Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy Statement

1.     The scope of this policy

This Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding Policy is intended to cover all functions and services of the organisation where there is the potential for direct or indirect contact with vulnerable adults.

Members of the board, staff, volunteers who carry out activities for the organisation should all be committed to practices which protect vulnerable adults from harm.

  1. definition a vulnerable adult

A vulnerable adult is any person aged 18 or over who is, or may be, unable to take care of him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.  

This may be because he or she has a mental health problem, a disability, a sensory impairment, is old or frail, or has some form of illness.

  1. Access of information

all vulnerable adults will have access to information that they can understand to make an informed choice, including access to expert knowledge and advocacy, as required.

  1. Choice

all vulnerable adults will have the opportunity to select independently from a range of options based on clear and accurate information.

  1. Confidentiality

All vulnerable adults will know that information about them is managed appropriately and there is a clear understanding of confidentiality and its limits among staff. 

  1. Consent

All vulnerable adults have the right to be supported to make their own decisions and to give or withhold their consent to an activity or service. Consent is a clear indication of a willingness to participate in an activity or to accept a service.  It may be signalled verbally, by gesture, by willing participation or in writing. No one can give, or withhold, consent on behalf of another adult unless special provision for particular purposes has been made for this, usually by law.

  1. Dignity and respect

 All vulnerable adults will be accorded the same respect and dignity as any other adult, by recognising their uniqueness and personal needs.

  1. Equality and diversity

All vulnerable adults will be treated equally and their background and culture will be valued and respected.

  1. Fulfilment

All vulnerable adults will be invited to engage in activities and offered services that enable them to fulfil their ability and potential.

  1. Independence

All vulnerable adults will have as much control as possible over their lives whilst being safeguarded against unreasonable risks.

  1. Privacy

All vulnerable adults will be free from unnecessary intrusion into their affairs; and there will be a balance between the individual’s own safety and the safety of others.

  1. Safety

All vulnerable adults will feel safe, and live without fear of violence, neglect or abuse in any form.

  1. Support

All vulnerable adults will be supported to report any form of abuse.  

14.   Management Committee roles and responsibilities

The Chair and the Community Development Worker(CMDW) of the organisation have responsibility for ensuring compliance with this policy. 

The day to day responsibility for implementation is delegated to the Secretary, Miss Yllo Aya Kohi ( 02075873550, ) and the Community Development Worker, Talat Shafique ( 02078207736, ) who are responsible for acting as  central points of contact for reporting concerns. If one of the above officer is involved in an abuse then the concern must be reported to the chair, Felix Wohi

( 02078207736, )

15.   Staff roles and responsibilities

Staff members have a duty to adhere to the Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy and Procedures and to notify the Secretary or the Community Development Worker on any matters regarding safeguarding vulnerable adults.  

16.   Training

The secretary or the Community Development Worker will provide suitable training in vulnerable adult safeguarding to staff, volunteers working or coming into substantial contact with vulnerable adults.  

  1. Recruitment and Selection of Staff

The Board members will operate a recruitment and selection procedures for positions where there is significant contact with vulnerable adults.

The Board will take all reasonable steps to ensure that in its recruitment and selection of staff it will pay due regard to ensuring that: 

  • There is a clear job description for staff and person specification outlining key skills and abilities required.
  • There is an open recruitment process.
  • There is an application form that covers past work.
  • There is a declaration form requesting information on previous convictions and investigations, if any.
  • There is an interview process suitable to the role and task.
  • Written references are sought (and followed up when necessary).
  • There is reference to regulated positions.
  • Where required, a criminal record check from DBS.
  • The post has been approved by the board.
  • The arrangements under which the Board liaises with, and reports to, social services and other appropriate external authorities.

18.    Meaning of abuse of adult

Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.  Many incidents of abuse are criminal acts. 

The abuse of vulnerable adults is defined as: ‘The physical, psychological, emotional, financial or sexual maltreatment or neglect of a vulnerable adult by another person’

It can occur in a relationship where there is an expectation of trust and can be perpetrated by a person or persons, in breach of that trust, who have influence over the life of a dependant, whether they be formal or informal carers, staff, family members or others. It can also occur outside such a relationship.  

