Statement of Policy
LLTCA is committed to ensuring the protection of vulnerable adults through the development and implementation of effective policies and best practice. Members of the Committee, staff and volunteers recognise and accept the responsibility to develop and raise awareness of the issues involved in working with vulnerable adults.
The setting has implemented this policy to ensure Committee and staff have the appropriate authority to exercise powers and carry out certain actions for which they are accountable. This policy defines the procedures for staff and volunteers, in order to safeguard and promote the well-being of vulnerable people.
Who do we mean by vulnerable persons?
‘Children’ up to the age of 16 or young people aged 16-18 who have a physical, mental or chronic illness/disability.
‘Vulnerable adult generally means a person aged 18 or over who has a condition of the following type: (i) a learning or physical disability; (ii) a physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or (iii) a reduction in physical or mental capacity.
- Provide an environment in which vulnerable adults feel safe and valued.
- Ensure that Committee members, staff and volunteers take responsibility to protect vulnerable adults from harm at all times.
- Elect a member of staff as the designated representative for all Vulnerable Adult matters, and to identify appropriate training opportunities for that member.
- Develop and adopt a set of guidelines/code of conduct for working with vulnerable adults, which all members, staff and volunteers are aware of and adhere to.
- Exercise a Duty of Care and, when necessary, share information and/or concerns in a confidential manner with the appropriate outside agency, e.g the Health and Social Care Trust.
- Ensure that all staff and volunteers who work with, or have responsibility for, vulnerable adults are checked by AccessNI.
- Develop a time specific induction period when all new staff and volunteers are introduced to guidelines for working with Vulnerable Adults and policy and procedures.
- Ensure volunteers are supervised during a designated probationary period with ongoing regular support and supervision opportunities.
- Review and update this policy and practice annually.
Abuse may be defined as the wrongful application of power by someone in a dominant position. It involves an imbalance of power and exploitation without a full and informed consent. Abuse can take several different forms and may be a single act or repeated acts.
Code of Conduct
- Staff and volunteers treat vulnerable adults with respect and sensitivity at all times.
- Staff and volunteers must ensure that the safety and dignity of those vulnerable adults in their care are maintained at all times.
- It is the duty of staff and volunteers to ensure that vulnerable adults in their care are aware that there are designated members of staff to help them with any worries and/or difficulties.
- All staff and volunteers should be made aware of the working with vulnerable adults policy, and the duty of care during their induction and of the procedure to follow for reporting possible/alleged cases of abuse or harm.
If volunteers have concerns about the possible abuse of a vulnerable adult, or where a disclosure has been made, this must be reported to a member of staff as a Duty of Care responsibility.
An accurate written record of concerns, disclosures and any related incident(s) must be made by the volunteer using the appropriate incident form.
The designated staff member (Community Development Manager, Claire Patience – 028 4062 3770 / firstname.lastname@example.org) will liaise with the relevant agencies and forward the record of concern for information. A copy should be kept on file to which designated staff members only have access.
It is important for staff and volunteers to avoid making assumptions and discussing concerns indiscriminately.
Confidentiality and respect for the vulnerable adult(s) involved are of the utmost importance.
Refer to volunteer policy.
Induction and Training
- Volunteers will complete an induction period that will include training in guidelines for working with Vulnerable Adults.
- Recognising different forms of abuse.
- Guidelines on the process for recording concerns / disclosures.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Committee to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
This policy was reviewed, up-dated and re-adopted on 06/12/2021