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Child and Vulnerable Adult Welfare and Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

Reviewed & Adopted 04/12/2017 Gainsborough Town Council


Gainsborough Town Council is committed to promoting the protection, safety and welfare of children and
vulnerable adults in the Community.

Policy Purpose

This document outlines Gainsborough Town Council’s policy on identifying and responding to concerns regarding
the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults.
This Policy applies to all staff, councillors, volunteers or anyone working for or on behalf of Gainsborough Town
This policy, provides guidance for those who may come across concerns of this nature within the context of their
work for Gainsborough Town Council.
The policy seeks to promote effective multi-agency working in light of the Children Act 2004.

Lead Officer

Gainsborough Town Council will appoint on an annual basis a lead safeguarding officer and member champion.
The appointment will be made at the annual meeting of the Council.
Please refer to Appendix 3 for details of the rules and duties of the Lead Officer and Member Champion.


If you believe a child is in immediate danger call 999 and inform the police.
If there is no immediate danger to the child, or if you need some advice or information, you can contact the
Children Services Customer Service Centre (CSC) on 01522 782111.
Outside normal office hours you can contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 01522 782333
If there is no immediate danger you may also seek advice from the Councils Lead Safeguarding Officer.
Whenever you report a concern please keep a written record of what you have reported and why and inform the
Councils Lead Safeguarding Officer at the earliest possible opportunity by completing the Councils incident report
form which is available from the Councils offices at Richmond House, Richmond Park, Morton Terrace,
Gainsborough DN21 2RJ.

What is Child Abuse ? What are the Signs of Child Abuse ?
Please refer to Appendix 1 hereto.

What is Vulnerable Adult Abuse ? What are the Signs of Vulnerable Adult Abuse ?
Please refer to Appendix 2 hereto.

What to do if you are worried about a child or vulnerable adult?

Vulnerable Adult

If you believe an adult is in immediate danger call 999 and inform the police.
If you think someone is being abused or you think their safety is at risk, then it is important to tell someone.
If you’re worried about an adult and think they may be a victim of neglect, abuse or cruelty, please call the
Customer Service Centre (CSC) on 01522 782155
Outside normal office hours you can contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 01522 782333.
If there is no immediate danger you may also seek advice from the Councils Lead Safeguarding Officer.
Gainsborough Town Council adopts safer recruitment practices for all employees, including agency employees,
students and volunteers, who might work with children and vulnerable adults as part of their jobs.
Even when the employee or volunteer is unlikely to work with children or vulnerable adults certain safer
recruitment practices will also be followed.
The key features of safer recruitment include:
• Advertising the post
• Application /short listing/interview
• References
• Safer selection
• Pre-appointment checks
• DBS checks


Appendix 4 hereto sets out the procedures and guidance which the Council will seek to undertake as
appropriate when recruiting staff.
In the first instance if you have a concern about anyone, either a volunteer or member of staff then you should
contact the Lead Officer for Safeguarding within your town council.
If the concern is about the ‘Lead Officer’ themselves you should refer the matter using the contacts listed in the
above section entitled :
What to do if you are worried about a child or vulnerable adult?
If the Lead Officer considers that the alleged member of staff or volunteer has:
• behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
• committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
• behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they
work regularly or closely with children.
Then they must follow the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board protocol for ‘Managing Allegations of abuse
made against persons who work with children and young people’

Safer Recruitment and DBS

How to respond to allegations of abuse against a member of staff or volunteer.
Please also consider Appendix 5 which sets out in a helpful flowchart the procedure for dealing with a
safeguarding concern.
From time to time the Council or one of its members or employees may be concerned about a child but the issues
identified do not place the child at significant harm or risk of significant harm.
As in all cases the matter should be referred to the Councils lead officer for safeguarding who will consider with
you what action should be taken.
The Early Help Assessment process has been designed to help practitioners assess needs at an early stage and
then work with the child / young person, their family and other practitioners and agencies to meet these needs. As
such, it is designed for use when:
? You are worried about how well a child / young person is progressing.
? You might be worried about their health, development, welfare, behaviour, progress in learning or any other
aspect of their wellbeing
? A child / young person or their parent / carer raises a concern with you
? The child’s or young person’s needs are unclear, or broader than your service can address alone
? The child or young person would benefit from an assessment to help a practitioner understand their needs
If you have any of these concerns complete an Early Help Assessment with the child and family. If on completion
a need is identified that you are unable to address you will need to initiate a Team Around the Child (TAC).

