Safeguarding policy

This policy and procedure is written to enable the Committee to act appropriately whenever possible or where instances, or allegations of, actual abuse or neglect come to their attention.

Minehead and District U3A (this U3A) recognises that some people are potentially at risk of abuse and neglect.   Abuse and neglect can take place in a person’s own home, in the home of a carer, family member or friend, or within an institution such as hospital or residential/nursing home.

Where abuse or neglect is suspected, this U3A will aim to respond to the situation in a way that is caring, effective and enabling.  This U3A also recognises that abuse and neglect can be perpetrated by volunteers, other users of services, relatives, friends and neighbours.  This U3A acknowledges that the reasons for abuse and neglect occurring may not be fully understood and may vary with each incident – often depending on risk factors.

This U3A will neither condone nor tolerate any form of abuse or neglect and believes that all people should be able and, where necessary enabled, to live in an environment that is safe.  In all situations, Minehead & District U3A believes that everyone is entitled to:

    • privacy
    • be treated with dignity and respect
    • lead an independent life and to be enabled to do so
    • choose how they live their lives
    • the protection of the law
    • have their human and civil rights upheld, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, impairment or disability, age, religion or cultural background.

It is not appropriate for Minehead & District U3A to take the lead role in any safeguarding enquiry under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014, but should refer it to the Advice and Volunteer Manager at National Office, who will contact the appropriate local authority.

This U3A will monitor the implementation of this policy and procedure annually through its Executive Committee. See below for adoption of the policy by Minehead and District U3A.

Procedure

    1. This U3A recognises that it has a responsibility to ensure that its committee members and group leaders understand this policy.
    2. This U3A will support the alleged victims and the alleged perpetrators of any abuse as well as any volunteer who becomes aware of the abuse, insofar as this does not compromise any
      safeguarding enquiry or investigation into the allegation or place other adults at risk. 
    3. While this U3A will make every effort to respect the confidentiality of any information that is
      disclosed under this Policy and Procedure, it cannot be guaranteed.  Information will be recorded and stored securely in accordance with GDPR 2018, but confidentiality is not absolute and information may have to be shared, on a ‘need-to-know’ basis only, to prevent danger to a person’s life, to a person’s health, to others, to the community or to prevent or facilitate the investigation of a serious crime.
    4. This policy, procedure and the appendices will be reviewed every three years from their date
      of adoption. The names and details of the Executive Committee should be amended when
      any change of trustee takes place. See Appendix 2 for trustee details and updating process.

Courses of action

    • If the committee becomes aware of possible or actual abuse or neglect, it should ensure that the safety of the adult at risk is secured as a first priority.
    • Any committee member who becomes aware of possible or actual abuse should, as soon as possible, record the details of the abuse using SAP1, see Appendix 2.  They should advise the
      rest of the committee and the Advice and Volunteer Manager at National Office, who will provide further guidance.
    • The committee, having been advised of the possible or actual abuse, should satisfy itself that the adult at risk is safe, and that the alleged perpetrator, if known, does not pose a threat to
      any other adult at risk.
    • The committee, working with the Advice and Volunteer Manager at National Office, will decide whether or not to refer the possible or actual abuse to the local authority and/or the police. Where a crime may have been committed, the police must be contacted as soon as possible. If the decision is to not refer, the reasons for this must be recorded on form SAP1.
    • As far as possible, the wishes of the adult at risk will be respected as to whether or not to refer any concerns to the local authority as a safeguarding enquiry under Section 42 of the
      Care Act 2014. However, it may be necessary to override these in the best interests of other adults at risk.
    • The committee will then complete SAP1 with the guidance of the Advice and Volunteering Manager.
    • Completed SAP1s will be held in a designated file for a minimum of two years from the date of the last completed SAP1 on the adult at risk.
    • Confidentiality is adhered at all times, so the contents of the form will not be passed to any third parties.

The above Policy, Procedure and Appendices were adopted by Minehead and District U3A

On: 11 July 2019
Signed:
John Batt