Safeguarding Policy

1. Introduction

This policy sets out the organisation’s approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. It applies to all aspects of our work and to everyone working within the organisation, including permanent and temporary employees, contractors and self-employed.

This document does not form part of a contract of employment and may be changed from time to time in line with current best practice and statutory requirements, and to ensure business needs are met. Staff will be consulted and advised of any changes as far in advance as possible of the change being made, unless the change is required by law.

2. Policy Aims

  • To put children and vulnerable persons first
  • To ensure, support and maintain independence
  • To ensure accountability and transparency at all times

3. Responsibilities

Everyone working for the organisation has a responsibility to familiarise themselves with this safeguarding policy and the procedures along with it. Staff must maintain a proper focus on the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults in all aspects of their work.

Staff inform their manager if they or any adult living in their household become(s) the subject of an allegation involving a safeguarding concern or abuse against a child or vulnerable adult.

If any member of staff is in doubt whether the situation or allegation is relevant they should:

  • Refer to the definitions of safeguarding and protection of vulnerable adults
  • Seek advice from their manager

Any allegations of misconduct towards children and/or vulnerable adults by any member of staff will be fully investigated with consideration of up to and including gross misconduct dismissal.

4. Definitions

Safeguarding children is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • Ensuring children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

Safeguarding vulnerable adults is defined as:

  • Protecting the rights of adults to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect
  • People and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect
  • People and organisations ensuring adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, taking fully into account their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action
  • Recognising adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances and therefore potential risks to their safety or wellbeing

5. Recruitment

The organisation will carry out safe recruitment checks on everyone successfully recruited. All roles require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Disclosure Scotland check and references before the individual joins the organisation. Some staff may be subject to an enhanced DBS check and a check of social media if their role may bring them into regular contact with children and vulnerable adults.

Candidates interviewed for a post, either internally or from outside the organisation, will need to show an understanding of safeguarding which is relevant to the role they are applying for.

6. Safeguarding Training

The organisation is committed to ensuring all staff understand their safeguarding responsibilities and keeps their knowledge up to date. All staff must complete safeguarding training which will be arranged by the organisation. There will also be regular refresher training on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, including on specific areas of risk and safeguarding practice.

7. Acting on Safeguarding Concerns

If any member of staff has any concerns about children or vulnerable adults, they must inform Safeguarding Lead Mariam Ahmed, CEO of Amina MWRC. If you would prefer, please contact another member of staff who will help you raise the issue to the Safeguarding Lead.

If concerned a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of being abused or neglected, they should not ignore their suspicions and should not assume someone else will take action.

Concerns about children should be referred to the children’s social care department of the local authority where the child lives. Concerns about vulnerable adults should be referred to local authority adult services.

8. Legislation

There is a matrix of legislation to consider when assessing intervention on behalf of an adult at risk. It is worth noting there is a general presumption in Scots Law that adults are capable of making personal decisions for themselves and of managing their affairs. Exceptions to this presumption are made within the following legislation.

Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000
For the purposes of the Act incapable means: being incapable of acting on decisions, or making decisions, or communicating decisions or retaining the memory of decisions.

Lacking capacity has to be diagnosed by two medical professionals e.g. a GP and a Psychiatrist. It cannot be applied as a blanket diagnosis i.e. an individual can lack capacity in some areas but not others.

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003
Mental disorder is defined as having a diagnosed mental health problem, personality disorder and/or learning disability.

Where an individual is deemed to be at risk or to be a risk to others and cannot make informed choices compulsory powers can be applied. The Local Authority has a duty of care under which they can apply to the Sheriff to restrain, medicate or detain as follows:

  • Emergency – up to 72 hours detention but no treatment
  • Short term – up tom 28 days + treatment
  • Compulsory Treatment Order – lasts up to six months either at home or hospital. Can be extended by a further six months and thereafter, 12 months.

Adult Support and Protection Act 2007
Applies the definition of an adult at risk as given above adults at risk are likely to be at risk of harm because:

a) They are more vulnerable to harm caused by others.
b) They are engaged in or likely to be engaged in conduct of self-harm.

For the purposes of the Act harm is defined as conduct which causes physical or psychological harm, unlawful conduct and conduct which causes self-harm.

The Local Authority has powers attached to the Act under which they can apply to the Sheriff to intervene in the following ways:

  • Assessment – allows a council officer to conduct a private interview or a health professional to conduct a medical examination to establish whether the person is a person at risk, and if so, to establish whether further action is required to protect them from harm. Valid for seven days.
  • Removal - authorises a council officer to remove an adult at risk to a specified place where there is a likelihood of serious harm if they are not removed. Valid for seven days.
  • Banning – can ban the subject of the order from being in a specified place for up to six months. Likely to be applied to a person causing risk.

9. Data Protection Act 2018

The organisation will treat all personal data in line with obligations under the current data protection regulations.