Our in-house policy and procedures for safeguarding adults and children in the Arun District.
Arun District Council is committed to protecting and safeguarding the community, especially children and adults at risk. This policy promotes the need to be vigilant across all services delivered by the council, including contractors and organisations providing services on behalf of the council, to protect vulnerable members of the community.
It is the councils responsibility to promote the welfare of the community and to protect it from harm. It should never be assumed that abuse and neglect does not occur in the district. It is not the councils job to establish whether abuse is taking place, however it is the councils responsibility to report and record any concerns regarding the welfare of members of the community.
Adult at risk: a person who is 18 years of age or older and meets the three key tests set out in The Care Act 2014. Under the Care Act 2014, specific adult safeguarding duties apply to any adult (18 years or over) who:
- have care and support needs and,
- is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect and,
- is unable to protect themselves because of their care and support needs
It must be recognised that an adult at risk may be vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse but has the right to request that no action be taken if they have capacity to protect themselves from harm.
Children: any person under the age of 18 years of age including an unborn baby.
Arun organisation: all officers and elected members of Arun District Council.
Safeguarding operating procedures: the safeguarding reporting guidance inform the Arun organisation how to identify signs of abuse, what to do if there is a safeguarding concern, and how to make referrals to West Sussex County Council (WSCC) children’s and adult social care or to Sussex police if a crime may have occurred.
3. Legal responsibilities
3.1 Statutory duties and policy frameworks
The safeguarding policy and procedures set out the councils legal obligations in relation to safeguarding. Arun District Council is a member of both the West Sussex Adult Safeguarding Board (SAB) and the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership (WSSCP).
These are overarching bodies that oversee partner organisations to ensure they meet their statutory duties. The Safeguarding Policy and procedures should be read in conjunction with the following legislation and guidance:
- The Children Act 1989 & 2004
- The Human Rights Act 1998
- The Protection of Children Act 1999
- No Secrets 2000 Guidance
- Mental Capacity Act 2005
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- The Care Act 2014
- Modern Slavery Act 2015
- Prevent Duty guidance 2015
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
- GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018
- Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners 2018
Safeguarding Adults Board:
- Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy &Procedures 2019 https://sussexsafeguardingadults.procedures.org.uk/
- Sussex Adult Death Protocol 2020
- West Sussex SAB Information Sharing Protocol 2022
- Transitional 17.5 Protocol 2021 https://www.westsussexsab.org.uk/professionals/policies-and-procedures/
Safeguarding Children Partnership:
- Pan Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures (revised 2020)www.sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk
3.2 Information sharing protocol
The council supports the principle of information sharing in line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The council is committed to working closely with partners in all matters relating to safeguarding. In all cases information shared will be proportionate and pertinent to the issue and will be shared with the relevant key agencies and records are securely stored. There is a data retention policy in accordance with guidance from West Sussex County Council.
4. The safeguarding policy
4.1 The policy
This is a combined policy encompassing children and adults at risk. It applies to the Arun organisation when carrying out its duties. It also includes those working on behalf of the council and those in receipt of funding who are required to have appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures.
This policy seeks to ensure that those working with vulnerable members of the community have a good understanding of safeguarding and how to report concerns. At the same time Arun District Council will work to ensure that the Arun organisation will be protected from the risk of malicious or unfounded allegations.
The policy is supported by an operating procedures document which explains identifying the signs and symptoms of abuse and other safeguarding concerns such as child exploitation, domestic abuse, radicalisation and modern slavery. The operating procedures also provide guidance for reporting a concern and making a referral to WSCC social care. The details of Designated Safeguarding Officer’s (DSO’s) within the Arun organisation can be found on the councils intranet-SharePoint safeguarding tab (available for Arun staff to view only).
4.2 Policy review
The safeguarding policy and operating procedures will be reviewed:
- biennially, or
- when policies and procedures change (both internally and externally)
- if an incident occurs that may require the Policy to be amended
5. Safeguarding policy statement
All children and adults at risk without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality, or beliefs. Arun District Council strives to ensure that all children and adults at risk are protected and treated with respect when they are engaged in services provided by the council. Appendix 2 (safeguarding policy statement) gives further details.
6. Safeguarding responsibilities
6.1 Corporate responsibilities
Arun District Council accepts its legal and moral responsibility towards safeguarding. The council has responsibility to ensure the safeguarding policy and operating procedures are implemented. The Arun organisation has adopted the following internal roles and responsibilities:
The lead safeguarding officers:
children & adults: the Chief Executive
policy: the group head for Wellbeing and Communities
operational: the Safeguarding officer
The elected member with responsibility for safeguarding:
chair of Housing and Wellbeing Committee
The lead senior officer for allegations against the Arun organisation:
Human Resources manager
Designated safeguarding officers:
- officers with enhanced knowledge support the Arun organisation in dealing with safeguarding issues, concerns, and referrals
- responsible for ensuring members of staff are adequately supported and supervised; that risk assessments are in place; and staff are challenged to consider the needs of children and adults at risk. Managers must also keep staff safe, protected and ensure that all aspects of this policy and the operating procedures are adhered to
- it is the responsibility of all staff to report any safeguarding concerns in accordance with the operating procedures
- to champion safeguarding in the community, report concerns in accordance with the operating procedures
6.2 General responsibilities
The Arun organisation has a duty to:
Prevent: the abuse or harm of children and adults at risk by ensuring that services are safe, appropriate, and delivered with respect and understanding.
Protect: children and adults at risk by taking all reasonable steps to safeguard the rights, health, and wellbeing of those who take part in council, or council sponsored activities or use council facilities.
Support: children and adults at risk by promoting their welfare.
Appendix 1 is available for Arun District Council staff only.
Safeguarding policy statement
Every child and adult at risk has the right not to be abused.
All children and adults at risk without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality, or beliefs.
Arun District Council strives to ensure that all children and adults at risk are protected and treated with respect when they are engaged in services organised and provided by the council.
The council will achieve this by:
a. ensuring staff are carefully selected by adhering to safer recruitment principles, receive training appropriate to job role and are supported when responding to safeguarding matters
b. ensuring the Arun organisation understands its safeguarding role and responsibility and is vigilant to the signs and symptoms of abuse
c. promoting and implementing appropriate recording and reporting procedures for the Arun organisation
d. ensuring that anyone in the Arun organisation who may come into contact with children and adults at risk as a part of their duties, are given guidance about how to conduct themselves and know what to do if they have concerns
e. raising awareness of the duty of care responsibilities for the Arun organisation relating to safeguarding
f. ensure contractors to the council who employ staff and who are likely to meet children and adults at risk have an appropriate safeguarding policy and procedures
g. ensure all organisations who receive funding or a benefit in kind for services that support children or adults at risk to have a safeguarding policy and procedures
h. responding to any allegations of misconduct or abuse by initiating the relevant disciplinary procedure
i. this policy will be reviewed biennially or when policies and procedures change (both internally and externally), or if an incident occurs that may require the policy to be reviewed
j. ensuring that the Arun organisation who work with and come into contact with children and adults at risk of harm and abuse understand and adhere to the operating procedures
k. working in partnership with local district & borough councils, key statutory authorities, and agencies to ensure learning is embedded from serious case reviews and that best practice is always followed