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FBCL – SAFEGUARDING ADULTS POLICY
1.1 All adults have the right to live free from abuse and degrading treatment, but some people have that right compromised.
1.2 All employees and volunteers have a responsibility to act promptly when abuse is suspected.
1.3 Employees and volunteers will record in writing inappropriate behaviour and report all behaviour, allegations and/or suspicions of abuse to the nominated safeguarding adviser.
1.4 This policy sets out Friern Barnet Community Library’s commitment to safeguarding and shows what it will do to keep people safe and to promote their welfare.
1.5 This policy provides clear procedures to enable employees and volunteers to share in confidence any concerns they may have, and to take appropriate action.
1.6 Procedures will pay particular attention to identifying any persons applying for paid or unpaid work in order to gain access to vulnerable people for the purpose of abuse.
2. Adults in need of safeguarding.
2.1 The priority action for employees and volunteers remains the need to identify suspicions of abuse and to take prompt action to deal with it.
2.2 Processes and procedures will be put in place to minimise the likelihood and opportunity for abuse.
2.3 Friern Barnet Community Library will co-operate fully with investigations undertaken by partner agencies and Barnet Adult Health and Social Care.
- Policy commitments
3.1 To ensure that Friern Barnet Community Library can work effectively to safeguard adults, the following measures have been put in place:
- Clear roles and responsibilities for employees and volunteers so that they know what to do to keep people safe and promote the welfare of people involved in their activities.
- A clear recruitment procedure and checking system
- Procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of employees and volunteers and for identifying and responding to suspicions, disclosures or allegations of abuse, which include inter-agency working
- Access to training for employees and volunteers
3.2 Friern Barnet Community Library has a Nominated Safeguarding Adviser who is responsible for safeguarding issues relating to children and adults in need of safeguarding. At present the Chair of the Trustees takes on this role.
4. Adults in need of safeguarding definitions
An adult in need of safeguarding is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves, or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. This may be because they have a mental health problem, a disability, a sensory impairment, have a life limiting illness, have HIV or AIDS, misuse substances or alcohol, are old and frail, or have some form of illness.
Mental Capacity refers to a person’s ability to make decisions for themselves about their own life. Some people have difficulties in making such decisions. This is called ‘lacking capacity’.
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) there are now laws governing who can make decisions on someone else’s behalf, which help to safeguard people.
Abuse is a violation of a person’s human rights or dignity by someone else. Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. There are many kinds of abuse; some are listed below:
Including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, restraint or inappropriate sanctions.
Including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
Verbal and psychological
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
Including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Neglect or acts of omission
Including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health care, social care, education services or misuse of medication, adequate nutrition or heating.
Including racist, sexist behaviour and harassment based on a person’s ethnicity, race, culture, sexual orientation, age or disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
This can sometimes happen in residential homes, nursing homes or hospitals when people are mistreated because of poor or inadequate care, neglect and poor practice that affects the whole of that service.
Any of these forms of abuse can be either deliberate or be the result of ignorance, or lack of training, knowledge or understanding. Often if a person is being abused in one way they are also being abused in other ways.
The person who is responsible for the abuse is often well known to the person abused and could be – relatives and family members; professional staff; paid care workers; volunteers; other service users; neighbours, friends and associates, and strangers
- Nominated Safeguarding Advisor
5.1 The Nominated Safeguarding Adviser is knowledgeable about safeguarding, will undertake regular training and keep up to date with new developments. They will ensure the Safeguarding Adults policy is kept up to date, is reviewed regularly and amendments proposed to the FBCL trustees for approval. They will prompt training and information sharing for employees and volunteers in the organisation.
5.2 The Nominated Safeguarding Adviser will liaise with Barnet Council Social Services staff regarding any concerns and ensure that correct information is shared with the Social Services Duty Team at the point of referral. They will ensure that the referral is confirmed in writing within 1 working day.
5.3 In the absence of the Nominated Safeguarding Advisor, a nominated person should be appointed, and all employees and volunteers advised accordingly.
6.1 Some of the signs of abuse to look for are – multiple bruising or finger-marks; injuries the person cannot give a good reason for; deterioration of health for no apparent reason; loss of weight; inappropriate or inadequate clothing; withdrawal or mood changes; a carer who is unwilling to allow access to the person; an individual who is unwilling to be alone with a particular carer; unexplained shortage of money.
In the event of any allegation, disclosure or suspicion of abuse, the following procedures will apply.
6.2 Any employee or volunteer who has concerns that are due to an allegation or suspicion about a person’s safety should inform their line manager immediately. They should not approach the person or the family. If someone discloses they are being abused, employees or volunteers should take the following steps:
- Listen to the person in whichever way they choose to communicate – e.g. drawings, behaviour, emotional responses.
- Tell them that what they are saying or expressing is being taken seriously.
- Reassure the person that they are right to talk to someone and that appropriate help will be sought. Do not promise them full confidentiality.
