Date Approved by Trustees October 2018
Date of next review October 2019
Person responsible Jo-anne King
Whistle Blowing Policy
Approved by Board of Directors
Name: (insert Electronic Signature) William Taylor
Green Tracks Enterprise is a small Market Garden providing horticulture training and work experience for people with additional needs.
Green Tracks Enterprise aims to create a safeguarding culture and environment where opportunities for abuse, neglect or exploitation to occur are minimised, and within this a culture where adults at risk and everyone working at Green Tracks Enterprise have the confidence to voice any concerns or fears they may have about abuse, neglect or exploitation and where they feel able to disclose allegations of harm or abuse.
Green Tracks Enterprise recognises a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all adults at risk involved in Green Tracks Enterprise’s activities.
The protection of these groups is a priority. Safeguarding is the duty of all staff and service users.
The Policy aims to describe the actions that must be taken when abuse, neglect or exploitation is suspected or disclosed.
Furthermore this policy aims to meet legislative and Audit requirements
The policy and procedures aim to integrate strategies relevant to issues of adult protection / abuse contained in current legislation.
Safeguarding adults is underpinned by:
Types of abuse suffered by adults identified in the Care Act 2014 are:
Other types of harm that adults may experience include:
Green Tracks Enterprise believes in and fosters the following principles in relation to the protection of adults at risk:
We also embrace the principles stated by the Department of Health (DoH) with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), May 2011.
These principles refer to the interventions for work with adults at risk and are not a statutory duty but reflect good practice and are compatible with health and social care law. The DoH principles underpinning safeguarding adults are:
In respect of safeguarding individuals from radicalisation, Greentracks works to the Prevent element of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy, and where deemed appropriate seeks external advice for referrals to the Channel Programme. This programme aims to work with the individual to address their specific vulnerabilities, prevent them becoming further radicalised and possibly entering the criminal justice system because of their actions. It is recognised that radicalisation can occur to an individual from any section of society and is not particular to any racial, ethnic or social group. It is further recognised that in many instances the process of radicalisation is essentially one of grooming by others.
Possible signs of radicalisation include:
Roles and responsibilities
Green Tracks Enterprise Safeguarding Officer
The Safeguarding Officer
Is responsible for the overall coordination and management of all Safeguarding issues at Green Tracks Enterprise, which includes reporting, assessment, investigation and following up of incidents.
The Safeguarding Officer upon receiving an incident report of an allegation or suspicion of abuse or concerns will:
Procedure for the Safeguarding Officer if an allegation involves a member of staff working with service users
The Safeguarding Officer will:
The board of directors has the overall legal and governance responsibilities for all activities at Green Tracks Enterprise. A named Director is responsible for overseeing safeguarding activities, reviewing incidents and for liaising regularly with the Safeguarding Officer.
The governing body will ensure that Green Tracks Enterprise will safeguard and promote the welfare of service users and work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements are in place to identify, assess and support those service users who are suffering harm.
All relevant policies will be reviewed annually by the governing body. The governing body will not receive details of individual service users’ situations or identifying features of families as part of their oversight responsibility (unless the service user concerned is an adult, has the capacity to decide on the issue of information sharing and wishes to disclose such detail)
Have the responsibility to alert the Safeguarding Officer immediately if they have any concerns regarding the safety of an adult at risk.
The early involvement of the police may have benefits, in particular:
Response to referrals (Local Authority)
The person who alerts one of the agencies to concerns about actual or suspected abuse should have their referral acknowledged, preferably in writing, with a summary of the action likely to be taken.
The adult at risk should be central to the whole process and be aware of, and participating in, any action taken or planned (as appropriate, particularly when this involves a child)
The person alleged responsible will need to be informed of the allegation and how this is done will be guided by the strategy meeting. For example, the Police will want to manage this if there is a criminal investigation.
Alerters can be any of the responsible people mentioned above as well as health workers, social workers, college staff, or any member of the public. The Alerter must use the procedures described below.
