Safety and well-being of vulnerable adults
The Gift of Years is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of people of all ages. That means everyone in our communities, but our particular focus is on those most vulnerable because of older age or disability.
The Gift of Years seeks to highlight examples of church and community-based initiatives that pay due regard to the safety and well-being of all who use such local services. In practice, individuals organising those events are responsible for their own safeguarding procedures, and The Gift of Years cannot be held liable for any actions that take place during supervised or unsupervised activities, and visits other than those arranged specifically through The Gift of Years.
Anna Chaplains to Older People work in specific contexts and under the safeguarding procedures relevant to each of those local contexts. Each chaplain remains individually responsible for ensuring their own Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance, and for adhering to the safeguarding policies of their employers, and those with oversight of their ministry and supervision.
Register your concerns
If you see or hear anything that raises questions or issues for you, don't ignore it, or just sit on it, tell someone else.
If you are concerned that a vulnerable person is at risk or has been harmed, or are concerned about the behaviour of someone towards such a person, discuss this with the designated Safeguarding Officer either at your church or within your denomination, or within the institution where those activities are taking place - for example, the care home manager or with the local Social Care Services.
- Be prepared to challenge unsafe practice or inappropriate behaviour by adults.
- Record your concerns and share them with relevant people as soon as you can.
- You may need to act/respond within a short timescale - think about whether a person may be at risk of immediate harm.
- Have a list of local contact names and numbers for people to report any concerns to.
- Trust your judgement - if something doesn’t seem right then act appropriately.
If you need to respond to a concern quickly, without the opportunity to speak to a designated Safeguarding Officer, then contact your local authority Social Care Services or the police.
We all share a duty of care for those older people who, for example, attend events or are part of excursions, or when visits are made to homes, whether that is within a care home, sheltered home, private home setting or in the community at large. It is easy to assume it is someone else’s responsibility and that all those present have the common sense, awareness and best intentions expected of all those that draw alongside vulnerable people.
Sadly, this is not always the case and suitable precautions must be taken. Whenever someone is placed in ‘a position of trust’ safeguarding is a priority. Those in regular contact with older people and other vulnerable individuals should have DBS clearance appropriate to the level of access permitted.