Working with Children and Adults at Risk of Harm Policy

Policy Statement

By the nature of our services, we often provide training programmes of support to those who would be deemed children or adults at risk of harm. We will endeavour to ensure that children and adults at risk of harm are protected from harm while the visit our property and/or we are delivering programmes of support to them.

We will do this by:

  1. Making sure our staff are carefully selected and AccessNI checks are carried out. Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (NI) Order 2007 (as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012) established a vetting and barring scheme which protects both children and adults at risk of harm by preventing those who are known to pose a risk of harm from accessing these groups through their work
  2. Providing appropriate training for staff in issues of child protection
  3. Taking all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of any child or adult at risk of harm in contact with Antrim Enterprise Agency through undertaking risk assessment
  4. To our best ability, not sexually, physically, psychologically, emotionally or financially abusing any child or adult at risk of harm in contact with Antrim Enterprise Agency
  5. Taking all reasonable steps to prevent any staff member, persons working for us or member of the public from putting any child or adult at risk of harm in a situation in which there is an unreasonable risk to their health and safety
  6. Taking all reasonable steps to prevent any staff member, persons working for us or member of the public from sexually, physically, psychologically, emotionally or financially abusing any child or adult at risk of harm.
  7. Reporting to the Designated Safeguarding Lead any evidence or reasonable suspicion that a child or adult at risk of harm has been abused sexually, physically, psychologically, emotionally or financially in contact with Antrim Enterprise Agency
  8. The Designated Safeguarding Lead referring all incidents reported to their local Health & Social Care Trust or reporting the incident to the PSNI
  9. Implementing this policy in conjunction with our Health & Safety guidelines already in place within Antrim Enterprise Agency
  10. Ensuring our Safeguarding Notice is displayed at all visitor centres, indicating that Antrim Enterprise agency has a policy for children and adults at risk of harm, and where copies can be obtained
  11. Ensuring our Safeguarding Notice is displayed on our website

 

 

 

 

 

Safety and Welfare Guidelines

These guidelines apply to:

  • Any situation involving children and young people up to the age of 18, whether or not accompanied by adults. Antrim Enterprise Agency also recognises that adults at risk of harm of any age will benefit from similar safeguards
  • An adult at risk of harm which is any person aged 18+ whose exposure to harm through abuse, exploitation or neglect may be increased by their personal characteristic and/or life circumstances

(https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dhssps/adult-safeguarding-policy.pdf)

  • All staff, contractors and consultants working in/on Antrim Enterprise Agency property. In the case of contractors and consultants it is incumbent upon the manager to ensure that they are made aware of these guidelines.

 

What is/Types of Abuse?

According to Adult Safeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership abuse is ‘a single or repeated act, or lack or appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is a expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to another individual or violates their human or civil rights’.

Abuse is the misuse of power and control that one person has over another and may be perpetrated by a wide range of people, including those who are usually physically and/or emotionally close to the individual. This may include, but is not limited to, a partner, relative, a person entrusted to act on behalf of the adult in some aspect of their affairs, a services or care provider, a neighbour, a health and social care worker, an employer, a volunteer or another service user.

Main forms of Abuse

  • Physical abuse: the use of physical force or mistreatment of one person by another which may or may not result in actual physical injury. This may include hitting, pushing, rough handling, exposure to heat or cold, force feeding, improper admiration of medication, denial of treatment, misuse or illegal use of restraint and deprivation of liberty.
    • Possible signs: fractures, bruising, burns, pain, marks, not wanting to be touched.
  • Sexual violence and abuse: any behaviour perceived to be of a sexual nature which is unwanted or takes place without consent or understanding. It can take many forms and may include non-contact sexual activities such as indecent exposure, stalking, grooming, being made to look at or be involved in the production of sexually abusive material or being made to watch sexual activities. It may also involve physical contact, including but not limited to, non-consensual penetrative/non-penetrative sexual activities.
    • Possible signs: physical symptoms including genital itching or soreness or having a STI, using bad language, not wanting to be touched, behaving in a sexually inappropriate way, changes in appearance.
  • Psychological/emotional abuse: behaviour that is psychologically harmful or inflicts mental distress by threat, humiliation or other verbal/non-verbal conduct. This may include threats, humiliation or ridicule, provoking fear of violence, shouting, yelling, swearing, blaming, controlling, intimidating and coercion.
    • Possible signs: being withdrawn, too eager to do everything they are asked, showing compulsive behaviours, not being able to do things they used to, not being able to concentrate or focus.
  • Financial abuse: actual or attempted theft, fraud or burglary. It is the misappropriation or misuse of money, property, benefits, material goods or other asset transaction which the person did not or could not consent to, which were invalidated by intimidation, coercion or deception. This may include exploitation, embezzlement, withholding pension or pressure exerted around wills, property or inheritance.
    • Possible signs: 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.
  • Institutional abuse: the mistreatment of an adult by a regime or individuals in settings which adults who may be at risk of harm reside in or use. This can occur in any organisation and involves the collective failure of a services provider or an organisation to provide safe and appropriate services, and includes a failure to ensure that the necessary preventative and/or protective measures are in place.
  • Neglect: occurs when a person deliberately withholds or fails to provide appropriate and adequate care and support which is required by another adult. It may be through a lack of knowledge or awareness, or through a failure to take reasonable action given the information and facts available to them at the time. It can include physical neglect to the extent that health or well-being is impaired, administrating too much/little medication, failure to provide access to appropriate health or social care, withholding necessities of life or failure to intervene in situations that are dangerous to the person concerned.

