FA-5
Fruitful Abundance Community Interest Company (CIC)

Safeguarding Policy

Fruitful Abundance: Working with Vulnerable Adults & Young People

  1. Volunteers and employees must deliver services in such a way that customers of these services feel valued and safe from abuse, bullying and intimidation. This policy applies to all volunteers, employees, directors and any other individuals directly working on behalf of the CIC.
  2. In implementing this policy, the organisation will:
  • Follow safer recruitment practice, with all necessary checks are carried out.
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers understand their responsibility to work to the standards that are outlined in the Safeguarding Policy.
  • Ensure that any concerns that arise about a child or young person, or an employee or volunteers’ conduct towards a child or young person are reported to the relevant agency such as the Police.
  • Provide training and development opportunities for all staff and volunteers to enhance their skills and knowledge in relation to the welfare and protection of children and young people.
  • Provide effective management for all staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training if appropriate.
  • Listen to and respect the views of children and young people.
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and have access to all safeguarding guidelines and procedures.
  • Review the policy and procedures regularly.

Definitions of Abuse follow the four definitions provided by the Government as defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013).

  1. The policy and procedure in place for safeguarding children and young people, offers all staff and volunteers support and encourages information sharing.
  2. Should an employee or volunteer have concerns regarding a child or young person they should immediately discuss the concern with the Safeguarding Children Lead and record the concern in writing.
  3. The Safeguarding Children Lead will offer advice on the relevant child protection agencies and authorities.
  4. The named Safeguarding Children Lead for Fruitful Abundance CIC is Sara Jones.
  5. All volunteers and employees have a responsibility to act where they suspect abuse may be taking place, or an allegation of abuse has been made. Doing nothing is not an option. The procedure for safeguarding children and young people must be followed in accordance with the Safeguarding Policy.
  6. If a concern emerges which is clearly urgent, if their services are required you must contact the emergency services (999) immediately. If the concern is ongoing, non-urgent and no emergency is presented, emergency services need not be contacted.
  7. Within the limits of your relationship with the alleged victim, their mental capacity, and the complexities of the situation, discuss your concerns with the alleged victim and the options available to them and seek their consent for steps you believe to be necessary. Explain that you will need to discuss your concerns with the designated coordinator within your organisation.
  8. The safeguarding concern should be escalated to the Board of Directors who will designate an individual, usually a director, to respond to the concern.
  9. You should write a report as quickly as possible after talking to the designated coordinator while the information is still fresh in your mind. This report should cover the what, where, when, why and any wishes of the client. If noting what a client has expressed to you, use their exact words whenever possible. Your report should be passed onto the designated individual responsible for responding to the concern as quickly as possible.
  10. If the alleged abuser is a volunteer or any other person associated with the Company, then they should not be informed that an allegation has been made until the police have been advised of the situation and confirmed their course of action. The police will advise the Board of Directors of the obligations of the Company. During this conversation, the police will be informed that the alleged perpetrator will be suspended from duty immediately following the telephone call.
  11. Where the alleged abuser is not associated with the company, steps must be taken to ensure the immediate safety of the child or young person and all other children or young people felt to be at risk.
  12. Volunteers and employees must ensure that anything relating to the suspicion or allegation should not be touched or altered in any way. The child or young people should be advised and encouraged not to wash. The police should be advised immediately if the child or young person wishes to do so.
  13. Volunteers and employees are reminded that, after reporting the concern to the appropriate person or the Board of Directors, they must not discuss the matter with any other volunteer or employee within the company, as this could jeopardise any investigation. Any breach of confidentiality, in accordance with the Confidentiality Policy, is a disciplinary offence, in accordance with the Disciplinary and Grievance Policy. Volunteers are reminded that press enquiries should be referred to the Board of Directors.
  14. Following any proven investigation of allegation of abuse or suspected abuse against a volunteer, they will be subject to the formal disciplinary procedure, in accordance with the Disciplinary and Grievance Policy.
  15. At all stages of this procedure accurate reports must be recorded (including dates and times) of telephone conversations, meetings attended, action taken and outcomes, and any other relevant information.
  16. At the conclusion of all investigations a meeting will be held between the person under investigation and the Board of Directors, to formally notify closure of the investigation, to consider lessons learned for the future, and to allow everyone the opportunity to discuss feelings if this is appropriate.

