Safeguarding – Adults at Risk Policy

Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy

(Proposed by John Kellow and approved by Committee on 9th September 2019)

Alton Social Bowling Club is affiliated to Bowls England, it’s National Governing Body and the Club recognises the policies of the Governing Body, as set in out in the “Safeguarding Bowls Guidelines”.

Policy Aims • The purpose of this policy is to outline the duty and responsibility of members working on behalf of the Club in relation to Safeguarding Adults at risk.

• All adults have the right to be safe from harm and must be able to live free from fear of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Objectives • Everyone who participates in bowls is entitled to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment.

• The Club is committed to helping everyone in bowls accept their responsibility to safeguard adults at risk, from harm and abuse. 

• All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

• Members working with adults at risk in bowls have a responsibility to report concerns to the Club Welfare Officer.

Definition of an Adult at Risk • An Adult (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 exploitation’. (Definition from the Department of Health 2002)

• This could include people with learning disabilities, mental health problems, older people and people with a physical disability or impairment. It may also include victims of domestic abuse, hate crime and anti- social behaviour. The persons’ need for additional support to protect themselves may be increased when complicated by additional factors, such as, physical frailty or chronic illness, sensory impairment, challenging behaviour, drug or alcohol problems, social or emotional problems, poverty or homelessness.

Types of Abuse

The Department of Health in its ‘No Secrets’ 2000 report suggests the following as the main types of abuse:

• Physical abuse – including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.

• Sexual abuse – including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.

• Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

• Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

• Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

• Discriminatory abuse – including race, sex, culture, religion, politics, that is based on a person’s disability, age or sexuality and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment, hate crime.

• Institutional abuse – Institutional abuse although not a separate category of abuse in itself, requires specific mention simply to highlight that adults placed in any kind of care home or day care establishment are potentially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. This can be especially so when care standards and practices fall below an acceptable level as detailed in the contract specification.

• Multiple forms of abuse – Multiple forms of abuse may occur in an ongoing relationship or an abusive service setting to one person, or to more than one person at a time, making it important to look beyond single incidents or breaches in standards, to underlying dynamics and patterns of harm. Any or all of these types of abuse may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent and targeting of adults at risk, negligence or ignorance.

Responsibilities and Communication

•  Alton Social Bowling Club’s Safeguarding Policy will be available to all members and participants. It is important that adults at risk are protected from abuse. All complaints, allegations or suspicions must be taken seriously with the Welfare Officer passing information to the appropriate NGB Safeguarding Officer and informing the appropriate club officers where relevant.

• The Club has responsibility for ensuring that the policy and procedures are implemented, including referring any appropriate disciplinary action to the national governing body as appropriate.

The Role of Key Individual Agencies 

• Adult Social Services – The Department of Health’s recent ‘No secrets’ guidance document requires that authorities develop a local framework within which all responsible agencies work together to ensure a coherent policy for the protection of vulnerable adults at risk of abuse. 

All local authorities have a Safeguarding Adults Board, which oversees multi-agency work aimed at protecting and safeguarding vulnerable adults. It is normal practice for the board to comprise of people from partner organisations who have the ability to influence decision making and resource allocation within their organisation.

• The Police – The Police play a vital role in Safeguarding Adults with cases involving alleged criminal acts. It becomes the responsibility of the police to investigate allegations of crime by preserving and gathering evidence. Where a crime is identified, the police will be the lead agency and they will direct investigations in line with legal and other procedural protocols.

Legal Framework • The Government guidance ‘No Secrets’, published in 2000, sets out a code of practice for the protection of adults at risk: The Care Act (2014), which came into force from April 2015, sets out for the first time a legal framework for safeguarding adults. Each Local Authority must have a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) that includes the local authority, NHS and police. SABs must meet regularly, develop shared safeguarding plans and publish an annual review of progress. SABs will carry out Safeguarding Adults Reviews in some circumstances relating to safeguarding failures. The Act also introduces a responsibility for Local Authorities to make enquiries and take any necessary action if an adult with care and support needs could be at risk, even if that adult isn’t receiving local authority care and support.

• Human Rights Act 1998, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

• Data Protection Act 1998, Freedom of Information Act 2000, Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, Code of Practice2008 

• The Mental Capacity Act 2005, covering England and Wales, provides a statutory framework for people who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves, or who have capacity and want to make preparations for a time when they may lack capacity in the future. It sets out who can take decisions, in which situations, and how they must go about this.

Monitoring and Review

• This policy will be reviewed one year after being introduced and then every three years or in response to significant new legislation, by the Committee, and amended as appropriate. Guidance from Bowls England will be sought as part of the review process.

• The policy will be monitored in partnership with the Bowls England and Bowls Development Alliance procedures.

Approved by the Committee on…………………………………………………………………………