In the event of an Incident or Accident
Guidance on identifying an incident
It may not be clear sometimes if an incident should be reported. For example, if a service user had an argument or nearly hit someone but nobody was hurt, offended or injured. In these circumstances, it is always best to report and discuss the situation either with one of Green Tracks Enterprise Safeguarding Team. If the issue is not considered an incident, then it will be quite clear after discussion that this is the case. Always check. Always report.
All allegations and suspicions of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
The need to protect an adult at risk is paramount. It is therefore the responsibility of all staff to report any safeguarding concerns they may have and not to decide whether a concern constitutes abuse or not without seeking advice of the Safeguarding Officer. Even if a member of staff thinks or believes that an allegation or disclosure may be untrue, it is still their duty to report it.
It is not the job of staff to investigate any safeguarding concerns they may have.
The following procedure must be followed by all staff or volunteers when:
Recording must be done as soon as possible and during the disclosure if appropriate, including:
Responding to a Disclosure
The abused person may not understand they are being abused and so not realise the significance of what they are telling you. Some disclosures may happen many years after the abuse. There may be good reasons for this, the alleged abuser may no longer be working with them, and the abused person may feel threatened. When someone discloses to you remember you are not investigating
Procedure in the case of witnessing abuse and/or assault
Procedure where a member of staff or volunteer has concerns of abuse and/or neglect
Informing families of service users
Green Tracks Enterprise aims to work with parents/carers in safeguarding matters as appropriate.
Informing external agencies
Green Tracks Enterprise will inform the Local authority in accordance with local Multi –Agency Safeguarding policies and procedures within 24 hours, in the event of a possible, alleged or suspected abuse or serious cause for concern.
When an incident of abuse has been perpetrated (or allegedly perpetrated) against an adult at risk who lacks capacity with regard to the specific issue, the Local Authority may appoint an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) under s 35 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The IMCA is usually appointed at the time of creating a safeguarding plan for the adult at risk and their role is to ascertain the individual’s wishes and preferences; to give support, and to explore alternative options with the person.
False Allegations of Abuse
People can sometimes make false allegations of abuse.
Formal risk assessments should be written for people who are known to have told falsehoods in the past about being victims. All allegations of abuse must be heard and investigated but some allegations can be conducted more softly because of the record of previous falsehoods. The involvement of the police is generally helpful.
After an investigation has concluded that there is no evidence to support an allegation, the person accused should be given a written exoneration and acknowledgement of the stress involved in the investigation.
Suspension of a member of staff (employed or voluntary)
Green Tracks Enterprise recognises that when an allegation is made against an adult working with service users it can be a difficult and distressing experience for the adult concerned and others who are involved in reporting or managing the allegation, accordingly Green Tracks Enterprise will seek to support all such staff through the appropriate supervisors and other relevant colleagues.
When a member of staff or volunteer is suspended following a safeguarding allegation against them, it is important to remember that suspension is a neutral and not a disciplinary act. No presumption of guilt can or should be made.
Following the suspension of a member of staff or volunteer, neither the suspension nor the issues precipitating it should be discussed with others.
Where a member of staff or volunteer is returning to work following an investigation, specific measures will be put in place to support them.
Who is an adult at risk?
Care Act 2014 defines an adult at risk as a person aged 18 or over who ‘...is or may be 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 or herself against significant harm or serious exploitation’ (Who Decides: Lord Chancellor’s Department 1997)
An adult at risk is a person who is unable, or less able, to protect themselves from harm, neglect or abuse that arises as a result of the action or inaction of others.
‘Safeguarding Adults’ (ADSS October 2005) proposes we need to ensure protection procedures are inclusive and enable any adult or child to receive an appropriate response. Safeguarding vulnerable adults is everyone’s business, raising a concern about abuse involves:
In addition “safeguarding adults at risk” emphasizes the public duty of all agencies to protect the human rights of all citizens in terms of helping people access mainstream services such as the police. It also emphasizes that safeguarding work is the responsibility of all agencies and must be effectively linked to other measures such as those for domestic violence which are overseen by the Community Safety Partnership.
The term “community care services” includes all social and health care services provided in any setting or context. The term “harm” should be taken to include not only ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment that are not physical), but also the impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health. It should also be taken to include the impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.