The Councils lead officer can arrange a consultation with and Early Help Advisor if required, call Children’s
Services CSC on 01522 782111.
If you are concerned but it is not a Safeguarding Issue ?

Appendix 1 – What is Child Abuse and Signs of Abuse ?

What is Child Abuse ?
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Someone may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm
or by failing to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by
those known to them or by a stranger, for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or
another child or children. Child abuse can have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child’s health,
development and well being. The main forms of maltreatment are:
Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child. This might involve punching, kicking, biting,
burning, scalding, shaking, throwing or beating with objects such as belts, whips, or sticks. It also includes
poisoning, giving a child alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation. Physical harm may also be caused when
a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child. In pregnancy an unborn child can be harmed by
domestic violence.

Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is where repeated verbal threats, criticism, ridicule, shouting, lack of love and affection causes a
severe adverse effect on a child’s emotional development. It includes conveying to children that they are
worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Emotional abuse
may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of
what they say or how they communicate. It may feature inappropriate expectations being imposed on a child,
over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from taking part in normal social
interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person. It may involve serious bullying
(including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or
corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of children, or it may
occur alone.

Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not
the child is aware of what is happening. This may involve physical contact including penetrative sex, oral
sex, masturbation, kissing, rubbing, or touching outside of clothing, or it may involve non-contact activities such as
involving children in watching sexual activities, producing or looking at sexual images, encouraging children to
behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the
internet). Abusers can be men, women or other children.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in
serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect is when a parent or carer fails to provide
adequate food, clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), medical care, or protection
from physical and emotional harm or danger. It also includes failure to ensure access to education or to look after
a child because the carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In pregnancy neglect may occur as a result of
misusing alcohol or drugs.

Signs of Abuse
The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be
Signs of possible physical abuse
• Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them
• Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or rough games
• Injuries which have not received medical attention
• Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming

• Bruises, bites, burns and fractures, for example, which do not have an accidental explanation
• The child gives inconsistent accounts for the cause of injuries
• Frozen watchfulness

Signs of possible sexual abuse
• Any allegations made by a child concerning sexual abuse
• The child has an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and inappropriate knowledge of adult
sexual behaviour for their age, or regularly engages in sexual play inappropriate for their age
• Sexual activity through words, play or drawing
• Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains
• The child is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
• Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home
• Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares which sometimes have overt
or veiled sexual connotations
• Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
Signs of possible emotional abuse
• Depression, aggression, extreme anxiety, changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where
a child withdraws or becomes clingy
• Obsessions or phobias
• Sudden underachievement or lack of concentration
• Seeking adult attention and not mixing well with other children
• Sleep or speech disorders
• Negative statements about self
• Highly aggressive or cruel to others
• Extreme shyness or passivity
• Running away, stealing and lying

Signs of possible neglect
• Dirty skin, body smells, unwashed, uncombed hair and untreated lice
• Clothing that is dirty, too big or small, or inappropriate for weather conditions
• Frequently left unsupervised or alone
• Frequent diarrhoea
• Frequent tiredness
• Untreated illnesses, infected cuts or physical complaints which the carer does not respond to
• Frequently hungry
• Overeating junk food

