Adult Safeguarding Policy and Procedures


Example of child protection policy for voluntary organizations – appendix 3

This document is the Adult Safeguarding Policy and Procedures for Glossop Arts Project (GAP) which will be followed by all members of the organisation and followed and promoted by those in the position of leadership within the organisation.

GAP aims to make a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and believes that everyone who engages with our organisation, whether in a paid or unpaid role or as a user of our services should be able to feel safe from harm and be supported in how to keep themselves safe.

The purpose of this policy and procedures is to ensure that all staff, trustees, participants, visiting artists and volunteers recognise and accept their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause harm to adults and act appropriately and effectively on any suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect (including self neglect), passing on their concerns to a responsible person or agency.

This policy relates to all adults and in particular to those deemed to be ‘at risk’, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership whether visiting GAP, working as volunteers, employees or on work experience.

Example of child protection policy for voluntary organizations – appendix 3

Safeguarding duties apply in particular to an adult (aged 18 or over) who:

  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs). ‘Care and support’ is defined as the mixture of practical, financial and emotional support for those who need extra help to manage their lives and be independent.


  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect


  • As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect (Derbyshire and Derby Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures June 2017)

Underpinning guidance and legislation

This document is written in accordance with and Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Adults Board protocols. It is also in line with the following legislations and guidance:

  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Care Act 2014
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Data Protection Act 2018 which sets out how personal information should be processed under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Principles upon which this Adult Safeguarding Policy is based

We believe that

• At GAP we all (volunteers and staff) have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all adults, to act on any suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect, pass on any concerns and to deliver our service in a way that protects them and…

We recognise that

  • The Human Rights Act 1998 applies equally to every person regardless of their age, race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability or immigration status and that people have the right to make decisions for themselves.
  • A lack of capacity, illness, age, race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, immigration status or other disadvantage may compromise a person’s ability to keep safe.
  • wherever practicable, seek the consent of the adult before taking action. A lack of consent however, will not prevent safeguarding action being taken, especially in cases where others are or may be at risk if nothing is done, or where it is in the public interest to take action because a criminal offence has occurred
  • Working in partnership with adults, their support agencies and sharing information with relevant organisations raises the likelihood that adults at risk will be safeguarded
  • A commitment to providing training to all staff and volunteers and providing relevant ‘keeping safe’ information to participants is a key part of achieving our aims of helping to keep people safe and protect them from harm.
  • Abuse can take place in any context.

We will seek to keep adults safe by:

  • Promoting the rights of everyone to live free from abuse and coercion
  • Valuing, listening to and respecting their rights, wishes, feelings and dignity
  • Making every effort to enable adults experiencing, or at risk of, harm to express their wishes at a time and in a way that is appropriate to them. It is recognised that they may sometimes remain in unsafe situations because they refuse any offer of help
  • Creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and having a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that may arise
  • Managing and delivering services in a way which promotes safety and prevents abuse
  • Those in positions of responsibility within GAP will work in accordance with the best interests of individuals and follow the policy outlined below when wishing to share concerns and relevant information with other agencies,
  • Sharing information about our safeguarding best practice with participants, staff and volunteers via our website, access to our printed documents and staff/volunteer training
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made, including DBS checks where appropriate and providing effective management of staff via supervision support and training
  • Ensuring that staff and volunteers receive appropriate safeguarding training and that this is regularly updated, at least very 2 years for the lead safeguarding officer
  • Having a code of conduct for staff and volunteers and for those that we work with
  • Ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
  • Having procedures in place and applying them to manage any allegations against staff or volunteers and ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistle blowing measures in place
  • Recording and storing information professionally and securely in line with Data Protection regulations including GDPR and having clear data sharing protocols

Related Policies and Procedures

This document should be read alongside the following associated policies and procedures:

  • Role of the designated safeguarding officer
  • Safer recruitment policy and procedures for staff and volunteers
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy
  • Confidentiality and Data Protection policies and procedures
  • Complaints procedure, Disability and Grievance procedures and managing allegations of abuse
  • Code of conduct for staff and volunteers including guidance on anti bullying
  • Photography and image sharing guidance
  • Records retention and storage policy
  • Whistle blowing policy
  • Volunteer Policy


1. Immediate Action to Ensure Safety

  • Emergency medical attention is required. This can be secured by calling an ambulance (dial 999) or taking the person to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
  • A person is in immediate danger. The police should be contacted (dial 999) Remember that wherever practicable, the consent of the adult should be sought before taking action. A lack of consent however, will not prevent safeguarding action being taken, especially in cases where others are or may be at risk if nothing is done, or where it is in the public interest to take action because a criminal offence has occurred.

