Safeguarding Adults Policy Statement
This policy will enable Cognitia to demonstrate its commitment to keeping safe the vulnerable adults with whom it works alongside. Cognitia acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.
It is important to have the policy and procedures in place so that staff, volunteers, service users and management can work to prevent abuse and know what to do in the event of abuse.
The Policy Statement and Procedures have been drawn up in order to enable Cognitia to:
- promote good practice and work in a way that can prevent harm, abuse and coercion occurring
- to ensure that any allegations of abuse or suspicions are dealt with appropriately and the person experiencing abuse is supported
- and to stop that abuse occurring
The Policy and Procedures relate to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults. Vulnerable adults are defined as:
- People aged 18 or over
- Who are receiving or may need community care services because of learning, physical or mental disability, age, or illness
- Who are or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
The policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff and anyone working on behalf of Cognitia
It is acknowledged that significant numbers of vulnerable adults are abused and it is important that Cognitia has a Safeguarding Adults Policy, a set of procedures to follow and puts in place preventative measures to try and reduce those numbers.
In order to implement the policy, the Cognitia will work:
- to promote the freedom and dignity of the person who has or is experiencing abuse
- to promote the rights of all people to live free from abuse and coercion
- to ensure the safety and well being of people who do not have the capacity to decide how they want to respond to abuse that they are experiencing
- to manage services in a way which promotes safety and prevents abuse
- recruit staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- provide effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training
- will ensure that all management, staff, volunteers, service users, and carers/families are familiar with this policy and procedures
- will act within it’s confidentiality policy and will usually gain permission from service users before sharing information about them with another agency
- will pass information to relevant services when more than one person is at risk. For example: if the concern relates to a worker, volunteer or organisation who provides a service to vulnerable adults or children
- will inform service users that where a person is in danger, a child is at risk or a crime has been committed then a decision may be taken to pass information to another agency without the service user’s consent
- will make a referral to RCTCBC Support Services as appropriate
- will endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to preventing abuse and welfare of adults
- will ensure that the Designated Named Person understands his/her responsibility to refer incidents of adult abuse to the relevant statutory agencies (Police/Adult and Services Directorate)
The Designated Named Person for Safeguarding Adults in Cognitia is Nigel Lewis, Managing Consultant.
Cognitia is the training and assessment subsidiary of the Cognitia. The company is an experienced and well-established provider of recruitment services to the civil engineering and built environment sectors both in the UK and overseas. Cognitia & Competence was established to provide classroom and work-based learning (NVQ’s) to existing clients of the company and to support a geographical area in South Wales that has suffered long term unemployment issues during several periods over the last 30 years.
These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of any adult who accesses services provided by Cognitia. The procedures recognise that adult abuse can be a difficult subject for workers to deal with. Cognitia is committed to the belief that the protection of vulnerable adults from harm and abuse is everybody’s responsibility and the aim of these procedures is to ensure that all managers, staff and volunteers act appropriately in response to any concern around adult abuse.
Cognitia is committed to putting in place safeguards and measures to reduce the likelihood of abuse taking place within the services it offers and that all those involved within Cognitia will be treated with respect.
Therefore, this policy needs to be read in conjunction with the following policies:
- Equal Rights and Diversity
- Data Protection
- Recruitment and Selection
Cognitia is committed to safer recruitment policies and practices for paid staff and volunteers. This may include DBS disclosures for staff and volunteers, ensuring references are taken up and adequate training on Safeguarding Adults is provided for staff and volunteers.
The organisation will work within the current legal framework for reporting staff or volunteers that are abusers.
Service users will be encouraged to become involved with the running of the organisation. Information will be available about abuse and the complaints policy and Safeguarding Adults policy statement will be available to service users and their carers/families.
Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse
Cognitia is committed to ensuring that all staff undertake training to gain a basic awareness of signs and symptoms of abuse. Cognitia will ensure that the Designated Named Person and other members of staff have access to training around Safeguarding Adults.
- physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, punching, burning, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint
- sexual abuse: including rape, indecent assault, inappropriate touching, exposure to pornographic material
- psychological or emotional abuse: including belittling, name calling, threats of harm, intimidation, isolation
- financial or material abuse: including stealing, selling assets, fraud, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
- neglect and acts of omission: including withholding the necessities of life such as medication, food or warmth, ignoring medical or physical care needs
- discriminatory abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment
- institutional or organisational: including regimented routines and cultures, unsafe practices, lack of person-centred care or treatment
Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly. Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts.
People who behave abusively come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They may be doctors, nurses, social workers, advocates, staff members, volunteers or others in a position of trust. They may also be relatives, friends, neighbours or people who use the same services as the person experiencing abuse.
Designated Named Person for safeguarding adults
Cognitia has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any Safeguarding Adults concerns. In their absence, a deputy will be available for workers to consult with. The Designated Named Person(s) for Safeguarding Adults within Cognitia is Zoe Phillips.
