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Adult Safeguarding

Our Adult safeguarding policy

Adult Safeguarding Policy of WAVE



Policy Statement


WAVE believes that it is always unacceptable for an adult to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all vulnerable adults, by a commitment to practice which protects them.


We recognise that:

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. The welfare of the vulnerable adult is paramount. All adults, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.

Working in partnership with vulnerable adults, their families, carers, Bolton Safeguarding Board and other agencies is essential in promoting vulnerable adults welfare.


The purpose of the policy:

  • To provide protection for the adults who receive WAVE services. 

  • To provide trustees, volunteers and any workers we may employ in the future, with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a person may be experiencing, or be at risk of harm.

  • This policy applies to everyone including the board of trustees, volunteers and sessional workers or anyone working on behalf of WAVE.

  • To ensure Trustees, Volunteers & any other staff regularly update their Safeguarding training.


We will seek to safeguard vulnerable adults by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them.

  • adopting vulnerable adult protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for volunteers.

  • recruiting volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made, sharing information about adult safeguarding and good practice with vulnerable adults, families, staff and volunteers.

  • responding appropriately to disclosures and passing any information about concerns to Wave’s Safeguarding trustee who will advise on taking the concern forward.

  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

  • All staff, including volunteers to undertake the initial on-line safeguarding training & follow up with more in depth courses when available.

  • We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.


Policy and Procedures


1:0 Aims and Objectives:


This policy ensures that our trustees and volunteers (and any workers employed in the future) are clear about the action necessary with regard to an adult safeguarding issue. Its aims are:


  • To raise the awareness of all volunteers and identify responsibility in reporting possible causes of abuse.

  • To ensure effective communication between all volunteers when dealing with adult safeguarding issues.

  • To establish the correct procedures for those who encounter an issue of adult safeguarding.

  • To identify a named management committee member to take responsibility for adult safeguarding issues.


2:0 Definition of a Vulnerable Adult


A person who is 18 years of age or over, and who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself, or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation



3:0 Definitions of Abuse:


It is important that all our volunteers are aware of the different types of abuse and are able to recognise the signs. These are important to know as any action taken by the Police, Social Services, etc. will be based on the four broad definitions of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.


Physical Abuse: may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a vulnerable adult.


Signs to look out for:


  • Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries

  • Bruises, which reflect hand marks or fingertips

  • Cigarette burns

  • Bite marks

  • Broken bones

  • Scalds

  • Running away

  • Withdrawn

  • Anxiety


Changes in behaviour which can also indicate physical abuse may include:


  • Fear of family members being approached for an explanation

  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts

  • Flinching when approached or touched

  • Reluctance to get changed, for example wearing long sleeves in hot weather

  • Depression

  • Withdrawn behaviour



Emotional Abuse: is the emotional ill-treatment of a vulnerable adult such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the vulnerable adults’ emotional development. It may involve someone telling someone that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature inappropriate expectations being imposed on people. Vulnerable adults may frequently feel frightened or in danger. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of a person, though it may occur alone.


Signs to look out for:

  • An air of silence when a particular person is present

  • Withdrawal or change in the psychological state of the person

  • Insomnia

  • Low self-esteem

  • Uncooperative and aggressive behaviour

  • A change of appetite, weight loss/gain

  • Signs of distress: tearfulness, anger

  • Apparent false claims, by someone involved with the person, to attract unnecessary treatment


Changes in behaviour which can also indicate emotional abuse may include:

  • Neurotic behaviour, e.g. hair twisting, rocking

  • Being unable to play

  • Fear of making mistakes

  • Self-harm

  • Withdrawn

  • Anxiety


Sexual Abuse: involves forcing or enticing a vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, whether the person is aware of what is happening or not. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts, (e.g., rape, etc.). They may involve non-contact activities, such as involving vulnerable adults in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging vulnerable adults to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, for example offering favours for gifts.

