The purpose of this policy is to outline the duty and responsibility of confreres, staff, volunteers and trustees working on behalf of the Congregation of the Josephites in relation to Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults.
All adults have the right to be safe from harm and must be able to live free from fear of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
For the purpose of this policy ‘adult’ means a person aged 18 years or over.
All staff, volunteers and trustees working on behalf of the Congregation of Josephites have a duty to promote the welfare and safety of vulnerable adults including those who are Josephites.
The Congregation of Josephites operates procedures that take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable adults, including arrangements for appropriate checks on new staff, volunteers and trustees where applicable.


Who is included under the heading 'vulnerable adult?'
An Adult (a person aged 18 or over) who by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation'.


What do we mean by abuse?
Abuse of a vulnerable adult may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may occur as a result of a failure to undertake action or appropriate care tasks. It may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur where a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which they have not, or cannot, consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the individual.



Physical abuse - including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.

Sexual abuse - including sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
Psychological abuse - including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.


Financial or material abuse - including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.


Neglect and acts of omission - including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.


Discriminatory abuse - including race, sex, culture, religion, politics, that is based on a persons disability, age or sexuality and other forms of harassment.


Institutional abuse - Institutional abuse although not a separate category of abuse in itself, requires specific mention simply to highlight that adults placed in any kind of care home or day care establishment are potentially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. This can be especially so when care standards and practices fall below an acceptable level as detailed in the contract specification.


Multiple forms of abuse - Multiple forms of abuse may occur in an ongoing relationship or an abusive service setting to one person, or to more than one person at a time, making it important to look beyond single incidents or breaches in standards, to underlying dynamics and patterns of harm. Any or all of these types of abuse may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent and targeting of vulnerable people, negligence or ignorance.


It is important that vulnerable adults are protected from abuse. All complaints, allegations or suspicions must be taken seriously.
A full record shall be made as soon as possible of the nature of the allegation and any other relevant information.
This must include information in relation to the date, the time, the place where the alleged abuse happened, your name and the names of others present, the name of the complainant and, where different, the name of the adult who has allegedly been abused, the nature of the alleged abuse, a description of any injuries observed, the account which has been given of the allegation.
Any suspicion, allegation or incident of abuse must be reported to the appropriate Designated Safeguarding Protection Person.
It is important to remember that the person who first encounters a case of alleged abuse is not responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred. This is a task for the professional adult protection agencies, following a referral from the appropriate Designated Safeguarding Protection Person.
This procedure must be followed whenever an allegation of abuse is made or when there is a suspicion that a vulnerable adult has been abused.
Promises of confidentiality must not be given as this may conflict with the need to ensure the safety and welfare of the individual.


Vulnerable adult protection raises issues of confidentiality which must be clearly understood by all.
Josephites, staff, volunteers and trustees have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of vulnerable adults with other professionals particularly investigative agencies.
Clear boundaries of confidentiality will be communicated to all.
All personal information regarding a vulnerable adult will be kept confidential. All written records will be kept in a secure area for a specific time as identified in data protection guidelines. Records will only record details required in the initial contact form.
If an adult confides in a Josephite or a member of staff and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that the Josephite or member of staff tells the adult sensitively that he or she has a responsibility to refer cases of alleged abuse to the appropriate Designated Safeguarding Protection Person.
Within that context, the adult must, however, be assured that the matter will be disclosed only to people who need to know about it.


The role of the designated officer in each Region is to deal with all instances involving adult protection. They will respond to all vulnerable adult protection concerns and enquiries.


Training will be provided, as appropriate, to ensure that Josephites, staff, volunteers and Trustees are aware of the issues involved with Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults.


The Congregation of Josephites is totally committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable adults and requires all Josephites to share this commitment. Consistent with this obligation, it is the collective responsibility of everyone involved in schools, parishes and other work founded by and/or the responsibility of the Congregation of Josephites to ensure that all vulnerable adults are safe and protected from abuse.
The Congregation of Josephites will ensure, therefore, that everyone involved in schools and parishes and other work founded by and/or the responsibility of Congregation of Josephites is made aware of this protocol through induction programmes and Safeguarding training to ensure that their behaviour and actions do not place themselves at risk of abuse or allegations of abuse of vulnerable adults.

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