Appendix 2 – Signs and Symptoms of Abuse in Vulnerable Adults

What is Vulnerable Adult Abuse ?
Physical abuse
Physical abuse includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, being locked in a room,
inappropriate sanctions or force-feeding, inappropriate methods of restraint, and unlawfully depriving a person of
their liberty.
Possible indicators
• Unexplained or inappropriately explained injuries
• Person exhibiting untypical self-harm
• Unexplained cuts or scratches to mouth, lips, gums, eyes or external genitalia
• Unexplained bruising to the face, torso, arms, back, buttocks, thighs, in various stages of healing.
Collections of bruises that form regular patterns which correspond to the shape of an object or which
appear on several areas of the body
• Unexplained burns on unlikely areas of the body (e.g. soles of the feet, palms of the hands, back),
immersion burns (from scalding in hot liquid), rope burns, burns from an electrical appliance
• Unexplained or inappropriately explained fractures at various stages of healing to any part of the body
• Medical problems that go unattended.
• Sudden and unexplained urinary or faecal incontinence
• Evidence of over-/under-medication
• Person flinches at physical contact
• Person appears frightened or subdued in the presence of particular people
• Person asks not to be hurt
• Person may repeat what the alleged abuser has said (e.g. ‘Shut up or I’ll hit you’)
• Reluctance to undress or uncover parts of the body
• Person wears clothes that cover all parts of their body or specific parts of their body
• A person without capacity not being allowed to go out of a care home when they ask to
• A person without capacity not being allowed to be discharged at the request of an unpaid carer or family

Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse includes rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual
teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure
and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
It includes penetration of any sort, incest and situations where the alleged abuser touches the abused person’s
body (e.g. breasts, buttocks, genital area), exposes his or her genitals (possibly encouraging the abused person
to touch them) or coerces the abused person into participating in or looking at pornographic videos or

Denial of a sexual life to consenting adults is also considered abusive practice.
Any sexual relationship that develops between adults where one is in a position of trust, power or authority in
relation to the other (e.g. day centre worker, social worker, residential worker, health worker etc.) may also
constitute sexual abuse (see Section 3.16).
3.4.1 Possible indicators
• Person has urinary tract infections, vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases that are not
otherwise explained
• Person appears unusually subdued, withdrawn or has poor concentration
• Person exhibits significant changes in sexual behaviour or outlook.
• Person experiences pain, itching or bleeding in the genital or anal area
• Person’s underclothing is torn, stained or bloody
• A woman who lacks the mental capacity to consent to sexual intercourse becomes pregnant
• Sexual exploitation
The sexual exploitation of adults at risk involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where adults at
risk, or a third person or persons, receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes,
affection, gifts, money) as a result of performing or others performing on them, sexual activities.
Sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the person’s immediate recognition. This can
include being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet or mobile phone with no immediate payment or
gain, or being sent such an image by the person alleged to be causing harm. In all cases, those exploiting the
adult at risk have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength or economic or other

Psychological abuse
Psychological abuse includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact,
humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or
unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
Psychological abuse is the denial of a person’s human and civil rights including choice and opinion, privacy and
dignity and being able to follow one’s own spiritual and cultural beliefs or sexual orientation.
It includes preventing the adult from using services that would otherwise support them and enhance their lives. It
also includes the intentional or unintentional withholding of information (e.g. information not being available in
different formats/languages etc.).
Possible indicators
• Atypical ambivalence, deference, passivity, resignation
• Person appears anxious or withdrawn, especially in the presence of the alleged abuser
• Person exhibits low self-esteem
• Atypical changes in behaviour (e.g. continence problems, sleep disturbance)
• Person is not allowed visitors or phone calls
• Person is locked in a room or in their home
• Person is denied access to aids or equipment, (e.g. glasses, dentures, hearing aid, crutches, etc.)

• Person’s access to personal hygiene and toilet is restricted
• Person’s movement is restricted by use of furniture or other equipment
• Bullying via social networking internet sites and persistent texting
Financial or material abuse
Financial or material abuse includes theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial
affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the
misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Possible indicators
• change in living conditions
• lack of heating, clothing or food
• inability to pay bills and unexplained shortage of money
• unexplained withdrawals from an account
• unexplained loss or misplacement of financial documents
• the recent addition of authorised signers on a client or donor’s signature card
• sudden or unexpected changes in a will or other financial documents
This is not an exhaustive list, nor do these examples prove that there is actual abuse occurring. However, they do
indicate that a closer look and possible investigation may be needed.

