Safeguarding Policy

Charity no. 1187039 

This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on the behalf of First Step Action.

Types of abuse (NSPCC.org.uk)

1. Child Safeguarding

The purpose of this policy: 

Policy statement

First Step Action will work with children, parents and the community to ensure we support children’s rights and create and maintain the safest possible  environment for children.

We do this by

First Step Action believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people to keep them safe. We are committed to practise in a way that protects them.

Definition of Child Abuse

The 2018 HM Government 2018 report ‘working together to safeguard children’ defines child abuse as: “A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or  technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children”. 

The four main types of Abuse and their definitions

Types of abuse (NSPCC.org.uk)

Legal framework in safeguarding children from abuse

Additional policy

We recognise that

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

2. Adult Safeguarding

Aims

To relieve poverty, sickness and distress in particular by the provision of advice and advocacy services. To advance education and to provide and assist in the provision of facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and other leisure time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life of said persons. This policy will help us ensure the general wellbeing of adults.

First Step Action will not tolerate the abuse of adults in any of its forms and is committed to safeguarding adults with care and support needs from harm.

First Step Action will ensure that decisions made will allow adults to make their own choices and include them in any decision making. First Step Action will also ensure that safe and effective working practices are in place. 

This policy is intended to support staff and volunteers working within First Step Action to
understand their role and responsibilities in safeguarding adults. All staff and volunteers are
expected to follow this policy.

The key objectives of this policy are for all employees and volunteers of First Step Action:

This policy is based on:

Under the Human Rights Act 1998, everyone has the right to live free from abuse and neglect (equalityhumanrights.com).
https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights/human-rights-act

Abuse can include physical, sexual or emotional harm, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment, radicalisation or exploitation. Abuse can take place in person or online, by any person (which could include by other Children and Adults at Risk or by people in positions of trust).”

Types of Abuse (Adult) (Social care institute for excellence)

It is also advised not only to view indicators as stand-alone evidence of abuse however they should indicate to or alert practitioners to carry out further assessments and it should also be considered that there are more indicators that are yet to be published so it is important to be
observant.

Copies of this policy should be available within First Step Action and First Step Action will not tolerate the abuse of adults in the organisation and staff and volunteers should be made aware of how this policy can be accessed.

What is Safeguarding adults?

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.”

     (Care and Support Statutory Guidance, Department of Health, updated February 2017)

All adults should be able to live free from fear and harm. But some may find it hard to get the help and support they need to stop abuse.

An adult may be unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation due to many reasons, including their mental or physical incapacity, sensory loss or physical or learning disabilities. This could be an adult who is usually able to protect themselves from harm but maybe unable to do so because of an accident, disability, frailty, addiction or illness.

First Step Action adheres to following the six key principles that underpin safeguarding work (See Care Act guidance)

First Step Action will not tolerate the abuse of adults in staff and volunteers should ensure that their work reflects the principles above and ensure the adult with care and support needs is involved in their decisions and informed consent is obtained. First Step Action
should ensure that the safeguarding action agreed is the least intrusive response to the risk. Partners from the community should be involved in any safeguarding work in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse. First Step Action should be transparent and accountable in delivering safeguarding actions.

What is Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP)?

MSP means a case should be person-led and outcome-focused. The individual should be involved in identifying how best to respond to their safeguarding situation by giving them more choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.

First Step Action will not tolerate the abuse of adults First Step Action will ensure that adults are involved in their safeguarding arrangements and each individual is dealt with on a case by case basis. As adults may have different preferences, histories and lifestyles, the same process may not work for all.

Who do adult safeguarding duties apply to?

The Care Act 2014 sets out that adult safeguarding duties apply to any adult who:

Who do I go to if I am concerned?

The named responsible person for safeguarding duties for First Step Action is Sadia Farah (Founder of First Step Action) and her email is sfarah@firststepaction.com.

All staff and volunteers should contact Sadia Farah for any concerns/queries they have in regard to safeguarding adults. If Sadia Farah is not available contact info@firststepaction.com . A log of the concern must be kept. Sadia Farah will be responsible to make decisions about notifying adult social services if required and consider alternative actions, where necessary.

Sadia Farah will also ensure that the safeguarding adults’ policies and procedures are in place and up to date. They will ensure a safe environment is promoted for staff and volunteers and adults accessing the advocacy services. Sadia Farah will ensure they are up to date with their safeguarding adults training.

What should I do if I am concerned?

Staff and volunteers at First Step Action who have any adult safeguarding concerns should

1. Respond 

whether the adult may lack capacity to make decisions about their own and other people’s safety and wellbeing. If you decide to act against their wishes or without their consent, you must record your decision and the reasons for this.