Abuse can be either deliberate or the result of ignorance, or caused by a lack of training, knowledge or understanding.

Abuse can take many forms including the following:

  • Physical abuse

Hitting, slapping, pushing, burning, giving a person medicine that may harm them, restraining or disciplining a person in an inappropriate way.

Possible signs are: fractures, bruising, burns, pain, marks, not wanting to be touched.

·       Psychological abuse

This includes emotional abuse, verbal abuse, humiliation, bullying and the use of threats.

Possible signs are: being withdrawn, too eager to do everything they are asked, showing compulsive behaviour, not being able to do things they used to, not being able to concentrate or focus.

·       Financial or material abuse

Misusing or stealing the person’s property, possessions or benefits, cheating them, using them for financial gain, putting pressure on them about wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions.

Possible signs are:  having unusual difficulty with finances, not having enough money, being too protective of money and things they own, not paying bills, not having normal home comforts.

  • Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse include rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, could not consent or was pressured into consenting.

Possible signs are: walking difficulty, depression, sudden withdrawal from activities, showing fear or aggression to one particular person etc..

  • Discriminatory abuse

 Discriminatory abuse includes race, sex, culture, religion, politics and is based on a persons disability, age or sexuality and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment and hate crime.

Possible signs are: lack of respect shown to an individual, signs of substandard service offered to an individual, exclusion from rights afforded to others, such as health and education.

19. Concerns and disclosures

Dealing with a concern

When there are concerns or where a disclosure or allegation is made people often feel anxious about passing on the information to anyone else.  Concerned individuals may ask themselves, ‘What if I’m wrong?’ and this may hold them back from taking action. 

It is important for staff to know that they are neither responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred or not; nor are they responsible for conducting any investigations (this is the role of the appropriate authorities). 

However, they do need to pass on any concerns they have through the Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding reporting procedures.  It is crucial that staff members do not attempt to deal with the situation alone.

There are a variety of ways that you could be alerted that a vulnerable adult is suffering harm:

  • A vulnerable adult may tell you.
  • Someone else may tell you of their concerns or something that causes you concern.
  • A vulnerable adult may show some signs of physical injury for which there does not appear to be a satisfactory or credible explanation.
  • A vulnerable adult’s demeanour/behaviour may lead you to suspect abuse or neglect.
  • The behaviour of a person close to the vulnerable adult makes you feel uncomfortable (this may include another staff member, peer or family member). .

Being alert to potential abuse plays a major role in ensuring that vulnerable adults are safeguarded and it is important that all concerns about possible abuse are reported.

  1. What to do if a vulnerable adult discloses abuse

In cases where a vulnerable adult discloses abuse to a staff or board member they should react appropriately, according to the following guidelines:


  • Stay calm
  • Listen and hear.
  • Express concern and sympathy about what has happened.
  • Reassure the person – tell the person that s/he did the right thing in telling you.
  • Let the person know that the information will be taken seriously and give information about what will happen next.
  • If urgent medical/police help is required, call the emergency services.
  • Ensure the safety of the person.
  • Record in writing using the Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Report form, date and sign your report, and give it to your Safeguarding Officer at the earliest possible time.
  • Act without delay.

Do not

  • Stop someone disclosing to you.
  • Promise to keep secrets.
  • Press the person for more details or make them repeat the story.
  • Gossip about the disclosure or pass on the information to anyone who does not have a legitimate need to know.
  • Contact the alleged abuser.
  • Attempt to investigate yourself.
  • Leave details of your concerns on a voicemail or by email.

21.  Checking out

There may need to be some initial ‘checking out’ with the vulnerable adult who has disclosed information to you in order to ensure his/her safety, for example, if a staff member notices a bruise on a vulnerable adult’s arm, it would be appropriate to ask, ‘I see you have a bruise on your arm. How did that happen?’  However, be careful not to start investigating. 

It is important that staff understand the clear distinction between ‘checking out’ and investigating. 

