Safeguarding Policy

  1. Introduction
  • Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It involves people and companies working together to prevent and stop abuse and ensuring the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate their views, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances. (Care & Support Statutory Guidance July 2018).
  • For the purpose of this policy, ‘adult’ refers to a person aged 18 years or over.
  • For reference the Director of Write on the Tyne is a qualified Social Worker and IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate).
  • Abuse of an adult may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may occur as a result of a failure to undertake action or appropriate care tasks. It may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur where a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which they have not, or cannot, consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the individual.
  • Write on the Tyne has a duty of care to ensure the safeguarding of adults in partnership with the local authorities which cover the geographical area of the company’s services. Write on the Tyne is committed to promoting best practice in regard to the protection of adults.
  • The Care Act 2014 (Sections 42-47 & 68) sets out a clear legal framework for how local authorities and other parts of the health and care system should protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect. The Care and Support Statutory Guidance (July 2018) sets out current Government guidance on Safeguarding Adults. Write on the Tyne is committed to the principles set out within The Care Act 2014 and related guidance.

2.       Adults at risk

 a. The Care Act 2014 defines an adult who may be in need of safeguarding as an adult in its area (whether or not ordinarily resident there) [who]:

b. has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs),

c. is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and

d. as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

  • This definition may encompass people Write on the Tyne delivers services to. This is due to the fact many people engaging with Write on the Tyne will be accessing services for their needs, past experiences and current difficulties and therefore may be vulnerable.
  • Write on the Tyne delivers services to people who have multiple needs. It is therefore possible that people receiving the services may be both victims and perpetrators of abuse.

3.       Safeguarding Principles

  • All decisions taken in the Safeguarding Adults process must comply with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Act.
  • It is presumed that adults have mental capacity to make informed choices about their own safety and how they live their lives, unless there is a reason to doubt a person’s capacity to make decisions. Issues of mental capacity and the ability to give informed consent are central to decisions and actions in Safeguarding Adults. All interventions need to take into account the ability of adults to make informed choices about the way they want to live and the risks they want to take.
  • The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides protection to those who lack capacity and to enable them to take part, as much as possible in decisions that affect them. The Act is underpinned by a set of 5 key principles:
  1. A presumption of capacity .
  2. Individuals being supported to make their own decisions.
  3. Unwise decisions.
  4. Best interests.
  5. Least restrictive option.
  • Write on the Tyne can carry out and assessment on Mental Capacity.
  • A person may be deemed to have mental capacity, or have fluctuating capacity (that is, have mental capacity in some situations/times and not others) but still be at risk of serious harm. An assessment of capacity should not exclude someone from safeguarding, although the person’s wishes should still be kept central to discussions.

4.      Consent

  • It is paramount in safeguarding to consider whether the adult at risk is capable of giving informed consent. If they are, their consent should be sought. This may be in relation to whether they give consent to:
  • An interview
    • A Safeguarding Adults investigation going ahead in response to a concern that has been raised.
    • The recommendations of an individual protection plan being put in place.
    • Certain decisions and actions taken during the Safeguarding Adults process with the person or with people who know about their abuse and its impact on the adult at risk.
  • If, after discussion with the adult at risk who has mental capacity, they refuse any intervention, their wishes will be respected unless:
  • There is a public interest, for example, not acting will put other adults or children at risk;
    • There is a duty of care to intervene, for example, a crime has been or may be committed.
  • If a person appears to have given consent to an activity that may be abusive – for example, if consent to abuse or neglect was given under duress, as a result of exploitation, pressure, fear or intimidation, OR if the person is under duress not to give consent to any investigation or action this should also be taken into account. This apparent consent / non- consent should be disregarded and the safeguarding processes should be followed. Where this occurs, supervisory guidance should be sought if practicable and clear rationale for this decision must be clearly recorded in the persons record.
  • Even if the person refuses consent to actions being taken regarding safeguarding, this must be recorded in support plans and risk assessments, shared with partners and safety planning put in place.

5.      Information Sharing

  • Write on the Tyne has an Information Sharing procedure in place. No Write on the Tyne staff member should assume that someone else will pass on information which they think may be critical to the safety and wellbeing of the adult.
  • Protection of the public outweighs an individual’s right to confidentiality. However, it is still vital to only inform others on a ‘need to know’ basis.
  • Anyone who has concerns about the adult’s welfare and believes they are suffering or likely to suffer abuse or neglect, then they should share the information with the local authority and, or, the police if they believe or suspect that a crime has been committed.

6.  Categories of abuse

  • Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and it may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it.
  • The following types of abuse are suggested in the Government’s Care and Support Statutory Guidance:
  • Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions
    • Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence.
    • Sexual abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
    • Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
    • Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
    • Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
  • Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
    • Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill- treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
    • Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
    • Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
  • Domestic Abuse – ‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:
  • psychological
    • physical
    • sexual
    • financial
    • emotional
  • ‘Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
  • ‘Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”
  • Children – It is essential that the needs of any children within an abusive or domestic violence situation are considered and acted upon.
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It’s also known as female circumcision, cutting or sunna. Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is dangerous and a criminal offence. Specific information, advice and support on FGM is available from the NSPCC FGM helpline: 0800 028 3550 or email
  • Prevent – Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The Prevent strategy:
  • Responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views
    • Provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
    • Works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with
  • Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism. Extremism is defined by the Government in the Prevent Strategy as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
  • Safeguarding people without care and support needs
  • Write on the Tyne offers services to people who do not have care and support needs, as defined under the Care Act, but who may be at increased risk of abuse. This may include carers, some people who self- neglect, and survivors of domestic abuse.
  • If a person is being harmed, or at risk if harm, there are agencies that can help, even if a formal safeguarding response is not triggered. These include:
  • The police
    • Domestic abuse services
    • The National Referral Mechanism for victims of modern slavery
    • Community and support groups
    • Other social services teams.
  • A local authority safeguarding response is not the only, or always the most appropriate, response to keeping people safe.

8.     Governance

  • Write on the Tyne has Non-executive Directors who form a governance group and ensure services are delivered in an accountable, safe and ethical way.
  • Write on the Tyne operates procedures that take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable adults, including Disclosure and Barring service checks on all colleagues. Write on the Tyne Director is a qualified Social Worker and IDVA.
  • Staff at Write on the Tyne are trained in Safeguarding Adults and Safeguarding Children.

9.     Procedure

  • Write on the Tyne must safeguard all adults at risk.
  • An accurate record should be made at the time of the disclosure or discovery giving details of the incident and/or the grounds for suspecting abuse.
    • It is critical that the person at risk of or experiencing abuse is listened to and their wishes taken into account
  • Reporting
    • An alert should be submitted to the Local Authority Safeguarding Adults Team.
    • If there is any suspicion that a crime has been committed the police should also be contacted.
    • Where Domestic Abuse is involved, a MARAC referral must be considered, using the threshold/assessment tools provided by the local MARAC.

10.    Colleagues accused of abuse

  1. If a Write on the Tyne member of staff is accused of abuse, this will go directly to the Non-executive Directors (both training in Safeguarding Adults)