General duties of ALL Antrim Enterprise Agency staff in regard to the safety and welfare of children and adults at risk of harm

  • To take all reasonable steps to protect children and adults at risk of harm from hazards
  • To take appropriate action if an incident occurs by investigating and recording as per the Safeguarding Concern Record
  • To strictly observe the code of behaviour detailed hereafter
  • To take all reasonable steps to prevent abuse of children and adults at risk of harm in contact with Antrim Enterprise Agency
  • To report any incident or suspicion of abuse to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • All virtual meetings with clients will be recorded and a copy of recording provided to the client

 

Code of Behaviour for all Antrim Enterprise Staff

People working with Antrim Enterprise Agency must always observe the following requirements where children, young people or similarly adults at risk of harm are concerned.

 

Dos and Don’ts for Working with Children

DO:

  • Remember that the child comes first
  • Behave professionally
  • Treat everyone with respect
  • Communicate on their level
  • Listen to children
  • Familiarise yourself with the relevant policies and procedures with respect to working with children and adults at risk of harm
  • Report any suspicions within Antrim Enterprise Agency to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Be aware, approachable and understanding

DON’T:

  • Touch
  • Use inappropriate language
  • Harm or frighten a child
  • Be alone if possible e.g. on a site visit
  • Threaten or be aggressive e.g. shout
  • Mistreat, demean, ignore, make fun of
  • Force a child to do something they don’t want to do
  • Let a child expose him/herself to danger
  • Take photos of children without permission i.e. on site visits

You have a strict duty to never subject any child to any form of harm or abuse. Failure to honour this will be treated as gross misconduct. This means it is unacceptable to:

  • Distress a child by shouting at them or calling them derogatory names
  • Slap a child
  • Hold a child in such a way that causes pain or discomfort or to shake them
  • Physically retrain a child except to protect them from harming themselves or others
  • Take part in horseplay or rough games
  • Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind
  • Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves or an accompanying adult can do for them; this includes going to the toilet with a child unless another adult is present
  • Allow or engage in sexually suggestive behaviour within a child’s sight or hearing, or make suggestive remarks to or within earshot of a child
  • Give or show to a child anything which could be construed as pornography
  • Seek or agree to meet children anywhere beyond normal visitor areas or of Antrim Enterprise Agency property without the full prior knowledge and agreement of their parents or guardians.

 

When a child discloses abuse, this needs to be taken very seriously. It is important that any disclosure is dealt with appropriately, both for the child and yourself.

Reporting a disclosure from a child (make use of AEA Safeguarding Concern Record):

  

Dos and Don’ts for working with Adults at Risk of Harm

DO:

  • Be respectful and professional
  • Listen and communicate
  • Use common sense; be caring, attentive and aware
  • Act in an appropriate manner
  • Be sympathetic to their needs
  • Be aware of your responsibility
  • Familiarise yourself with the relevant policies and procedures with respect to working with children and adults at risk of harm
  • Know the appropriate contact and act appropriately
  • Be responsible- report and support

DON’T:

  • Treat them like a child
  • Be aggressive
  • Physically restrain them
  • Do anything of a personal nature that they can do for themselves
  • Reinforce negative emotions/behaviours
  • Place yourself in a vulnerable position

Reporting a disclosure from an adult at risk of harm (make use of AEA Safeguarding Concern Record

Images of Children and Adults at Risk of Harm

Images of children and adults at risk of harm should only be used if written consent has been obtained from a parent, guardian or carer, or, if referring to school groups, relevant school authority. General group photographs may be used if no individual can be identified by reason of any attached data.

Permission should be obtained firstly to take the photograph and secondly for permission if the photograph is to be reproduced.

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