Staff should not begin to investigate alleged or suspected abuse by asking questions that relate to the detail, or circumstances of the alleged abuse, beyond initial listening, expressing concern and checking out.

22.  How to react and what to do

There is not one simple set of rules to follow in responding to these situations, but in general:

It is important that staff are aware that the first person who has concerns or encounters a case of alleged or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred, (this is the role of the appropriate authorities).

However, staff and others do have a duty of care to report any suspicions they may have with regard to the abuse of a vulnerable adult to allow appropriate action to be taken.

·       Reporting and recording

The Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy and Procedures and report form will be made available for staff to access if and when required at the organisation’s office.

23.  Basic response procedure/action

All concerns, disclosures, allegations and suspicions should be recorded on the Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Report form   

Where a staff member reports their concerns or a disclosure to a line manager, a board member, the line manager or the board member should advise them to report to the Secretary or the Community Development Worker immediately.  

There may be emergency situations where it is appropriate to contact social services / Police / Safeguarding Adults Board/ seek medical attention immediately.  

Whatever the circumstances of the concern, disclosure, allegation or suspicion, it is vital that the staff member records the details and reports to their Safeguarding Officer.

Concerns about a vulnerable adult – responding to allegations or concerns about a member of staff

The following procedures should be followed in each situation:

  • Take the allegation or concern seriously. Always refer if you have a concern, do not investigate yourself, or do nothing.
  • If it is an emergency contact social services / Police/ Safeguarding Adults Board / medical assistance immediately.
  • Complete a Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Report form and cover sheet as soon as possible, giving all the details that you are aware of.
  • Forward the report to your Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible either by hand in a sealed envelope marked ‘Confidential’, or by a secure email with a ‘read receipt’ option.

The Safeguarding Officer (Secretary or CDW) will discuss the case with the chair.

The Safeguarding Officer will forward the report to the social service, and / or the police.  To ensure confidentiality for staff only the main part of the form will be made available to social services / Police/ Safeguarding Adults Board (i.e. not the cover sheet) which will remove the name and location of the staff member making the report.

The Safeguarding Officer will file the report in the appropriate secure location.

Response to a vulnerable adult making an allegation of abuse

  • Listen carefully to what the person is telling you.
  • Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is very likely that what they are telling you will need to be shared with others.
  • Ask questions for clarification only – never ask leading questions that suggest a particular answer.
  • Reassure the person that they have done the right thing in telling you.
  • Tell them what you will do next and with whom the information they have given you will be shared.
  • Complete a Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Report form and cover sheet
  • Forward the report to the Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible, either by hand in a sealed envelope marked ‘Confidential’, or by a secure email with a ‘read receipt’ option.

The Safeguarding Officer will discuss the case with the chair if appropriate.  

The Safeguarding Officer will forward the report to social services, and /Police/ Safeguarding Adults Board (whichever is appropriate).  To ensure confidentiality for staff only the main part of the form will be made available to social services / Police (i.e. not the cover sheet) which will remove the name and location of the staff member making the report.

   24. Confidentiality and information sharing

  • Confidentiality must be maintained for all concerns
  • Information will be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only e.g. Safeguarding Officers, social services, Police, the vulnerable adult, courts and relevant staff.
  • Recorded information will be stored in a secure place in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).
  • If enquiries arise from the public or any branch of the media, staff must not make any comments regarding the situation and all queries are referred to the Board members
  • Freedom of Information requests regarding safeguarding reports will be dealt with by the Chair or the Secretary on a case-by-case basis; however, it is likely that such requests will be refused due to the extremely confidential nature of the information sought.
  • Complaints procedures and grievance procedures will apply as normal.
  1. If in doubt, contact the following external bodies
  • Brixton Police : 999/ 101
  • Lambeth adult safeguarding help line: 08088088141/
  • Lambeth Social Service : 020 7926 5555
  1. Policy Review

This policy was adopted on the 28/11/2016 and will be reviewed every year.

Contact Information


Registered Address 49 Camberwell New Road - London SE5 0RZ

Correspondence Address 37 Chapel Street - London NW1 5DP

Get in touch via email

Company: 05199047 / Charity: 1167437

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