Bolton Sports Federation
Ladies' Rounders League
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Vulnerable Adults Policy (Revised December 2008 - Issue 3)
This policy sets out the governance arrangements for the protection of vulnerable adults within the BSF Ladies Rounders League. The procedures are based on the directions issued by the Department of Health and Home Office in the document ‘No secrets’ (2002).
1.1 Vulnerable adults refers to all those adults (18 or older) who have a physical disability, are suffering from mental illness, have a learning disability or who, through illness or injury are unable to provide adequately for themselves at that point.
1.2 Risk refers to any situation or behaviour by an individual or others which presents a real or potential threat or harm to a person’s health, safety or well being.
1.3 All vulnerable adults have the right to protection and to live their lives free from violence and abuse. Adults have the right to make informed decisions including risks, and should have maximum control over their own lives
1.4 Risk taking needs to be viewed positively to ensure good quality of life where people are able to make reasonable, informed and calculated decisions involving risk taking and safety.
2. Types of Risk
2.1 There are many and varied circumstances in which vulnerable adults might be considered at risk requiring a response:
· Self neglect is not a direct form of abuse but members and welfare officers need to be aware of it in the general context of risk assessments and risk management.
· People at risk because of the behaviour of others.
· People at risk from known medical conditions.
2.2 Risk arising from self-neglect or a person’s own behaviour or Lifestyle.
A A vulnerable person may require assessment or investigation from an appropriate agency (Health or Social Services) where
· They are unable to provide adequate care for themselves or
· they are unable to obtain care necessary for their needs, or
· they are unable to make reasonable decisions because of their state of mental health, or
· they are living in unsanitary/unsafe accommodation or are homeless, or
· they have refused essential services, without which their health and safety needs cannot be met, or
· Their behaviour is such that it presents a real or potential threat of harm to their own health, safety or well being or of that to others.
B While many risk situations will come to attention through one significant incident that may involve immediate physical danger, equally serious situations develop more slowly through marginal changes or gradual deterioration in an individuals circumstances which can be more difficult to identify. For example people with dementia may need particular consideration due to the progressive nature of the condition.
C The following are typical of some of the risk factors which might be identified, physical, mental health, social, psychological and medical.
2.3 Risk arising from the behaviour of others
A number of vulnerable adults are at risk as the result of actions or behaviours of other people, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Abuse is behaviour towards a person that either deliberately or unknowingly, causes him or her harm or endangers their life or their human or civil rights. Abuse includes physical, sexual, psychological, financial, discriminatory abuse and acts of neglect and omission. An individual, a group or an organisation may perpetrate abuse. It includes domestic violence and institutional abuse.
Abuse can be passive or active; it can be an isolated incident or repeated. It may occur as a result of a failure to undertake action or appropriate care tasks.
2.4 Risk arising from known medical conditions.
· A person may be put at risk by not adhering to a programme of prescribed medication, lifestyle restriction or limitation.
· By accepting malicious or well meaning inappropriate suggestions or advice.
2.5 Examples of abuse are listed below:-
· Physical abuse - slapping, hitting, physical restraint, pushing. When the nature and intensity of training and competition exceeds the capacity of the player. Where physical punishments are used.
· Psychological abuse – if players are subjected to constant criticism, name-calling and sarcasm, bullying or unrealistic pressure to perform to expectations beyond their ability. It may include ridicule, mockery, humiliation, intimidation.
· Financial abuse – theft or misuse of property, possessions or insurance
· Social abuse – social isolation, denying access to services and refusal of transportation.
· Sexual abuse – sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, being forced or coerced to be photographed or videoed, inappropriate use of sexually explicit language.
Signs of abuse are:-
· Physical abuse:-
ü Injuries that are on unusual sites (cheeks, ears, inside mouth).
ü Presence of several injuries or scars of a variety of ages.
ü Injuries that have not received any medical attention.
ü Injuries that are the shape of objects e.g. a hand, teeth, cigarette.
ü Behaviour that indicates that the person is afraid of the perpetrator.
· Psychological abuse:-
ü Lack of confidence and anxiety.
ü Decreased ability to communicate.
ü Increased levels of confusion.
ü Low self-esteem.
ü Difficulty gaining access to the adult on their own or the adult gaining opportunities to contact you.
· Financial abuse
ü Sudden loss of assets.
ü Bills not being paid.
ü Sense that the person is being tolerated in the house due to the income they bring in, person not being included in the activities the rest of the family enjoys.
3. Principles of Intervention
3.1 Where the health, safety and well-being of vulnerable adults are seriously threatened as a result of self-neglect or abuse by others the League has is a commitment to make every effort to identify, prevent or minimize such risks. The league must be aware of and sensitive to an individual’s ethnic origin, culture, religious beliefs, gender and sexual orientation.
3.2 It is not the responsibility of the League to determine if an individual is at risk or experience abuse. The identification, assessment, protection and care of vulnerable adults are a multi-disciplinary, inter agency responsibility, which should involve anyone with relevant knowledge or involved in providing support to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals concerned. The League would work in partnership with statutory agencies.
3.3 In exercising their responsibilities the League will recognise that vulnerable people and their carers have separate rights in relation to independence, decision making and choice. Every effort will be made to assist in reconciling differences when the rights and responsibilities of individual’s conflict, but such reconciliation may not always be possible.
3.4 Where a person appears to be at risk, every reasonable effort will be made to identify the specific problems or dangers. The concern will be reported to the appropriate agency by the League.
3.5 Where direct intervention in a person’s life is required because of the level of risk to which he or she is exposed, or because of limitations on his or her capacity to make decisions, the intervention should be at a level necessary to ensure appropriate and sensible protection is provided.
3.6 Where abuse has been identified or that an offence has been committed against a vulnerable person who is unable to make informed decisions and that person remains in danger of physical harm then the police must be notified immediately.
4. Procedures for responding to concerns relating to vulnerable adults or others who are at risk
4.1 Situations where vulnerable persons or others are considered to be at risk of abuse or where abuse is suspected, or situations of serious self neglect should be referred to the Social Services Department.
4.2 Actions if there are concerns
The following actions should be taken if there are concerns.
If following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice this need to be brought to the attention of the League Welfare Officer who will deal with appropriately.
If the allegation is about the League Welfare Officer then this will be brought to the League Committee for action.
In cases of specific suspected abuse.
If a specific incident or injury gives cause for concern or if an adult says something has happened to them that fall within the remit of “Recognized Abuse”, the Designated Person must be contacted immediately.
In cases of non-specific abuse
Concerns can sometimes arise about an adult without any specific incident or injury having occurred. These may be concerns that you have monitored over a period of time, or worries that you may wish to discuss with the “Designated Person”.
It is important to mention your concern rather than to keep it to yourself as this could be vital in preventing a situation from becoming worse. In these circumstances the concern should be written up, an arrangement for an early meeting with the “Designated Person” should be made. In these situations, the Designated Person may decide to make an “advice call” to the Local Authority Social Services or to the Police.
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only.
Information will be stored in a secure place with access limited to designated people.
Appropriate training will enable individuals to recognize their responsibilities with regard to their own good practice and the reporting of poor practice/concerns of possible abuse.
The League will ensure training in the following:-
At regular intervals, members will be given the opportunity to receive feedback to identify training needs and set new goals. The League Committee will be sensitive to any concerns about poor practice or abuse and act on them at an early stage.