Safeguarding Program Training for HHP Staff and Volunteers 2023

Adult Safeguarding

Introduction: 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.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

Who Needs Safeguarding

  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs).
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect.
  • As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

The Term Abuse is Defined As

A violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person; or persons which may result in significant harm. Abuse may be:

  • A single act or repeated acts.
  • An act of neglect or a failure to act.
  • Multiple acts (for example, an adult may be neglected and financially abused).
  • Where there is dependency, there is a possibility of abuse or neglect unless adequate safeguards are put in place.

Abuse is About the Misuse of Power and Control

One person has over another. Where there is dependency, there is a possibility of abuse or neglect unless adequate safeguards are put in place. Intent is not necessarily an issue at the point of deciding whether an act or a failure to act is abuse; it is the impact of the act on the person and the harm or risk of harm to that individual. Acts of abuse may constitute a criminal offence.

Is Abuse Always Intentional?

No! It can be the result of negligence or ignorance. Sometimes it can be the result of well-intentioned actions but remember that ABUSE is about the impact of the act on the individual, not the intent.

HHP’s Commitment to Safeguarding

The staff and volunteers in HHP are committed to practice which promotes the welfare of adults at risk and safeguards them from harm.

Staff and volunteers in our organisation accept and recognise our responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues that cause adults harm, and to establish and maintain a safe environment for them. We will not tolerate any form of abuse wherever it occurs or whoever is responsible. We are committed to promoting an atmosphere of inclusion, transparency, and openness and are open to feedback from the people who use our services, carers, advocates, our staff, and our volunteers with a view to how we may continuously improve our services/activities.

We will review our policy, procedures, code of behaviour, and practice at regular intervals, at least on a yearly basis. HHP will monitor this policy/connecting policies and wider procedures (along with any partner organisations) as necessary.

HHP Believes 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.

HHP will neither condone nor tolerate any forms of abuse or neglect.

Further Commitments

  1. HHP recognises that it has a responsibility to ensure that HHP and its staff and volunteers understand our commitment.
  2. HHP will seek to provide appropriate support to any alleged victims and the alleged perpetrators of any abuse as well as any member who becomes aware of the abuse in so far as this does not compromise any investigation into the allegation or place other adults at risk.
  3. While HHP 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 HIPAA and GDPR guidelines 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, The endangerment of any investigation of a serious crime.

Physical Contact Policy

HHP’s physical contact policy promotes a positive, nurturing environment while protecting consumers, employees and volunteers. We encourage appropriate physical contact with consumers and prohibits inappropriate displays of physical contact. Any inappropriate physical contact by employees or volunteers towards consumers in the organization’s programs will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

HHP’s Policy for Appropriate and Inappropriate Physical Interactions Include But Are Not Limited To:

Verbal Interactions Policy

HHP’s policy for appropriate and inappropriate verbal contact include but are not limited to:

Our Responsibility as HHP Team Members

  • If you become aware of possible or actual abuse or neglect, ensure the safety of the adult at risk is secured as a first priority.
  • If you become aware of possible or actual abuse, you should record the details of the abuse and advise HHP / Program Director.

Complaint Procedure when there is a Safeguarding Issue

  1. Recognize. You must have a clear understanding of the different signs and symptoms of potential abuse, harm and neglect can be. Robust safeguarding training can help you to spot these signs and symptoms.
  2. Respond. This may involve speaking to the person about their concerns or escalating the matter to a safeguarding expert or the police. It is important to respond quickly and appropriately to any concerns, as this can help to prevent further harm from occurring. It is also important to take steps to protect the person from any potential harm.
  3. Report. This may involve contacting the local safeguarding team, the police, or social services. It is important to report any concerns promptly and accurately, as this can help to ensure that appropriate action is taken to protect the person from harm.
  4. Record. This is the who, what, why, when and where of safeguarding. Take precise, comprehensive notes that detail everything about your safeguarding concern. For example, who it involves, what happened, and include times and dates. You should do this as soon as possible.
  5. Review. This may involve conducting regular audits or training sessions to ensure that staff are aware of their responsibilities and understand how to respond to concerns appropriately.

More details can be found at Aaron’s Department

Handling of Data

It is essential that confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need-to-know basis only, and should be kept secure at all times.

Any decision about sharing information needs to be recorded, making the rationale for sharing or not sharing clear. Good information sharing is based on good information keeping.

Compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 means that records must be:

  • Accurate
  • Relevant
  • Kept up to date
  • Kept no longer than necessary for their purpose
  • All records relating to allegations of abuse are kept for 6 years after the date of the last entry.

What is Sensitive Personal Information?

  • Physical or mental health or condition.
  • Racial or ethnic origins.
  • Political opinions.
  • Trade union membership.
  • Religious beliefs.
  • Sexual life.
  • Criminal offences.

All other information is defined as non-sensitive. If you have consent, all information can be shared.

What is Meant by Consent

  • Consent must be “informed” – the person giving consent needs to understand why information needs to be shared, who will see their information, the purpose to which it will be put and the implications of sharing that information.
  • An assessment of a vulnerable adult’s capacity to understand why information needs to be shared may say that they do not have the “capacity” to understand or make decisions about information sharing.
  • They cannot therefore give “informed” consent.
  • Consent can be implicit or explicit. Obtaining explicit consent is good practice, this can be given orally or in writing.
  • Written, or signed consent, is most valid.

Supervision of Staff with Sensitive Information

Confidential information often derives its value from its ability to be used for some purpose within a company. Employees in various parts of a company should be aware of proper handling and safeguarding of company and third-party confidential information.

  1. During employment and after the termination of employment, an employee should hold all confidential information in trust and confidence. The employee should only use, access, store, or disclose confidential information as appropriate in the performance of their duties for the company. An employee should comply with all applicable state and federal laws and company policies relating to access, use, and disclosure of confidential information.
  2. An employee should only store or communicate confidential information using a company’s information systems.
  3. An employee should not remove materials or property containing confidential information from the department unless it is necessary in the performance of the person’s job duties. If an employee works outside of the office, they should take steps to ensure that confidential information is secure and is protected from theft or disclosure to unauthorized persons.
  4. An employee should not seek to obtain any confidential information involving any matter which does not involve or relate to the person’s job duties.
  5. If an employee has any question relating to appropriate use or disclosure of confidential information, the employee should consult with appropriate company personnel.
  6. Each employee should promptly report to their supervisor any known violation of a company’s confidential information policy by the employee or a third party.

Human Health Project (HHP) Programs

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