7. Steps for officers and councillors to follow to avoid putting themselves or vulnerable adults at risk
- Ensure that all officers who may deal with a particularly vulnerable people in any capacity are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and aware of our policy.
- Ensure that all staff that come into contact with vulnerable adults has completed the e-learning module ‘safeguarding adults’. Such staff should also be given regular reminders of their responsibilities in accordance with this policy. Reminders should be on display in offices to ensure the profile of the matter is kept high priority.
- Staff who are likely to be in contact with vulnerable adults at risk of abuse will be offered further training in the subject in order to ensure a good knowledge of the subject. Such training could be sourced through the Devon Safeguarding Board training network.
- Home Safeguard customers should be issued with advice and guidelines on Safeguarding matters and help and advice on support if they feel they are affected by the matter. It is in accordance with the Telecare Services Association (TSA) mandatory requirements to issue this information to all customers. Consideration should be given to such information also being cascaded to residents of sheltered housing.
- Avoid working or being alone with a vulnerable adult in a private or unobserved situation (especially if this relates to a sensitive issue, if there is a risk of your actions being misconstrued, or if the person is prone to make allegations). If this is unavoidable ensure that the line manager is informed, or that it is part of a documented support plan and the visit and actions are recorded.
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact with a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
- Ensure information from, or about vulnerable adults cannot be misused.
- Ensure that our contractors adhere to similar policies to our own.
- Assess risks to vulnerable adults for any service or activity involving this group.
- Maintain facilities which may be used by vulnerable adults in a safe and serviceable condition.
- Record any concerns even if these are too slight to be reported.
- Engage in any serious case review.
Advice on avoiding problems
- Do not use verbal or physical chastisement that could be classified as abuse, (including shaking, hitting, shouting, swearing, or humiliating behaviour).
- Maintain a safe and appropriate physical distance.
- Do not allow a vulnerable adult to make close physical contact with you.
- Ensure that if any form of a manual/physical support is required it should only be provided when absolutely necessary in relation to the activity and preferably in the sight of another adult.
- Do not take a vulnerable person to their home or in a vehicle without informing your line manager.
- Do not do things of a personal nature for a vulnerable adult that they are able to do themselves.
- Do not use physical restraint except as a last resort to prevent the vulnerable adult causing damage or injury to themselves or another person.
- Do not publish information about vulnerable adults that could lead to them being identified or traced.