WSPH Vulnerable Adults Policy

Weymouth St Paul’s Harriers  – Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy (reviewed 2017)

Policy Objectives Introduction Everyone who takes part in athletics is entitled to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment.

Best practise in athletics benefits everyone- the sport’s governing bodies, coaches and officials, teachers, parents, carers and athletes. Most importantly, it ensures that adults at risk of abuse who choose to participate in athletics have a safe and fun experience.  Our objective is to build a safer future in athletics for all adults at risk of abuse

Weymouth St Paul’s Harriers and Athletics Club accept their legal and moral obligations to provide a duty of care, to protect all adults at risk of abuse and safeguard their welfare, irrespective of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, gender identity religion or belief and sexual orientation.

This document is based on the following principles:- Everyone has the right to live their life free from violence, fear and abuse.  All adults have the right to be protected from harm and exploitation.  All adults have the right to independence which involves a degree of risk.

A Shared Responsibility Effective inter-agency working is crucial for the protection of adults from abuse. Effective information sharing, collaboration and understanding between agencies and professionals are key elements in adult protection. Although Social services are the lead agency in working with those who are vulnerable to abuse, protecting adults from harm is not the sole responsibility of any one agency.

 Principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 

There is a presumption of Capacity

Individuals are supported to make their own decisions

Individuals must retain the right to make eccentric or unwise decisions.

Everything done for or on behalf of people without capacity must be done in their best interests

Anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity should be the least restrictive to their basic rights and freedom.

Principles of Confidentiality The right to privacy and dignity of any vulnerable adult will be respected at all times and protection of all confidential information is recognised as good practice. In every situation it will be assumed that a person can make their own decisions unless it is proven that they are unable to do so.

The sharing of information must be strictly on a need to know basis as stipulated in the Data Protection Act (1998).  Informed consent should be obtained as far as is possible, No assurances of absolute confidentiality should be given and should not be confused with secrecy as this may hinder the safeguarding objective of making people safe.

Definitions  – Vulnerable Adult

This policy and its accompanying procedures apply to people-

Who are aged 18 years and over:

Who are, or may be , in need of Community Care services because of learning or physical disability, older age or physical or mental illness

Who are, or may be, unable to take care of themselves, or unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation by others. The aim of this policy is to ensure protection from, and the prevention of, the abuse of vulnerable adults.

The phrase vulnerable adult recognises the high prevalence of abuse experienced by this group, but it should be recognised that this definition is contentious. Thus the area of work covered by ‘No Secrets’ has increasingly become known as ‘Safeguarding Adults’ at risk of abuse.

Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.

Alerting – Everyone reading this document must regard himself or herself as an alerter.

Alerting or raising a concern about abuse means:  Recognising signs of abuse/ongoing bad practice. Responding to a disclosure Reporting a concern, allegation or disclosure Recording initial information Working strictly in accordance with anti-discriminatory practice.

As an alerter you are:  Not being asked to verify or prove that information is true. Required to log your concerns and report them to an appropriate person or organisation. Only the Police have the responsibility to establish whether a criminal offence has been committed.

Alerting Procedure This procedure applies to any concern, allegation or disclosure in any setting.

In an emergency you must dial 999 for either the police or an ambulance

In all cases of concern, allegations or disclosure you should advise and assist the vulnerable adult to contact the Adult Social Care Services for the Local Authority. Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board 01305 221016

Do not undertake to keep any disclosure of abuse confidential. It is important to explain to the vulnerable adult before a disclosure that you may have to discuss the information given with a person in a more responsible position than yourself.

The welfare of the vulnerable adult is paramount.


Good Practice Guidelines Recognising signs of adult abuse:  Thinking about what you see and asking yourself if it is acceptable practice. Working strictly in accordance with anti-oppressive practice. Taking seriously what you are told.  Being alert to hints, signals, non-verbal communication that could indicate abuse


Responding to disclosure. Incidents of abuse or crimes may only come to light because the abused person themselves tells someone. The person may not consider that they are being abused when they tell you what happened to the . Disclosure may take place many years after the actual event. Disclosure may take place when the person has left the setting in which they were abused. Even if there is a delay the information must be taken seriously

If someone makes an allegation or discloses to you :

DO  – Stay calm and try not to show shock. Listen carefully. Be sympathetic. Tell the person that: They did the right thing in tell you . You are treating the information seriously. It was not their fault. You may have to pass the information on to more responsible persons. Inform UKA welfare team Jane Fylan 0121 743 8450 – Write down what the person said to you as soon as possible .


DO NOT  Question the person about the incident . Ask the person who, what, why, where when questions, this is the role of the police . Promise to keep secrets. Make promises that you cannot keep .  Contact the alleged abuser. Be judgemental.  Gossip about the incident

When in doubt seek the advice of the UKA Welfare team


Reporting  Record your concerns in writing making a note of the date, time your concerns and the circumstances surrounding them,as well as anything that has been said.  Contact your Club welfare Officer – Mark Holloway or Dorset Adult Safeguarding Board or the local police. Be prepared to provide the following details:-  Your name, address, telephone number and your role . As many details about the vulnerable person as you can. You must not however disclose confidential information such as the person’s diagnosis or gender orientation unless it is relevant to the situation.  What you have been told or observed about the person. What the vulnerable person has said in response to any suspicions or concerns you have had. The action you have taken so far. When you make the referral agree with the person you are making the referral to what the perso’ns carers will be told  by whom and when.

Social care or the police will advise you on what to do next, including whether the carers should be involved. Social care will then take responsibility for ensuring that appropraite enquires are made.



To be reviewed annually to make sure contacts are up to date.