- Do not attempt to interview the person, although it may be necessary in some cases to clarify what they are saying.
- Record in writing what was said and done, what will happen next and what the individual has been told.
6.3 The employee or volunteer should discuss their concerns as soon as possible with their line manager. They should make a written note of their concerns and indicate any evidence to support the concern. This note should be signed and dated. It is also important that staff take into account their feelings about the situation, acknowledge and discuss them with their line manager.
6.4 Nominated Safeguarding Adviser should contact Barnet Social Services to notify them about the concerns and agree a response. They should take into account any known risk to the person. A written referral will be made to Barnet Social Services within 24 hours. The FBCL trustees should also be advised of the action taken.
6.5 Friern Barnet Community Library will take part, as appropriate, in any investigation planned through a Social Services convened Strategy Meeting and will co-operate with the police and Social Services in the course of their enquiries. Social Services have a duty to investigate suspected and actual cases of abuse where there is a likelihood of significant harm.
The interests of the adult in need of safeguarding are paramount. Confidentiality is vital and is a right (Data Protection Act 1984; 1998). Information is shared on a need-to-know basis.
6.6 If an allegation of abuse is made against an employee or volunteer within Friern Barnet Community Library, the Disciplinary Procedures will be invoked immediately and followed in an appropriate way. This will usually mean that the individual will cease to work on FBCL activities for a fixed period of time whilst the situation is investigated by an independent person appointed by the trustees.
6.7 Carers who are dissatisfied with Friern Barnet Community Library’ actions can make use of the organisation’s Complaints Policy.
6.8 All employees and volunteers will have pre-employment references taken up and a DBS check. FBCL commits to complying with the requirements of the Disclosure and Barring Service.
- Code of Conduct
The following Code of Conduct applies to employees and volunteers:
- People must be listened to and treated with respect at all times.
- Relevant Risk Assessments should be undertaken according to FBCL policies
- Staff must observe Guidelines on confidentiality
- Staff must share any concerns with their line manager at the earliest opportunity
- Staff must attend relevant training courses
- Staff must be aware of their role and responsibilities under these Guidelines
- Important contact details
Should the victim want to contact someone immediately, or a member of library staff wishes to seek advice, the relevant Barnet social service teams during normal office hours are:
- Social Care Direct
(for people over 65 years and people with a physical and sensory impairment)
Tel: 020 8359 5000
- Learning Disabilities (for people over 18 with a learning disability)
Tel: 020 8492 5422
- For people with a mental health problem (over 18)
Primary Care Mental Health Team (part of the Mental Health Trust)
Tel: 0845 389 2989
If the person does not want to disclose information, or doesn’t know the client’s impairment or disability, please refer to Social Care Direct – 020 8359 5000
If the line is busy try the emergency number 020 8359 2331. Please only use this number in urgent cases.
- Examples of Situations that may Arise in Libraries
These examples are not exhaustive but provide an indication of situations that may occur and how you might deal with them. If in doubt always seek advice from a line manager or the Social Service contacts above.
One of the commonest situations that arise is the ‘confused’ individual, usually elderly and probably suffering from some form of dementia, who sees the library as a safe haven. Often they have forgotten keys, forgotten where they live etc. These situations are often resolved by gentle probing which has elicited a contact/family member who has been able to take the person home. If this resolution is not possible, contact Social Services, who may be aware of the individual, for advice which may include contacting the police. Ensure that two members of staff remain with the individual and persuade them to stay until they can be left with someone who can be responsible for them. If possible, DON’T let them leave the building on their own or in the company of ‘helpful’ members of the public.
Occasionally individuals such as those above become overly dependent on library staff, when it may be more appropriate to direct them to Social Services who would be able to provide more holistic support. It may even be appropriate to arrange for a representative from Social Services to meet them in the library.
Inappropriate behaviour may be an indicator of mental health issues. In the first instance the individual should be advised that their behaviour contravenes the Library’ Unacceptable Behaviour Policy. If the behaviour persists on a regular basis, contact Social Service for further advice. If there is a risk to the health and safety of the staff, the public and the individual themselves, call the police.
Homeless individuals have used the library and its confines for shelter. Assistance for these individuals is available at the Homeless Action for Barnet at 36b Woodhouse Road, London, N12 0RG (tel. 0208 446 8400). For more information see http://www.habcentre.org/
Abused spouse have sought information in libraries. They should be referred to the national 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (Language Line available for non-English speaking callers), or call 999 in an emergency.
Vulnerable adults may be the victims of crimes such as bag thefts in libraries. The theft should be reported to the Police or PCSO by the individual, but staff should try to ensure the person is supported and if necessary report the incident on their behalf.
DO NOT let a vulnerable person leave the library without support, help, advice and, when appropriate, in the care of a responsible person, even if they are not a Barnet resident. DO make sure you inform your line manger and fill in an incident form.