2. Recognition of Abuse or Neglect

Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human or civil rights, by any other person or persons. We should not limit our view of what constitutes abuse or neglect, as they can take many forms and involve many circumstances. The following types of abuse and neglect are identified within the Care Act 2014, but should not be considered exhaustive;

  • Physical abuse– including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
  • Domestic abuse– An incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by someone who is or has been an intimate partner or family member regardless of gender or sexuality. Includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse, so called ‘honour’ based violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage.
  • 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.
  • Sexual exploitation– involves exploitative situations and relationships where people receive ‘something’ (e.g. accommodation, alcohol, affection, money) as a result of performing, or others performing on them, sexual activities.
  • Psychological abuse– including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, bullying / cyber bullying, isolation, radicalisation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks
  • Financial or material abuse– including theft, fraud, internet and postal scamming, doorstep crime, 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, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership 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.

3. Identifying abuse

The following list outlines some ways in which abuse may be identified. This is not an exhaustive list and it is not the responsibility of staff or volunteers to determine if abuse is occurring but to report their concerns.

These signs are not always necessarily evidence of abuse and may have innocent explanations. Some disabled people may feel more at risk in making others aware of abuse because of their reliance on the abuser. People are rarely abused by strangers; it is usually someone known to them who has a measure of control over them.

  • Changes in behaviour; immediate or over time (e.g. becoming withdrawn or depressed)
  • Injuries for which there are no explanations, or the explanation given raises concern
  • Fear of certain adults
  • Does not socialise and has few friends
  • Behaves like a much younger person
  • Confuses affection with sexual behaviour and seeks secretive relationships
  • Is unresponsive, nervous, attention seeking, aggressive or lethargic
  • Appearance deteriorates physically or hygienically
  • Seems to be a ‘loner’ and does not integrate with the group
  • A reluctance to participate or go home
  • They tell you they are being abused
  • A third party tells you they are being abused

4. Responding to Alleged or Suspected Incidents

Safeguarding responses should be swift and personalised and should involve the adult in the enquiries and decision making from the start. Central to this is having a genuine conversation with the adult to understand how we can help them.

How to respond if you receive an allegation

  • Listen carefully and calmly to the person.
  • Reassure them
  • Give them time and attention. Allow them to use their own words and to speak at their own pace
  • Make an accurate record of the information you have been told / witnessed as soon as possible. Use the person’s own words where possible.
  • Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief
  • Tell them that the information will be treated seriously
  • Don’t start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions. Ask questions for clarification only. Avoid leading questions e.g. “Did they…..?”. Use open questions e.g. “What happened?”, “Anything else?”
  • Do not push for information, make suggestions or offer alternative explanations
  • It is essential that the details of any alleged abuse are recorded correctly and legibly using GAP’s incident recording form, as this could be critical later in the proceedings
  • Do not share the information with other people. The only person you need to inform is the Designated Protection Officer (Sonja) or the referral agency if Sonja is not available

If you witness abuse or abuse has just taken place your priorities will be:

  • To call an ambulance if required
  • To call the Police if a crime has been committed
  • To preserve evidence
  • To keep yourself, staff, volunteers and other participants safe
  • To inform the Designated Protection Officer (Elle) immediately
  • To record what happened on an incident form, located in the session’s Wellbeing file

5. Procedure for dealing with Allegations of Abuse

It is NOT GAP’s or the individual’s responsibility to identify and investigate possible instances of abuse. This is the role of the statutory agencies. It is however a statutory responsibility to report any adult at risk concerns.

If you are concerned about an adult, you must share your concerns, following the procedure given here and also outlined in the flowchart in Appendix 1.

