1.1. This policy and procedure is written to enable the Kenton & District u3a committee to address issues where there are safeguarding concerns. Safeguarding includes incidents between members, concerns regarding abuse or neglect that a ku3a member may be experiencing outside of the u3a, health related issues or previous or pending criminal convictions.
1.2. The purpose of this policy is to demonstrate the commitment of Kenton & District u3a to safeguarding their members and to ensure that everyone involved in Kenton & District u3a is aware of:
- The legislation, policy and procedures for safeguarding adults.
- Their role and responsibility for safeguarding adults.
- What to do or who to speak to if they have a concern relating to the welfare or well-being of an adult within Kenton & District u3a.
2.1. This safeguarding policy and procedure apply to all individuals involved in Kenton & District u3a, including the committee, group leaders and members, and to all concerns about the safety and well-being of members taking part in u3a activities and in the wider community.
3. Safeguarding Commitments
3.1. In order to implement this policy, Kenton & District u3a will ensure that all members will be aware of the safeguarding procedures and know who to contact if they have a concern relating to the welfare or well-being of an adult.
3.2. Kenton & District u3a committee has a duty of care to its members, and is committed to upholding this safeguarding policy in order to protect its members.
3.3. Kenton & District u3a recognises that some people are potentially at risk of abuse and neglect. Where abuse or neglect is suspected Kenton & District u3a will aim to respond in a prompt and efficient manner to any situation where there is a risk of or perceived risk of harm.
3.4. Kenton & District u3a does not hold any statutory authority. Matters of concern will be reported to the relevant safeguarding authorities and charity regulatory authorities, as appropriate. This may include the local authority, the local multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH), or the police in an emergency.
3.5. Where there are concerns for a member’s well-being or safety, Kenton & District u3a committee will complete a safeguarding risk assessment, seek advice and support from the Trust where necessary, and will contact the relevant statutory authorities as needed. It is not appropriate for Kenton & District u3a to take the lead role in any Safeguarding Enquiry (under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 (England and Wales.
3.6. Kenton & District u3a recognises that there are various forms of abuse which can be perpetrated by volunteers, members, relatives, friends, and neighbours. Kenton & District u3a will not condone nor tolerate any form of abuse or neglect and believes that all people should be able and, where necessary, enabled to live in an environment which is safe and free from harm.
3.7. Kenton & District u3a will put the well-being of those at risk of harm first, and they will be actively supported to communicate their views and the outcomes they want to achieve. Those views and wishes will be respected and supported unless there are overriding reasons not to. Any actions taken will respect the rights and dignity of all those involved and be proportionate to the risk of harm.
3.8. A list of the types of safeguarding risks and harm can be found on the England and Wales Charity Commission website, which is applicable generally.
3.9. Kenton & District u3a will monitor the implementation of this policy and procedure annually through its committee.
3.10. When following the safeguarding procedure Kenton & District u3a will strive to uphold the principles that those involved in incidents are entitled to:
- be treated with dignity and respect
- lead an independent life and to be enabled to do so
- choose how they live their lives
- the protection of the law
- have their human and civil rights upheld regardless of ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, impairment or disability, age, religious or cultural background.
3.11. Kenton & District u3a will also follow the principles enshrined within the England and Wales Care Act
- Principle 1 – Empowerment – whereby the approach is focused on the individual making their own decision and gaining informed consent, where possible.
- Principle 2 – Prevention – seeking to take steps to prevent issues from arising or escalating.
- Principle 3 – Proportionality – responding in a proportionate way to the issue/s being presented.
- Principle 4 – Protection – seeking to keep the membership safe and protection for those deemed to be at risk.
- Principle 5 – Partnership – reporting incidents to the relevant statutory bodies and liaising with the Third Age Trust.
- Principle 6 – Accountability – accurate recording of incidents. Reporting incidents, as required, to the Third Age Trust and to relevant regulatory authorities.
4.1. Kenton & District u3a has a responsibility to ensure that its committee members and group leaders understand their safeguarding responsibilities.
4.2. Depending on the nature of the allegation and the identified risk, Kenton & District u3a will support the alleged victims and the alleged perpetrators of any abuse as well as any volunteer who becomes aware of an allegation in so far as this does not compromise any safeguarding enquiry or investigation into the allegation or place other adults at risk.
4.3. Kenton & District u3a will make every effort to respect the confidentiality of any information that is disclosed under this policy and procedure, however due to the seriousness of allegations confidentiality is not absolute. Information will be recorded and stored securely in accordance with Data Protection Act 2018 but information may have to be shared with relevant authorities on a ‘need-to-know’ basis only, to prevent:
- Danger to a person’s life
- Danger to a person’s health
- Danger to others
- Danger to the community
- To facilitate the investigation of a serious crime
5. Courses of action
- Kenton & District u3a’s approach to safeguarding will include members who exhibit health concerns that could put themselves or others at risk, convictions (previous or pending) that include offences of a sexual or violent nature, inappropriate behaviour exhibited by a member including sexual advances, bullying, aggression or violent behaviour, harassment and/or discrimination. This can include behaviour exhibited face to face as well as electronic communications or via social media platforms.
- Where the committee becomes aware of a safeguarding concern, steps will be taken, as needed, to ensure the safety of the adult(s) at risk is secured as a priority. The steps to take to address this will be discussed and agreed between the Executive Officers of the committee in the first instance. No committee member will act in isolation when dealing with a safeguarding concern. The steps taken should be documented and stored securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.
- Where Kenton & District u3a committee becomes aware of a safeguarding concern the first step will be to gather as much information as possible to assist with the decision as to the next steps. A risk assessment will be developed and recorded as soon as possible after the concern comes to the attention of the committee.
- Where it is deemed that the risk is high and immediate action needs to be taken, the committee will contact the relevant authorities and the Third Age Trust for advice and support.
- As far as possible, the adult at risk’s wishes will be respected as to whether or not to refer any concerns to the local authority as a Safeguarding Enquiry under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014, section 4 of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007), and according to the Northern Ireland Charity Commission guidelines. However, it may be necessary to override their wishes in the best interests of other adults at risk.
- In developing the risk assessment, the committee will consider the level of risk and the action that needs to be taken accordingly. Assessment of risk will include:
- Risk to the individual member
- Risk to other members within the u3a
- Reputational risk for the individual u3a and the u3a movement as a whole
- Where the risk is not deemed to be high but support is needed, Kenton & District u3a will contact the Trust to discuss the concerns and seek additional assistance in developing the risk assessment. Assistance will always be sought before moving to exclude any member from the u3a on the basis of a safeguarding risk assessment.
- Once the risk assessment is completed, the committee will decide as to the most appropriate course of action.
- All actions taken will be recorded. Any records will remain confidential to the committee unless a prior decision has been taken to share the record with the relevant statutory bodies.
This policy was adopted on 03 January 2024 by the Management Committee.
6.1 Queries regarding this policy or use of data
6.1.1. by email safeguarding [at] kentondistrictu3a [dot] org or chair [at] kentondistrictu3a [dot] org
6.1.2. by post 35 Shooters Avenue, HA3 9BQ.
|Date Policy Adopted 03 Jan 2024
|Review Date 03 Jan 2026