This week we are marking Safeguarding Adults Week (21st- 27th November), a national awareness week which highlights key issues in safeguarding and raises awareness of best practice.
In this blog we pick out some of the questions that organisations and individuals should be asking, and direct you to where you can find out more about safeguarding and how to take the next steps to ensure the correct procedures are in place.
Do you feel confident in recognising signs of abuse and neglect? And if you saw something of concern, would you know how to record and report it? If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘not sure’, read on.
What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is the term used to describe the policies and procedures which protect vulnerable people from abuse, harm, and neglect.
All organisations have a duty of care and a legal responsibility for safeguarding their employees, volunteers, clients, visitors – in fact anyone that the group or charity comes into contact with. You can find out more about safeguarding and what is involved for not-for-profit organisations on our Safeguarding Support for Voluntary Groups webpage.
Who is responsible for safeguarding?
We are all responsible for safeguarding – whether you are an employee, volunteer or visitor. All organisations should have the following measures in place to ensure there is a safer culture and it is safeguarding compliant:
- Robust safeguarding policies
- Clear and understood processes for identifying, escalating, and reporting safeguarding issues
- Safeguarding training for staff and volunteers
- Appropriate DBS checks for staff and volunteers
If you work or volunteer for a local community group have a look at Ann Craft Trust’s free safeguarding checklist which covers the five areas of Safeguarding, Prevention, Recognition, Reporting and Reporting, and Reviewing processes. It takes just 15 minutes to complete and is a quick, easy way to see if you understand your organisation’s safeguarding procedures.
Do you have a safeguarding lead in your organisation?
Every organisation should have a designated safeguarding lead in place. It is their duty to ensure others in the organisation understand and follow safeguarding procedures. They are also a point of contact if you need to report a safeguarding concern, and should have adequate reporting and recording systems in place. If you aren’t sure, ask your line manager or HR contact for the Safeguarding Policy.
What do you do if you witness abuse?
Acting on concerns is vital but would you recognise the signs of abuse and what to do next? Read Ann Craft Trust’s summary of the 10 types of harm and its checklist on how to record and report your concerns to the appropriate person, authority, or organisation on the Ann Craft Trust website.
Does your organisation need to set up or update its safeguarding policies?
Safeguarding can be a daunting topic for organisations to address, but it is one that you do need to get right.
If you are not sure if your organisation’s safeguarding policies are correct, we have plenty of resources to help support you – from advising on what you need to get in place, to safeguarding training tailored to your organisation, or completing DBS checks for volunteers. To find out more, visit our Safeguarding Support webpage.
Also take a look at our short video on the basics of safeguarding people which is a great introduction to safeguarding for everyone in your organisation and, if your charity needs more tailored and in-depth support, fill in our Request for Support form and a member of the team will be in touch.
What’s on during Safeguarding Adults Week?
There is a different theme to each day of Safeguarding Adults Week – follow @AnnCraftTrust or search #SAW2022 on social media to learn more about each area of safeguarding:
- Monday 21st November – Exploitation and County Lines
- Tuesday 22nd November – Self-neglect
- Wednesday 23rd November – Creating Safer Organisational Cultures
- Thursday 24th November – Elder Abuse
- Friday 25th November – Domestic Abuse in Tech-Society
- Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th November – Safeguarding in Everyday Life
The charity is also running several events; click on the links below:
- Thursday 24 November (10.30am – 12pm): Using the power your role gives you to create safer and stronger cultures.
- Friday 25 November (11am – 12pm)– DBS, safe and faire recruitment when working with adults at risk.