The roles and responsibilities of the named person are:
- to ensure that all staff including volunteers are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have concerns that a vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or has experienced abuse or neglect
- to ensure that concerns are acted on, clearly recorded and referred to an Adult Social Care Direct team or to the allocated social worker/care manager where necessary
- to follow up any referrals and ensure the issues have been addressed
- consider any recommendations from the Safeguarding Adults process
- to reinforce the utmost need for confidentiality and to ensure that staff and volunteers are adhering to good practice with regard to confidentiality and security. This is because it is around the time that a person starts to challenge abuse that the risks of increasing intensity of abuse are greatest.
- to ensure that staff and volunteers working directly with service users who have experienced abuse, or who are experiencing abuse, are well supported and receive appropriate supervision.
- if appropriate staff or volunteers will be given support and afforded protection if necessary under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998: they will be dealt with in a fair and equitable manner and they will be kept informed of any action that has been taken and its outcome
Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse
Cognitia recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect. It also acknowledges that taking action in cases of adult abuse is never easy.
How to respond if you receive an allegation:
- Reassure the person concerned
- Listen to what they are saying
- Record what you have been told/witnessed as soon as possible
- Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief
- Tell them that the information will be treated seriously
- Don’t start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions
- Don’t promise to keep it a secret
If you witness abuse or abuse has just taken place the priorities will be:
- To call an ambulance if required
- To call the police if a crime has been committed
- To preserve evidence
- To keep yourself, staff, volunteers and service users safe
- To inform the Designated Named Person in your organisation
- To record what happened
All situations of abuse or alleged abuse will be discussed with the Designated Named Person. If a member of management, staff member or volunteer feels unable to raise this concern with the Designated Named Person or their deputy then concerns can be raised directly with Adult Social Care Direct. The alleged victim will be told that this will happen. This stage is called the alert.
If it is appropriate and there is consent from the individual, or there is a good reason to override consent, such as risk to others, a referral (alert) will be made to Adult Social Care Direct team.
If the individual experiencing abuse does not have capacity to consent a referral will be made without that person’s consent, in their best interests.
The Designated Named Person may take advice at the above stage from RCTCBC
If you suspect a crime has occurred contact South Wales Police Telephone 01656 655555
If the situation requires a social care input contact an Adult Protection Coordinator RCTCBC Telephone 01443 425425
To contact social care services outside office hours, contact the Emergency Duty Team
Telephone 01443 425012
The telephone call should be followed up in writing to the Adult Protection Advisor outlining concerns.
A Safeguarding Adults Manager will then decide if the safeguarding process should be instigated or if other support/services are appropriate. Feedback will be given to the person who raised the safeguarding adults alert.
If the Safeguarding Adults Manager decides the safeguarding process needs to be instigated this will then lead to the implementation of the next stages of the RCTCBC Multi-Agency Policy and Procedures.
The Designated Named Person will have an overview of this process so they can explain it to the person concerned and offer all relevant support to the person and process. This could be practical support e.g. providing a venue, or information and reports and emotional support.
Information should be provided to the individual. This could be about other sources of help or information that could enable them to decide what to do about their experience, enable them to recover from their experience and enable them to seek justice.
Managing allegation made against member of staff or volunteer
Cognitia will ensure that any allegations made against members or member of staff will be dealt with swiftly.
Where a member of staff/volunteer is thought to have committed a criminal offence the police will be informed. If a crime has been witnessed the police should be contacted immediately.
The safety of the individual(s) concerned is paramount. A risk assessment must be undertaken immediately to assess the level of risk to all service users posed by the alleged perpetrator. This will include whether it is safe for them to continue in their role or any other role within the service whilst the investigation is undertaken.
The Designated Named Person will liaise with Adult Protection Coordinator to discuss the best course of action and to ensure that the Cognitia disciplinary procedures are coordinated with any other enquiries taking place as part of the ongoing management of the allegation.
Cognitia has a whistle blowing policy and staff are aware of this policy. Staff will be supported to use this policy.
Recording and managing confidential information
Cognitia is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information around Safeguarding Adults issues should be shared only with those who need to know. For further information, please see Cognitia confidentiality policy.
All allegations/concerns should be recorded in Dropbox where safeguarding adult’s concerns will be recorded. The information should be factual and not based on opinions, record what the person tells you, what you have seen and witnesses if appropriate.
The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with data protection.
Disseminating/Reviewing policy and procedures
This Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedure will be clearly communicated to staff, trustees, volunteers, service users, parents and carers. The Designated Named Person will be responsible for ensuring that this is done.
The Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures will be reviewed annually by the Compliance Manager. The Designated Named Person for Safeguarding Adults will be involved in this process and can recommend any changes. The Designated Named Person will also ensure that any changes are clearly communicated to staff, trustees and volunteers. It may be appropriate to involve service users in the review and service users and parents/carers need to be informed of any significant changes.