Follow the process outlined in the Flowchart in Appendix 1 and contact GAP’s designated Safeguarding Officer immediately or within 24 hours.

Under no circumstances should any staff member of volunteer attempt to deal with an allegation alone.

a) Formally record details of the incident within 24 hours and pass to GAP’s designated safeguarding officer. This is Elle Bromley. If this person is implicated in the concerns, you should discuss your concerns directly with Call Derbyshire on tel: 01629 533190.

b) Information will be treated as confidential. The alleged victim will be told that their information will be shared with the Designated Safeguarding Officer even if the person does not want the matter referring to any other agency. This is not classed as breaching the person’s confidentiality.

c) If it is appropriate and there is consent from the person, or there is good reason to override consent a referral will be made to Adult Social Care on tel: 01629 533190 (out of hours number is 01629 532600). This must be done within 24 hours. The Designated Safeguarding officer may take advice from Call Derbyshire before making a referral or from other advice-giving agencies e.g. Police on 101.

d) Complete an incident report form giving details of the alleged abuse. Do this correctly and legibly, using as far as possible the person’s own words.

6. Issues about Confidentiality and Gaining Consent to Share Information

Sharing of information will be based on the welfare of the adult, or of other potentially affected adults and family and will ensure that:

  • Information will only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis when it is in the interests of the adult
  • Confidentiality is not be confused with secrecy
  • Informed consent should be obtained but, if this is not possible and other adults or children are at risk of abuse or neglect, it may be necessary to override the requirement
  • It is inappropriate for agencies to give assurances of absolute confidentiality in cases where there are concerns about abuse, particularly in those situations when other adults or children may be at risk

Where sharing of information with a third party is deemed necessary, disclosure will be made on a need to know basis and limited in terms of the information passed and the third parties to whom it is disclosed. Decisions about who needs to know and what needs to be known will be taken on a case by case basis. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will need to be able to justify why they are sharing information with another agency. However, the duty to protect an individual or others will in most cases outweigh the need to adhere to data protection and to maintain confidentiality.

Where an adult has refused to consent to information being disclosed, the Designated Safeguarding Officer will need to consider whether there is an overriding public interest that would justify information sharing.
Examples of this may include:

  • If the person lacks capacity to make the decision
  • For the prevention and investigation of the crime
  • To prevent serious harm, distress or threat to life
  • If there is a risk to others
  • If there is a risk to children
  • If the person is under duress, coercion or undue influence
  • If staff are implicated
  • Domestic Abuse
  • If there is a court order or other legal authority in place instructing you to do so
  • Where the alleged source of risk has care and support needs and may be at risk

Where information is not shared because the adult declines to consent and there is no lawful authority to breach this, The Designated Safeguarding Officer must seek to establish why this is and ensure that the adult is given information on how to access support in case they decide to seek support in the future.

7. Making a referral

Referrals to Derbyshire County Council will be made by telephone in the first instance, via Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190 (08456 058 058) or minicom on 01629 533240 during the hours of 08.00 and 20.00 Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours calls should be made to 01629 532600 minicom 01629 533240.

If you are requested to complete a referral form, copies of the safeguarding adults referral form and guidance information can be found on

Both verbal and written referrals need to be as comprehensive as possible and all relevant factual information should be provided. All questions on the referral form should be completed in as much detail as possible, with particular attention to the following key points:

  • Is the adult safe?
  • Are the statutory safeguarding criteria met?
  • Details of the alleged abuse/concerns/disclosure/risk of abuse or neglect
  • Details of any friends, family or advocacy who may be able to assist the adult
  • Information about any communication needs in respect of the adult
  • Indication of concerns about the adult’s capacity to understand the safeguarding

8. Storing of Information within the organisation

The organisation should ensure that any records made in relation to a referral should be kept confidentially and in a secure place in line with the Data Protection 2018 requirements.

9. What to do if an allegation is made about a member of GAP staff or volunteer

Any concerns or complaints about the behaviour of or potential abuse by a member of staff or volunteer, should be dealt with immediately using the flowchart in Appendix 1

10. Contact details

Nominated Adult Safeguarding lead Name : Elle Bromley –

Deputy Safeguarding : Name : Catherine McNicholas –