Safeguarding Policy for Vulnerable Adults

THE CHURCH OF ST CUTHBERT, NORTH MEOLS

SAFEGUARDING POLICY FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS

(updated July 2018)

 We at St Cuthbert's Church commit ourselves to providing a safe and supportive environment for all Vulnerable Adults within our Church.

 We adhere to the policy details outlined in the Diocese of Liverpool’s “Safeguarding Policy for Vulnerable Adults” which was adopted by the PCC in May 2010.

 Vulnerable Adults can be defined as those people who:

-          are very frail

-          are older people

-          have a mental illness including dementia

-          have a physical or sensory disability

-          have a learning disability

-          have a serious illness

 We at St Cuthbert’s intend to protect all Vulnerable Adults from any form of abuse.

 What we mean by “abuse”

Abuse is any behaviour towards a person that deliberately, or unknowingly, causes him or her harm, endangers their life, or violates their rights.

Abuse may be physical, sexual, psychological, financial or may arise through neglect.

Abuse may be perpetrated by an individual, a group or an organisation.

Abuse concerns the misuse of power, control and/or authority and can manifest itself as:

-          domestic violence, sexual assault or sexual harassment

-          racially or religiously motivated assaults

-          discrimination and oppression

-          institutional abuse

 Any act of abuse, whether a single act or repeated, is a violation of the individual human and their civil rights.

  Guidelines for Parishes and Clergy when working with Vulnerable Adults

 All volunteers who are official Church volunteers are to carry identification for their role and official records of their function are to be kept in the parish.

 Where people are visiting residential homes etc. these homes should be given a basic copy of Diocesan policy and notification of visits.

 Where people visit vulnerable people on their own, volunteers should keep a detailed record of the visit.

 The following is a list of people who are likely to need registration under the policy:

-          those who visit residential homes for the elderly

-          those who take Communion to the sick in their home, institution or hospital

-          those who undertake pastoral visiting in the parish

-          general community groups (a clause should be added to the “Hire of Hall” agreements to include vulnerable adults)

 

The Vulnerable Adult Protection Procedure identifies three distinct roles in the protection of Vulnerable Adults.  This comes from the Government’s paper on Vulnerable Adults “Safe From Harm”:

-          Alerters

-          Investigators

-          Managers

We, as lay people of St Cuthbert’s Church, are only obliged to be Alerters.  We are not Investigators or Managers.

 

If anyone has a concern regarding the welfare of a Vulnerable Adult please contact the Safeguarding Officer, Janet Christian – 01704 226026

or the DBS Verifier, Chris Sweeney – 01704 227587

or the Rector

 

 What to do if someone discloses abuse to you

 -          stay calm and try not to show shock

-          listen carefully rather than question directly

-          be sympathetic

-          be aware of the possibility that medical evidence might be needed

 Tell the person that:

-          they did right to tell you

-          you are treating this information seriously

-          it was not their fault

 Do not:

-          press the person for more details

-          stop someone who is freely recalling significant events as they may not tell you again

-          promise to keep secrets. Explain that the information will be kept confidential, ie. information will only be passed to those people who have a “need to know”

-          make promises that you cannot keep (such as “This will not happen again”)

-          contact the alleged abuser

-          be judgemental (eg. “Why didn’t you run away?”)

-          pass on information to anyone who doesn’t have a “need to know” ie. do not gossip

 Recording

At the first opportunity make a note of the disclosure and date and time and sign your record.

You should aim to:

-          note what the person actually said, using their own words and phrases

-          describe the circumstances in which the disclosure came about

-          note the setting and anyone else who was there at the time

-          separate out factual information from your own opinions

-          use a pen or biro with black ink, so that the report can be photocopied

-          be aware that your report may be required later as part of a legal action or disciplinary procedure