Aim of Policy
The aim of this policy is to ensure the safety of vulnerable adults by outlining clear procedures and ensuring that all CLA Executive Committee members and staff are clear about their responsibilities.
Vulnerable adults are people who are over 18 years of age who may be unable to protect themselves from abuse or exploitation by other people.
Such abuse or exploitation can include (although it is not limited to): physical, financial, material, sexual, psychological, emotional abuse and neglect. It can also include unjustified discrimination. Abuse can take place in any setting, public or private, and can be perpetrated by anyone.
CLA Executive Committee members and staff have a duty to report any suspected abuse or exploitation of vulnerable adults. Any CLA member of staff or Executive Committee member discovering an allegation or suspicion of abuse should report it to the CLA member responsible for adult protection. The CLA member responsible for adult protection is Jim Goddard. Where the member responsible for adult protection is the person about whom an allegation is being made, then a report should be made to the Chair.
The member responsible for adult protection will then make a written record of the allegation or suspicion of abuse and report it to the Chair in the first instance. The following action should then be taken:
- The CLA Executive Member responsible should have a discussion with the CLA member, staff member or Executive Committee member, against whom the allegation has been made. This should be followed up by a written record of what took place during this discussion. The CLA Executive Member responsible should also make arrangements for interviewing the suspected victim. This should be done with another CLA Executive member and a supporter for the alleged victim present.
- The purpose of the initial contact is not to investigate but to establish whether there are grounds for the allegation.
- If further investigation is needed, this will be conducted by the CLA member responsible
If the results of the investigation are disputed, an outside/independent body will be sought to review the case. (The independent body is yet to be established, as of 3 October 2009. This will be addressed in January 2010).
The Care Leavers’ Association recognises the right to privacy of the individual as a basic human right. We accept that personal details about an individual belong to that individual. Accordingly, we undertake to respect the confidentiality of certain information. Confidentiality is based upon a reasoned concern for protecting the interests of the person to whose personal information the Care Leavers’ Association has access. Working to confidentiality guidelines means that information may be disclosed only with consent and when necessary, and that discussion and consultation remains within these boundaries. Working in this way protects both the integrity of the Care Leavers’ Association itself, and that of individual staff, volunteers and members.
If a CLA member has been told about the allegation of abuse in confidence, they should attempt to gain the consent of the person to make a referral to another agency if appropriate. However, the gaining of consent is not essential in order for information to be passed on in these circumstances. Consideration needs to be given to:
- The scale of the abuse
- The risk of harm to others
The capacity of the individual to understand the issues of abuse and consent
Support to CLA volunteers and staff
The volunteers and staff reporting incidents of suspected or potential abuse may find that the victim and/or the other responsible adult concerned are upset or angry. The designated Executive Member (Jim Goddard) with responsibility for this work will support you. Other support may take the form of support provided by an outside body if requested.
Volunteers and staff themselves may also be the subject of an allegation of abuse. While support will be offered, we will provide all necessary assistance in pursing any investigation.
All members of staff have a responsibility to be aware of this policy and to report any suspicions that they might have concerning adult abuse.
Updated 19 October 2009