are being abused or neglected by others or who are at risk of abuse or neglect by others.
The Association recognises and positively supports all staff to recognise that safeguarding those at risk of abuse is everybody’s responsibility.
jLiving aims to :
- Raise awareness about the abuse and or neglect of any individual at risk
- Promote an environment and culture that will not tolerate such abuse and positively encourage any individual to raise their concerns to be received in a safe and supportive way
- Prevent abuse and or neglect wherever possible
- Respond appropriately and professionally where abuse or neglect is known to be occurring or suspected; to make the necessary reports and referrals to the relevant authorities; to stop the abuse and or neglect continuing and to ensure that the person harmed or at risk of harm is supported.
jLiving’s policy and procedures are based on 6 key principles :
- Prevention – to take action before harm occurs
- Proportionality – to adopt the least intrusive response appropriate to the presented risk.
- Protection – support and representation for those in the greatest need
- Empowerment – to support and encourage people to make their own decisions with informed consent.
- Partnership – finding local solutions through working with communities who can play a key role in preventing, detecting and reporting abuse and neglect.
- Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
jLiving recognises & will ensure that:
- Effective safeguarding requires a multi-agency approach and depends on joint working. The Association recognises that it is the role of the relevant local authorities to take the active lead in the coordination of safeguarding concern whilst the role of the Association is to alert when concerns become evident and to report any suspected criminal activity to the Police.
- Appropriate information sharing is essential between organisations and jLiving will act in accordance with inter-agency information sharing protocols. jLiving will always where possible seek permission to share information however will not guarantee full confidentiality when the responsibility to safeguard is greater than our responsibility to an individual or where to withhold information may place the individual at greater risk.
- To maintain regular training for staff to recognise the signs of abuse and or neglect
- That abuse may be perpetrated by any person who is in a position of trust with a vulnerable individual.
- jLiving will only recruit and employ staff who are competent and safe to do so. All staff will undergo a DBS check and information will be shared where it becomes known or apparent that an individual is no longer safe or competent to work with vulnerable individuals. jLiving shall make this expectation clear to its contractors that all employees with access to vulnerable individuals are also subject to DBS checks.
- Ensure that all staff are confident and have the skills to respond to concerns or reports of abuse or neglect.
- Ensure that contractors and sub contractors have effective Safeguarding procedures in place – however where not are willing to comply and work in accordance with the policy and procedure of jLiving.
- Clear record keeping is essential in effective safeguarding.
- Any individual raising a concern in good faith will be treated sensitively, fairly and reassured that their concerns will be acted upon.
- Safeguarding is promoted in order that individuals can safeguard themselves. jLiving will not automatically assume that an individual is vulnerable simply due to disability and recognises that they majority of individuals have the capacity to keep themselves safe and make informed choices and decisions.
- The importance of operating a victim centred approach where individuals are treated with dignity, respect and without prejudice. jLiving will also respect the rights of the individual alleged or proved to be causing harm in so far as possible.
- Where a potential tenant or leaseholder is known to be a risk to others that a risk assessment will be undertaken regarding the appropriateness of any property allocation and to agree how any such risks can or may be managed. jLiving will work in partnership with the relevant Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference ( MARAC) or Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) in this respect.
Legal and Regulatory Framework
The following legislation and guidance applies :
Public Interest Disclosure Act – 1998 – the duty to report any matter that leaves an individual at risk.
Mental Capacity Act – 2005 – a framework to empower and protect individuals who may lack the capacity to make informed decisions for themselves.
Protection of Freedoms Act – 2012 – the act establishing the Disclosure and Barring Service by merging the functions of the Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority. Enabling employers to make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable individuals from working with vulnerable individuals.
Data Protection Act – 1998 ( amended) – governing the protection of personal data. Not to act as a barrier to sharing information but to provide a framework to ensure that personal information is shared appropriately.
Human Rights Act – 1998 – the duty placed on public bodies to intervene and act in a proportionate manner to protect the rights of citizens.
The Care Act – 2014 – introducing a legal framework for adult safeguarding and requiring each local authority from April 2015 to :
- Make enquiries or ensure that others do so, if it believes that an adult is subject to or at risk of abuse or neglect. Such an enquiry should establish whether any action needs to be taken to stop or prevent abuse or neglect and if so by whom.
- Establish a Safeguarding Adults Board with membership from the Police, LA and NHS and the power to include other appropriate bodies.
- Arrange where appropriate for an independent advocate to represent and support an adult who is the subject of a Safeguarding Enquiry to Adult Review – where the adult has substantial difficulty in being involved in the process and where there is no other appropriate adult to help them.