The impact of harm upon a person will be individual and depend upon each person’s circumstances and the severity, degree and impact or effect of this upon that person.
The following would indicate that the effect of harm for the person is likely to be significant:
The person has little or no choice or control over vital aspects of their life, environment or financial affairs.
What is Abuse?
Abuse is: ”A violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person or persons”
Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological. It may be an act of neglect or omission to act or it may occur when an adult at risk is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she had not consented or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of the person subjected to it. It is the person’s experience of an incident not the intent of the alleged abuser which is the basis for reporting.
Who can be an Abuser?
Children or adults at risk may be abused by a wide range of people including relatives and family members, professional staff, co-workers, volunteers, paid workers, other vulnerable adults, neighbours, friends and strangers. There is often a particular concern when abuse is perpetrated by someone in a position of power or authority who uses his or her position to the detriment of a child or adult at risk. This is particularly relevant to people lacking mental capacity.
In what circumstances can abuse occur
Abuse can take place in any context.
The seriousness or extent of abuse is often not clear when anxiety is first expressed. It is important, therefore, when considering the appropriateness of intervention, to approach reports of incidents or allegations with an open mind. In assessing seriousness, the following factors need to be considered:
Remember: concerns, no matter how minor, should be reported to the Safeguarding Officer as this may lead to identifying patterns of behaviour that could lead to more serious incidents or alerts.
Restraint: Unlawful or inappropriate use of restraint or physical interventions and/or deprivation of liberty are physical abuse.
Types of Abuse and Signs and Signals of Abuse
It is important to be aware and alert to signals, non-verbal communication, or change of behaviour as this could indicate poor practice that may be being hidden or denied. Sexual and psychological signs and signals can be very similar due to the emotional impact and degree of manipulation that may be carried out in ‘grooming’ a victim.
Types of abuse and Prevent Strategy is described in Safeguarding Training
We are not investigators, only those identified to do so as a result of a multi-agency Strategy Meeting or Safeguarding Adults Case Conference meeting should undertake investigations. The investigation is undertaken by Investigating Officer/s from appropriate statutory assessment services.
Green Tracks Enterprise may be invited to co-operate with any investigation. This may include:
Preserving or Protecting Evidence
Note: In traumatic situations, it may not be possible to follow this guidance exactly.
Do the best you can
Your first responsibility is the safety and welfare of the abused person, but immediate action may be necessary to preserve or protect evidence.
Your action may be vital in any future proceedings and the success or failure of any investigation may depend upon what you do or not do in the time whilst you are waiting for the Police to arrive.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
Adult at risk enquiries, investigations and conferences can only be successful if professional staff share and exchange all relevant information. That information must be treated as confidential at all times and staff will be bound by the ethical and statutory codes that cover confidentiality and data protection.
Disclosure of confidential personal information without the consent of the person providing it may take place under circumstances, which must be capable of justification. Problems around the disclosure of information can be avoided if the consent of the individual is obtained, preferably in writing, so long as they have mental capacity to consent.
Disclosure may be necessary in the public interest where a failure to disclose information may expose more harm than exposing information would.
All those providing information should take care to distinguish between fact, observation, allegation and opinion. It is important that, should any information exchange be challenged in respect of a breach of confidentiality or, for example, as a breach of the Human Rights Act, the information can be supported by evidence.
Concerns may arise within an agency as information comes to light about a person with whom the service is already in contact. Whilst professionals should seek in general to discuss any concerns with the individual and their carers and seek agreement to share the knowledge with other relevant agencies, this should not be done where such discussion and agreement-seeking will jeopardise the safety of the individual.
Information must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which it is held and must be held no longer than is necessary for that purpose.
Each agency is responsible for maintaining their own records on work with vulnerable adult protection cases. The agency should have a policy stating the purpose and format for keeping the records and for their destruction.
Incident reports and any other documentation relating to an incident or a situation of abuse must be filed safely in a locked cabinet only to be seen by members of staff who are responsible for the welfare of the service user involved.
What to do if you have a concern about a Service User