Signs to look out for:

  • Addictive use of social media

  • Pain or itching in the genital /anal areas

  • Bruising or bleeding near genital /anal areas

  • Sexually transmitted disease

  • Vaginal discharge or infection

  • Stomach pains

  • Pregnancy

  • Withdrawn/ over familiar


Changes in behaviour, which can also indicate sexual abuse may include:

  • Fear of  being  left  with  a  specific  person  or group of people

  • Sexual drawings or language

  • Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts.

  • Substance or drug abuse

  • Suddenly having unexplained sources of money/ gifts

  • Not being allowed to have friends others

  • Eating problems, such as anorexia or overeating

  • Having nightmares

  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour

  • Constantly trying to please

  • Angry/ aggressive behaviour



Neglect: is the persistent failure to meet a vulnerable adult's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the persons’ health or development. It may involve a family member or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a vulnerable adult from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a person’s basic emotional needs.


Signs to look out for:


  • Running away

  • Constant hunger, loss of weight including stealing food from others

  • Poor personal hygiene

  • Inappropriate dress for the conditions

  • Untreated medial problems

  • Stealing

  • Sores-Scabies


Financial: Pressure to change a will, share PIN number, taking or borrowing possessions without the owner’s consent, over charging, pressure selling.


Signs to look out for:

  • Missing personal possessions

  • Unexplained lack of money or inability to maintain lifestyle

  • Unexplained withdrawal of funds from accounts

  • The person allocated to manage financial affairs is evasive or uncooperative

  • The family or others show unusual interest in the assets of the person

  • Signs of financial hardship in cases where the person’s financial affairs are being managed by a court appointed deputy, attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney

  • Recent changes in deeds or title to property

  • Rent arrears and eviction notices

  • Disparity between the person’s living conditions and their financial resources, e.g. insufficient food in the house

  • Unnecessary property repairs

Domestic abuse: controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by someone who is or has been an intimate partner or family member.

Signs to Look out for:

  • Asking permission to go anywhere or to meet and socialize with other people

  • Referring to their partner as "jealous" or "possessive," or always accusing them of having affairs

  • Their partner constantly calls or texts them wanting to know where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with. The partner may even follow the victim to check up on them.

  • Having very little money available to them, not having access to a credit card, or having to account for every penny spent

  • Not having access to a vehicle


Organisation abuse: including neglect or poor care within an institution or specific care setting. 


Signs to look out for:

  • Discouraging visits or the involvement of relatives or friends

  • Authoritarian management or rigid regimes

  • Lack of leadership and supervision

  • Insufficient staff or high turnover resulting in poor quality care

  • Abusive and disrespectful attitudes towards people using the service

  • Lack of respect for dignity and privacy

  • Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs

  • Failure to respond to abuse appropriately

  • Interference with personal correspondence or communication

  • Failure to respond to complaints


Self-neglect: this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviours such as hoarding.


Signs to look out for:

  • Very poor personal hygiene

  • Unkempt appearance

  • Lack of essential food, clothing or shelter

  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration

  • Living in squalid or unsanitary conditions

  • Neglecting household maintenance

  • Hoarding

  • Collecting a large number of animals in inappropriate conditions

  • Non-compliance with health or care services

  • Inability or unwillingness to take medication or treat illness or injury


Modern slavery: encompasses slavery, human trafficking, it could involve forcing adults into labour and/or domestic servitude.


Signs to look out for:

  • Appear to be under the control of someone else and reluctant to interact with others

  • Not have personal identification on them

  • Have few personal belongings, wear the same clothes every day or wear unsuitable clothes for work

  • Not be able to move around freely

  • Be reluctant to talk to strangers or the authorities

  • Appear frightened, withdrawn, or show signs of physical or psychological abuse

  • Dropped off and collected for work always in the same way, especially at unusual times, i.e. very early or late at night.

4:0 Procedures:


If a vulnerable adult should make a disclosure to a volunteer within our group or should a volunteer recognise/identify possible signs of abuse, then the following actions should apply:


If a vulnerable adult talks to you about abuse or neglect:


Tell the person they are not to blame and that it was right to tell.


Reassure the person but do not make promises of confidentiality, which may not be feasible in the light of subsequent developments. Explain early on that the information will need to be shared and what you will do next (as simply as possible).