- Cooperate with each of its relevant partners in order to protect adults experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect including the provision of preventative services.
Care & Support Statutory Guidance – updated 2016 – instructs how the provisions of the Care Act should be implemented and replaces the document – ‘No Secrets’ – the previous point of reference for adult safeguarding practice. The guidance is clear that organisations such as housing providers should have clear policies and procedures in place for safeguarding.
Working Together to Safeguard Children – updated 2015
Safeguarding Children & Young People from Sexual Exploitation
- Must ensure that clear professional boundaries are maintained at all times
- Be vigilant to events and circumstances around them in the workplace
- Be familiar with this policy
- Participate in regular Safeguarding Training and updates
- Raise any concerns that they may have
- Keep clear and factual records of any incidents or concern.
Senior management team:
- Contribute to and develop a culture that does not tolerate abuse and encourage staff members to raise concerns
- Listen to and support staff who raise concerns
- Ensure that their directly managed staff are aware of this policy
- Must ensure that no unauthorised investigations are conducted.
Specific levels of responsibilityw:
jLiving’s lead member of staff for Safeguarding is the Director of Housing Operations – their role is to :
- Maintain and update the Safeguarding Policy and supporting procedures.
- Promote safeguarding practice across the Association
- Oversee and facilitate training for all staff
- Report any concerns to the relevant Safeguarding Team.
- Monitor all concerns raised – identify any trends or learning practices for the Association – including recommendations for policy changes and changes to service delivery.
- Review individual Safeguarding cases on an annual basis – again to identify any changes to practice, policy or service delivery.
- Ensure that necessary DBS checks are carried out
- Review these as required
- Share information with the DBS should a staff member found to be unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults and or children.
- Ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct.
- Support staff in relation to other policies such as Whistleblowing.
The Head of Housing will be supported by the associations Welfare Officer and the Assessment and Allocations Officer.
Housing Managers & Welfare Officer will:
- Become familiar with the procedures and protocols used by local Safeguarding Teams
- Receive and or identify concerns in relation to the safety and wellbeing of tenants and leaseholders, including concerns of abuse and neglect, raised by other staff, contractors and or other organisations.
- Agree with the Head of Housing the most appropriate course of action to be taken.
- Cooperate with the local authority and other statutory services including the police in any enquiry or investigation.
- Maintain professional and accurate file notes and records.
The Director of Property will ensure:
- That contractors, subcontractors and directly employed maintenance staff are aware of their responsibilities to raise any concerns to the Association.
- All procurement documentation is explicit with the Associations requirements regarding responsibility to report.
The Chief Executive & Board will:
Ensure that the Association and its staff will have regard to Statutory Guidance and in particular, the Care Act and the Regulatory Framework as it relates to Safeguarding.
The violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. It may occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to the person being subjected to it. Abuse can be intentional and non-intentional and may be carried out in a single act or multiple acts.
There are various types of abuse and exploitation is a common theme. Abuse is often a crime – eg. Assault, rape, theft, fraud, domestic abuse, harassment, discrimination, ASB, hate crime, wilful neglect or mistreatment.
Protecting an adults right to live safely, free from abuse and neglect. Its purpose is to ensure that organisations work together to prevent and help to stop the risks and experience of abuse and or neglect whilst having regard to the views, wishes, feelings and beliefs of individuals. Workaround the area of Adult Safeguarding does however recognise that adults sometimes have complex relationships and may at times be unclear, ambivalent and or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.
Adults at risk
Any person over the age of 18 and apply as follows :
- Has care and support needs regardless of whether those needs are being met by the local authority.
- Is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect and
- As a result of those needs is unable to protect him or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.
The Care Act 2014 also recognises that informal carers are also people who need support and the Safeguarding Framework also applies to them.
An adult at risk may be someone who :
- Has a physical disability and or sensory impairment
- Has a learning disability
- Has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
- Is dependent on others to maintain their quality of life
- Has a long term illness or condition
- Lacks the mental capacity to make particular decisions and is in need of care and support
Types of abuse
All authorities and organisations are encouraged to not limit their view of what defines abuse or neglect and to consider each case on an individual basis – the following applies but is not exhaustive :
- Modern slavery – human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude
- Domestic abuse – controlling coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those who are 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. This includes so called honour based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage
- Discriminatory abuse
- Institutional or organisational abuse
- Neglect and acts of omission
- Self-neglect – neglecting to care for one’s personal health hygiene or personal surroundings, including behaviour such as hoarding. Whether a response is required depends on the adult’s ability to protect themselves by controlling their own behaviour.
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis and in accordance with legal and or regulatory changes should this be more frequent.