This policy and procedure is written to enable the CEDU3A Executive Committee to act appropriately whenever possible or where instances, or allegations of, actual abuse or neglect comes to their attention.
CEDU3A 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, and within any form of institution e.g. hospitals, residential care or nursing home.
Where abuse or neglect is suspected CEDU3A will aim to respond to the situation in a way which is caring, effective and enabling.
CEDU3A also recognises that abuse and neglect can be perpetrated by volunteers, other users of services, relatives, friends and neighbours.
CEDU3A acknowledges that the reasons for abuse and neglect occurring may not be fully understood and vary with each incident, often dependant on risk factors.
CEDU3A 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 which is safe.
In all situations, CEDU3A believes that everyone is entitled to:
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, religious or cultural background.
It is not appropriate for CEDU3A to take the lead role in any Safeguarding Enquiry under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014, but should refer cases on to the Advice and Volunteer Manager in the U3A National Office who will contact the appropriate local authority.
CEDU3A recognises that it has a responsibility to ensure that its Executive Committee and Group conveners understand this policy.
The Chair or Vice Chair will advise and support any CEDU3A member or volunteer who becomes aware of abuse and will act in a referral capacity within the recognised structure in so far as this does not compromise any Safeguarding Enquiry or investigation into the allegation or place other adults at risk.
While CEDU3A will make every effort to respect the confidentiality of any information that is disclosed under this policy and procedure, this 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;
danger to a person’s health;
danger to others
danger to the community or to prevent or to facilitate the investigation of a serious crime.
Courses of Action
If the Chair/Vice Chair or any Executive Committee member becomes aware of possible or actual abuse or neglect, he or she should ensure that the safety of the adult at risk is secured as a first priority.
Any Executive Committee member who becomes aware of possible or actual abuse should record the details and refer the matter to the Chair/Vice Chair as soon as possible. The Chair/Vice Chair should advise the rest of the Executive Committee and the Advice and Volunteer Manager at National Office who will provide further guidance.
The Chair/Vice Chair, having been advised of the possible or actual abuse, should satisfy themselves 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 Chair/Vice Chair, 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. When 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.
As far as possible, the adult at risk’s wishes 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 Chair/Vice Chair will complete a Safeguarding Adults Procedure (SAP) proforma with the guidance of the Advice and Volunteering Manager.
Completed SAPs will be held in a designated file for a minimum of 2 years from the date of the last completed SAP on the adult at risk.
The Chair/Vice Chair will keep the Executive Committee informed to such extent as is possible without breaking confidentiality and notify the Committee of decision made and acted upon.
Confidentiality is adhered at all times, therefore the contents of the form will not be provided to any third parties.
If someone discloses abuse to you, do:
stay calm and try not to show shock or disbelief
listen carefully to what they are saying
be sympathetic (‘I’m sorry that this has happened to you’)
be aware of the possibility that medical evidence might be needed
tell the person that:
– they did the right thing to tell you;
– you are treating the information seriously;
– it was not their faultl;
– you are going to inform the appropriate person within CEDU3A;
– you will take steps to protect and support them.
record and report the disclosure in line with the procedure
If someone discloses abuse to you, do not:
press the person for more details: this will be done at a later date;
stop someone who is freely recalling significant events (Don’t say ‘hold on, we’ll come back to that later’: they may not tell you or anybody else again);
do not promise to keep secrets; you cannot keep this kind of information to yourself;
make promises you cannot keep (Such as ‘This will never happen to you again’);
contact the alleged abuser;
pass on the information other than to those with a legitimate need-to-know under this policy and procedure
In your record of the disclosure you should aim to:
note what people actually said, using their own words and phrases;
describe the circumstances in which the disclosure came about;
note the setting and anyone else who was there at the time of the abuse or the disclosure;
separate factual information from your own and others opinions;
use pen or biro with black ink so that the report can be photocopied if needed;
be aware that your report may be required later as part of a legal action or disciplinary procedure.
Adult at risk: is any person, who is over 18 years of age and who has need for care and support, is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse or neglect, and as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or risk of it.
Abuse: is the ‘violation of a person’s human and civil rights by any other person(s). It may be a single or repeated act(s), physical verbal, psychological, sexual, institutional, discriminatory or financial, an act of neglect or failure to act’.
Types of abuse:
a) Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions
b) Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence
c) Sexual abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting
d) Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation orunreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks
e) Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
f) Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment
g) Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion
h) Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation
i) Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
j) Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
This policy was adopted in January 2020.
Review date: January 2023