2. Report

Name the person to whom staff/volunteers need to report any potential safeguarding concerns. This will usually be the organisation’s designated safeguarding lead (see above) 

3. Record

Refer

In making a decision whether to refer or not, the designated safeguarding lead should take into account:

This should inform the decision whether to notify the concern to the following people:

The designated safeguarding lead should keep a record of the reasons for referring the
concern or reasons for not referring.

Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple and may affect one person or more. Staff and
volunteers should look beyond single incidents to identify patterns of harm. Accurate
recording of information will also assist in recognising any patterns.

As soon as Adult Social Services becomes involved, a 4-stage safeguarding adults process
follows. For more information about this 4-stage safeguarding adults process, refer to the
London Safeguarding Adults Procedures.

What are your roles and responsibilities within First Step Action?

All staff, management, trustees and volunteers at First Step Action are expected to report any concerns to the named person for safeguarding. If the allegation is against one of First Step Action members, volunteers, trustees or directors, seek advice from First Step Action safeguarding lead Sadia Farah. If the allegation is against the safeguarding lead, seek advice from Islington’s Access & Advice Team.  

The designated safeguarding adults lead should be responsible for providing acknowledgement of the referral and brief feedback to the person raising the original concern. Feedback should be given in a way that will not escalate the situation nor breach the Data Protection Act. If the police are involved, they should be consulted prior to giving feedback to the referrer to ensure any criminal investigation is not affected.

The local authority will decide on who will lead on a safeguarding enquiry should it progress to that stage. The named organisation should not conduct its own safeguarding enquiry unless instructed to do so by the local authority. Staff and volunteers should ensure that the adult with care and support needs is involved at all stages of their safeguarding enquiry ensuring a person-centred approach is adopted. 

Complaints procedure

First Step Action promotes transparency and honesty when things go wrong. All staff and volunteers should apologise and be honest with service users and other relevant people when thing go wrong.

OR

If a staff or volunteer or any other member of the organisation is unhappy with First Step Action decision about the safeguarding concern, they are encouraged to fill out a complaints form.

First Step Action is committed to ensuring that staff and volunteers who whistle-blow in the public interest and in good faith, are protected from reprisals and victimisation.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is to be used when decisions on behalf of those adults with care and support needs who are unable to make some decisions for themselves. Refer to the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice,
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-capacity-act- code-of-practice. You will
need to involve an advocate if the person lacks capacity to make decisions about the safeguarding concern. 

Why is it important to take action?

5 It is may be difficult for adults with care and support needs to protect themselves and to report abuse. They rely on you to help them.

Confidentiality and information sharing

It should however be noted that information should be shared with authorities if an adult is deemed to be at risk of immediate harm. Sharing the right information, at the right time, with the right people can make all the difference to preventing harm. For further guidance on information sharing and safeguarding see:

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-act2014/safeguarding-adults/sharing- information/keymessages.asp

Recruitment and selection

First Step Action is committed to safe employment. Safe recruitment practices, such as Disclosure and Barring checks reduce the risk of exposing adults with care and support needs to people unsuitable to work with them. Refer to the council’s guidance on Safer Recruitment (please note this guidance is currently being updated).

Training, awareness raising and supervision?

First Step Action ensures that all staff and volunteers receive basic awareness training on safeguarding adults as they may come across adults with care and support needs who may be at risk of abuse. Those adults may report things of concern to staff or volunteers who should be equipped with the basic knowledge around safeguarding adults and be confident to identify that abuse is taking place and action is required. All staff and volunteers should be clear about the core values of First Step Action and commitment to safeguarding adults.

It is also useful to discuss training with staff who have attended training sessions to ensure they are embedding this in practice. 

Voluntary organisations (including volunteers) who support adults with care and support needs can access the basic awareness safeguarding adults training provided by Islington Council. Free on- line training is also available. See: https://www.islington.gov.uk/socialcare-health/im-a- professional/professional-and-carers-training

Similarly, staff and volunteers may encounter concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children. For more information about children’s safeguarding, refer to First Step Action’s Children’s safeguarding policy. 

Prevent

Radicalisation and extremism of adults with care and support needs is a form of emotional/psychological exploitation. Radicalisation can take place through direct personal contact, or indirectly through social media.

If staff are concerned that an adult with care and support needs is at risk of being radicalised and drawn into terrorism, they should treat it in the same way as any other safeguarding concern.

Prevent

Contact Details

Senior lead for Safeguarding Sadia Farah