Safeguarding Adults Policy
1.1 Adult safeguarding is the process of protecting vulnerable adults from neglect, abuse or exploitation. The Care Act 2014 introduced this as a statutory duty for local authorities, with three main strands:
• A duty for a local authority to carry out enquiries (or cause others to) where it suspects an adult is at risk of abuse or neglect.
• A requirement for all areas to establish a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB)
• SABs to carry out safeguarding adults reviews (SARs)
• The ability for SABs to require information sharing from other partners to support SARs or other functions.
1.2 The Act sets out clear expectations of partner organisations in contact with vulnerable adults who are or may be at risk of abuse or neglect. This includes housing organisations and staff.
1.3 This policy outlines Northwards Housing’s role within the safeguarding framework set out in legislation and guidance and overseen in Manchester by the Manchester Safeguarding Partnership (MSP).
1.4 Adult safeguarding is built of six key principles (balancing safety from/prevention of harm with an adults capacity to choose and control their behaviour)
• empowerment – supporting adults to take decisions and informed consent
• prevention – taking action before harm occurs
• proportionality – taking the least intrusive appropriate response
• protection – support and representation
• partnership – services working with communities
• accountability – and transparency
1.5 Northwards Housing will actively work to safeguard those adults in need who are our tenants or who live in our properties. We will adopt a multi-agency approach, working openly and proactively with other agencies as necessary to share information so that vulnerable adults are protected from abuse, exploitation and neglect.
1.6 Effective safeguarding is not something we see as an ‘’add-on’’, but rather is embedded in our ways of working, especially in relation to staff who have contact with tenants. It can be a complex and sensitive issue to address, so it is important that there are clear mechanisms for staff to raise their concerns, robust recording and follow-up processes and support for staff.
1.7 We also recognise that some tenants due to their vulnerabilities struggle to properly maintain their tenancies. This may result in untidy gardens, unkempt properties or hoarding. We will take all reasonable steps to secure for these people appropriate support to manage their tenancies. We have a more detailed policy and procedure on hoarding and self-neglect, which should be read in conjunction with our main Safeguarding Adults Policy.
1.8 Northwards Housing has an internal procedure for dealing with safeguarding matters which is provided to employees. All relevant referral forms are included within the procedure.
2. Principles of Policy
2.1 All staff who come into contact with adults who fit the criteria in their everyday work have a responsibility to:
• Safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable people
• Be able to recognise situations where adults with care and support needs are being abused or exploited by others or are suffering from neglect
• Be aware of indicators of domestic violence and harassment
• Recognise signs indicating that a tenant is unable to properly manage their tenancy due care or support needs.
2.2 Staff who deal directly with tenants will receive training and guidance on working with vulnerable people. We will ensure that appropriate information and advice is also provided to our repairs contractors. We will ensure that our retirement scheme managers receive specific training in relation to older people.
2.3 Where we identify suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect, we will ensure that we liaise with the appropriate agency or agencies to ensure that the most appropriate form of support is sought. We will assist with this wherever possible.
2.4 Where we identify issues with regards to tenancy management we will again seek appropriate support from outside agencies and work closely with them and the tenant in attempting to address the situation.
2.5 We will make sure that we take the views of vulnerable adults into account and balance these against their rights and need to be safeguarded and our need to ensure that tenancies are appropriately managed. This may include in some instances taking legal action to ensure that tenancy conditions are being complied with and other tenants’ rights (including to quiet enjoyment of their homes) are being protected.
2.6 In safeguarding vulnerable adults, we will have regard to relevant guidance issued by the Government and/or Manchester Safeguarding Partnership. We will make sure that staff are sufficiently well-supported to implement the policy. We will make sure that we learn from reviews and identify other opportunities to improve the way we do things. We will make sure that learning is incorporated into our day-to-day practices.
3.1 Overall responsibility for the policy is with the Director of Neighbourhood Services. A Head of Neighbourhood Services has lead responsibility for safeguarding issues (including linking into and supporting multi-agency partnership and problem-solving arrangements and making sure that learning from reviews is incorporated into our day-to-day practices). The relevant Neighbourhood Housing Manager or Community Safety Manager (depending on the status of the case) has day-to-day responsibility for overseeing individual cases and making sure that these are regularly reviewed, appropriately progressed and escalated within Northwards or with partner agencies where necessary.
3.2 An annual overview report, detailing safeguarding activity during the year, will be provided to Northwards Board. We will have a Board Safeguarding Champion, appointed annually.
3.3 Our safeguarding policy and procedure are subject to an annual internal audit to ensure that practices are up to date and fit for purpose and that we are complying with them.
3.4 Each year the Manchester Partnership Board requires Northwards Housing to carry out a self-assessment on its safeguarding practices to monitor their effectiveness and report back to the Board. The Head of Neighbourhood Services with lead responsibility for safeguarding at Northwards completes this as well as attending peer review sessions to ensure that our policy and procedures remain relevant and up to date and to improve the way we do things.
4. Review Process This policy will be reviewed every two years, or in line with any relevant legislative changes, revised guidance or learning from reviews if sooner.
Policy version Six – January 2020
Author Claire Tyrrell, Head of Neighbourhood Services
Approved by Mike Stevens, Director of Neighbourhood Services
Next review January 2022