Safeguarding of vulnerable adults

Fruitful Abundance, referred to as “the Company” aims to support volunteers and employees to deliver services in such a way that customers of these services feel valued and safe from abuse, bullying and intimidation.

This policy applies to all volunteers, employees, Co-Directors and any other individuals directly working on behalf of the Company.
In implementing this policy, the Company will:

  • Follow safer recruitment practices, ensuring all necessary checks are carried out
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers understand their responsibility to work to the standards that are outlined in the Safeguarding Policy.
  • Ensure that any concerns that arise about a vulnerable adult, or an employee or volunteers’ conduct towards a vulnerable adult are reported to the relevant agency such as the Police.
  • Provide training and development opportunities for all staff and volunteers to enhance their skills and knowledge in relation to the welfare and protection of vulnerable adults.
  • Provide effective management for all staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training if appropriate.
  • Listen to and respect the views of vulnerable adults.
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and have access to all safeguarding guidelines and procedures.
  • Endeavour to keep up-to-date with local, regional and national developments relating to the welfare and protection of vulnerable adults.
  • Review the policy and procedures regularly.

Definition of a vulnerable adult: The Law Commission (1995) defines a vulnerable adult who is someone who is in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age, illness or personal circumstances, and who is or may be unable to take full care of himself or herself or unable to protect himself or herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.

  1. The CIC’s approach to safeguarding vulnerable adults addresses a person’s need to be physically and psychologically safe, especially where concerns of possible abuse have been raised.
  2. The Company recognises that it is the duty of everyone that works with vulnerable adults to act to promote their welfare and protect them from harm. We aim to cultivate the following practices:
  • Develop a culture of professional curiosity.
  • Tackle issues before things reach crisis point.
  • Be honest and open with individuals from the start.
  • Ensure our recording systems are up-to-date and include all relevant information.
  • When in doubt, always seek advice and support.

The Company has a clear policy and procedure in place for safeguarding vulnerable adults, offers all volunteers and employees support and encourages information sharing. Should an employee or volunteer have concerns regarding a vulnerable adult, they should immediately discuss the concern with the Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and put it in writing. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Lead will offer advice on the relevant protection agencies and authorities.

  1. The importance of regular training for all staff and volunteers is recognised. Anyone joining the Company will be made familiar with the procedures during their induction period.
  2. Recognising abuse of vulnerable adults: a vulnerable adult may be someone suffering a long-term mental or physical illness, or experiencing one or more long-term debilitating circumstances. Those with an ongoing or recent history of self-inflicted abuse such as drugs or alcohol are also vulnerable. All vulnerable adults involved with the Company will be treated with dignity and respect and will be encouraged to express their feelings and preferences. Any accidents, concerns or complaints will be taken seriously and will be dealt with promptly and efficiently.
  3. Definition of Abuse: abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. Abuse is when a person or persons have caused harm, or may be likely to do so, to the physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, financial or material well-being of a vulnerable person. Harm may be caused by direct acts, or by failure to provide adequate care. It may be systematic and repeated, or may consist of a single incident.
  4. It is common for a vulnerable adult to be experiencing more than one type of abuse at the same time. Any act of abuse may also constitute a criminal act. It is important to understand that the following signs of abuse are indicators that abuse may be occurring. Behaviour and injures of the sort listed below may be present for other reasons.

Recognising abuse

  • Physical abuse: Cuts, burns, bruises and scratches. Injuries that do not match the explanation given for them. Injuries and wounds in concealed places. Injuries in protected areas e.g. underarms. Untreated injuries. Under or over use of medication.
  • Psychological abuse: The victim may feel or appear depressed, withdrawn, frightened, agitated, anxious or aggressive. The person feels or seems isolated. There is an unexpected or unexplained change in behavior.
  • Financial abuse: Lack of money for basic necessities, such as food, heating or clothes, despite an adequate income; disappearance of possessions, bank statements or other documents.
  • Sexual abuse: Pain, itching or injury in the anal, genital or abdominal area. Torn, stained or bloody underclothing. Bite marks and bruises on breasts, neck or face. Sexually transmitted infections or recurrent bouts of cystitis. Difficulty in sitting and walking due to discomfort in genital area.
  • Neglect: Deterioration in appearance or personal hygiene. Unhygienic and unsafe home environment. Rashes, sores and ulcers and unexplained weight loss. Inadequate food, drink or medical care. Lack of social stimulation.