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Safeguarding Policy

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Preston City Council's Safeguarding Policy

This policy covers the safeguarding of Children and Adults and what the Council should do and what Officers should do if we encounter any form of abuse or neglect.

You can download a copy of the Icon for pdf Safeguarding Policy [171.66KB].

This includes ensuring that the Council's Employees work in an environment that is safe.

It is everyone's responsibility to ensure any child or adult at risk is made safe. In your role you may come into contact with children or adults who are at risk of abuse and neglect. Including self-neglect for adults.

In this policy we look at some of the signs you might pick up on and what to do when you do. Who to contact and what to expect.

What are Preston City Council's responsibilities for safeguarding Children and Adults?

  • To have an Elected Member Safeguarding Champion.
  • To have a Designated Safeguarding Lead Officer and Deputy
  • To publicise who these are and ensure that contact details are always updated
  • To have an up to date reporting and recording mechanism which is well publicised
  • To ensure that all staff have the relevant level of safeguarding training
  • To have the correct level of support for Council employees so that they work in an environment that is safe.

What to do if you have concerns about an Adult or a Child

In delivering your service if you come across a situation that causes you concern please do the following:-

  • Ask yourself why you are concerned about the individual or situation?
  • What do you think the level of risk is?
  • What would be the implications of doing nothing or deferring action?
  • What do you need to do right now?

View Appendix A for more detailed definitions of potentially abusive behaviour.

If the Child or Adult is immediately at risk contact the Police by calling 999

If they are not in immediate danger then collect as much information as you can and contact:-

  • Your Line Manager in the first instance

Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) Liz Mossop

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer (DDSO) Bev Lyon

Member Champion for Safeguarding Councillor Suleman Sarwar

The DSO or their Deputy will ensure that appropriate advice is sought from Lancashire County Council's Children's or Adult's Social Care Department and where necessary make a safeguarding referral.

If you think it is urgent and none of the above are available, do not delay - contact:

Whoever you contact through whichever means you will be required to complete the internal reporting form attached at Appendix B.

Once completed you should email it to the safeguarding@preston.gov.uk mailbox which is monitored daily.

Safeguarding - Process for reporting and dealing with concerns

Safeguarding – Process for reporting and dealing with concerns

Child Specific Issues

Child abuse can and does occur in a family setting, in institutions and elsewhere.

It is not always easy to recognise situations where abuse could be, has been or is taking place.

We acknowledge that our staff are not experts in this field. However you will have received a level of training deemed suitable for the job you carry out within the Council and we encourage and expect you to discuss any concerns you have about the welfare of a child, in the first instance with your Line Manager.

It is the responsibility of your Line Manager to refer the matter to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy.

If a child states or indicates that he/she is being abused or information comes to light that indicates that a child may be being abused then the member of staff is asked to:

  • React calmly so that the child does not become frightened
  • Listen to the child
  • Reassure the child and tell him/her that he/she is not to blame and that they are right to tell
  • Take what the child says seriously whilst recognising that there may be problems in understanding/interpreting what is being said by the child, especially if there is a speech impairment or where there is a difference in language
  • Make a full record of what has been said, heard or seen as soon as possible, including timing, setting and details of all those present
  • Explain that you cannot promise not to speak to others about the information shared.

You must not:-

  • Stop a child who is freely recalling significant events
  • Make any promises of confidentiality
  • Ask the child to repeat their account of events to anyone

If you are unsure of what to do discuss this immediately with the DSO or their DDSO.

Adult Specific Issues

There are some things to consider if the person you are concerned about is an Adult.

The definition of "adult at risk" is not clearly or consistently agreed upon across the different sectors. 

The Care Bill (2015) refers to "people with care and support needs" who may be vulnerable to abuse and neglect.

These are some of the things you may encounter:-

  • An adult that has needs for care and support but it is not in place
  • They are experiencing or are at risk of abuse or neglect
  • As a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the cause of neglect or the risk of it
  • Are self-neglecting themselves

There has been some information that you may want to look at with regard specifically to neglect and hoarding. Below are the links to the documents:

Making Safeguarding Personal

Lancashire Safeguarding Adult Board has develop an approach to Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP).

Put simply it means putting the person at the centre of the safeguarding process.

MSP is about responding in safeguarding situations in a way that enhances the involvement, choice and control of the person being safeguarded as well as improving their quality of life, wellbeing and safety. It is about seeing people as experts in their own lives and working alongside them with the aim of enabling them to resolve their circumstances and support their recovery.

MSP encourages staff to take a more creative approach when responding to a safeguarding situation, it may help to resolve a situation more satisfactorily by helping the person achieve the outcomes they want.

Mental Capacity Act 2005 - Consent and Best Interests

This is an area that is specifically difficult for Officers and we understand that sometimes we witness situations which cause concern but we must also follow the advice and guidance given by the MCA which is summarised below.

People must be assumed to have capacity to make their own decisions and be given all the practical help they need before they are considered not to be able to make their own decision.

Judgements about someone's mental capacity must always be decisions and time specific. This means that a person may have the mental capacity to make decisions about some areas of their life but not others.

Where an adult is found to lack capacity to make a decision then any action taken, or any decision made for, or on their behalf, must be made in their best interests. Even when a person is assessed as lacking capacity, they must still be encouraged to participate in the safeguarding process.

All staff have a responsibility to ensure they understand and always work in line with the MCA 2005 which is based on the following five principles:

  1. Presumption of mental capacity
  2. Helping and encouraging people to make decisions
  3. Respecting that people are entitled to make unwise decisions
  4. Any decisions made for a person without capacity must be based on their best interests
  5. The least restrictive option must always be adopted.

Raising an alert when the adult does not want any action

If the adult has capacity and does not consent to a referral and there are no public or vital interest considerations, they should be given information about where to get help if they change their mind or if the abuse or neglect continues.

If you are in any doubt about the capacity of an individual in a scenario that causes you concern please discuss this with your Line Manager or the DSO or the DDSO.

The Council's responsibilities to safeguard employees

The Council has commissioned the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This service is free of charge and available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is accessible by phone, email and online.

The EAP can provide practical information, fact sheets and packs, resource information on support services in your local area and even short-term face to face or telephonic counselling to help get you back on track.

The EAP also provides Manager Assist for anyone in a management, team leader or supervisory role to provide information and support on any subject which is impacting upon you, as an individual or your team.

Manager Assist can be used as a sounding board for talking through concerns you have about an individual, or for guidance on people management issues.

The Council also has a number of policies to assist its employees in knowing what to do if they have concerns.

Preston City Council operates in a two-tier governance system which means that most of the recognised care services are delivered by Lancashire County Council.

However Preston City Council has a duty to assist in the safeguarding of both Children and Adults, whether it directly delivers services to them or not. This is from the Children's Act 2004 and the Care Act 2014 for adults.

Training

Training will be done on a risk analysis basis:

  • It will be mandatory that every employee of the Council will complete the e-learning modules on Safeguarding Children and Adults and these will need to be repeated on an annual basis to refresh this information
  • New starters will receive this training as part of the induction process.
  • For those employees that do not have access to Mipod e-learning, training sessions will be held
  • All front line employees that have any connection with people will have a longer training session that will include safeguarding topics such as, identifying abuse, neglect, exploitation this will also include signs of modern day slavery, information around the Mental Care Act specifically around capacity to make decisions, Prevent and the prevention of suicide
  • All Managers will be trained on how to manage staff who may encounter any safeguarding issues to ensure they know how to react and know what the process is to report and what is needed.
  • A member training session for elected members to raise their awareness.

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

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