Do not show disgust or anger


Do not ask direct or leading questions – who, what, where, when


Do not stop the free recall of significant events


Do not ask a person to repeat their account to anyone else


Do not put words into the person’s mouth by suggesting what has happened and by whom


Take what the person says seriously, recognising the difficulties in interpreting what a person who has speech or language difficulties says


Keep calm and even if you find what they are saying difficult or painful, keep listening


Make a full record of what has been said, heard and/or seen as soon as possible using the persons own words – record the facts clearly, including details of the person, date, time, parties involved, action taken and any referrals made to statutory agencies. Sign it.


Do not contact or confront the individual who is alleged to be responsible


Inform the Named Adult Safeguarding Officer within the group of this incident. They will then report any concerns to the relevant agency


The WAVE Designated Safeguarding Officer is: Tom Miller

Contact details:


Mobile: 07772183520

Bolton Adult Safeguarding Board contact details:

Duty Officer

01204 337000


If you suspect that an adult is a victim of modern slavery then contact the following:


Call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or fill out an online form.

Contact the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority to report concerns about the Mistreatment of workers on 0800 432 0804, or by email

Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Contact the Police on 999




If you recognise/identify any possible signs of abuse which concern you:


Do not challenge the person


Record your concerns


Inform the named adult safeguarding person within the group of your concern who will then liaise with the relevant agency


It is very important to record incidents as this information may be needed at a later stage during the assessment of a vulnerable adult or in court if criminal proceedings are brought against someone



5.0 Managing allegations against a person in a position of trust


What to do if an allegation or incident against a volunteer or staff member is received


“The First Five Minutes”

Adult Safeguarding

6.0 Recruitment and Selection of Volunteers



All volunteers shall be subject to a careful and rigorous selection process with the following elements:


  • Completion of application form and checking identity by birth certificate or passport


  • References from at least 2 people who are not related to the volunteer


  • Completion of a criminal record check through a local umbrella agency with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)


  • Volunteers will undertake a probationary period of 3 months


  • Volunteers will have no unsupervised access to vulnerable adults until checks have been completed



7.0 Supporting Volunteers


WAVE will ensure that volunteers have the appropriate adult safeguarding training with regular updates via team meetings and access to relevant training


WAVE will provide support to volunteers by setting time aside to talk through any issues and concerns they may have


Access to emergency services, counselling services numbers for volunteers



8.0 Other actions WAVE will do to minimise harm to vulnerable adults

WAVE will:

  • Ensure volunteer’s roles are defined.

  • Ensure adequate ratios.

  • Take out appropriate insurances to cover activities undertaken.

  • Perform risk assessments where appropriate.

  • Keep an accident/incident book.

  • Gain appropriate authorisation where required from family members/ carers for vulnerable adults undertaking group activities.

  • Displaying counselling services details so that vulnerable adults can access these if they so prefer.



9.0 Code of Conduct


It is important that both service users and volunteers can participate in WAVE activities in a safe and secure environment. This Code of Conduct has been developed for the protection of both service users and volunteers.

WAVE expects all its volunteers to abide by this Code of Conduct.




Will abide by the guiding principles of WAVE in all activities as a volunteer


Will inform WAVE of any relevant police record or other factor, or any change in his/her circumstances, which may make him/her unsuitable either as a WAVE volunteer or for any particular WAVE activity.

Recognises that the role of a WAVE volunteer places him/her in a position of trust with regard to all vulnerable adults who are service users  participating in WAVE programmes, the WAVE organisation, and to colleagues, and undertakes to uphold that trust at all times.

Undertake to maintain, within the organisation’s procedures, the confidentiality of any information relating to other volunteers made available to him/her in the course of the role as a WAVE volunteer.

Will not knowingly place him / herself in a situation where the volunteer is alone with vulnerable adult and will  endeavour to ensure, as far as possible, that there is another adult in attendance at any meetings.

Will ensure that any WAVE activities involving vulnerable adults outside the normal activities are agreed and approved by the trustees in advance.

Will not behave in any way, physically or verbally, that could be offensive.

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