Neglect and acts of omission
Neglect and acts of omission, including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide
access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life,
such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
Neglect also includes a failure to intervene in situations that are dangerous to the person concerned or to others,
particularly when the person lacks the mental capacity to assess risk for themselves.
Neglect and poor professional practice may take the form of isolated incidents or pervasive ill treatment and gross
misconduct. Neglect of this type may happen within a person’s own home or in an institution. Repeated instances
of poor care may be an indication of more serious problems. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional.
Possible indicators
• Person has inadequate heating or lighting
• Person’s physical condition or appearance is poor (e.g. ulcers, pressure sores, soiled or wet clothing)
• Person is malnourished, has sudden or continuous weight loss or is dehydrated
• Person cannot access appropriate medication or medical care
• Person is not afforded appropriate privacy or dignity
• Person or a carer has inconsistent or reluctant contact with health and social services
• Visitors are refused access to the person
• Person is exposed to unacceptable risk

Discriminatory abuse
Discriminatory abuse includes forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment, because of race, gender and
gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
Possible indicators
Indicators for discriminatory abuse may not always be obvious and may also be linked to acts of physical abuse
and assault, sexual abuse and assault, financial abuse, neglect, psychological abuse and harassment, so all the
indicators listed above may apply to discriminatory abuse.
• A person may reject their own cultural background or racial origin or other personal beliefs, sexual practices
or lifestyle choices
• A person making complaints about the service not meeting their needs
Organisational abuse
Organisational abuse includes, neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as
a hospital or care home or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents
to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure,
policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
Organisational abuse occurs when the routines, systems and regimes of an institution result in poor or inadequate
standards of care and poor practice which affect the whole setting and deny, restrict or curtail the dignity, privacy,
choice, independence or fulfilment of adults at risk.
Organisational abuse can occur in any setting providing health or social care. A number of inquiries into care in
residential settings have highlighted that organisational abuse is most likely to occur when staff:
• receive little support from management
• are inadequately trained
• are poorly supervised and poorly supported in their work
• receive inadequate guidance
Such abuse is also more likely where there are inadequate quality assurance and monitoring systems in place.
Possible indicators
• Unnecessary or inappropriate rules and regulations
• Lack of stimulation or the development of individual interests
• Inappropriate staff behaviour, such as the development of factions, misuse of drugs or alcohol, failure to
respond to leadership
• Restriction of external contacts or opportunities to socialise
Self-neglect can be defined as the inability, intentional or unintentional, to maintain a socially and culturally
accepted standard of self-care with the potential for serious consequences to the health and well-being of the
individual and potentially to their community.
An individual may be considered as self-neglecting, and therefore maybe at risk of harm, where they are:
• either unable, or unwilling to provide adequate care for themselves
• unable to obtain necessary care to meet their needs

• unable to make reasonable or informed decisions because of their state of mental health, or because they
have a learning disability or an acquired brain injury
• unable to protect themselves adequately against potential exploitation or abuse
• refusing essential support without which their health and safety needs cannot be met

Appendix 3 – Roles and Duties of Lead Officer

The Lead Officer and Member Champion will be the Councils safeguarding champions. They will promote good
safeguarding practice within the Council which will include but may not be limited to the following :

  1. Ensuring that they attend appropriate training relevant to the role and as necessary promote then
    provision of appropriate training for other staff and members of the Council.
  2. Monitor and review the Councils Policy and when necessary recommend appropriate changes thereto.
  3. Ensure the correct application of the Child Welfare/Safeguarding Policy within the Council.
  4. Act as a first point of contact within the Council for third parties to contact with any Child
    Welfare/Safeguarding concerns.
  5. Act as a first point of contact within the Council for staff and members to contact with any Child
    Welfare/Safeguarding concerns.
  6. Liaise with other agencies as required in connection with Child Welfare and Safeguarding matters.
  7. Ensure that appropriate records are kept of all issues of a safeguarding nature that may arise.

Appendix 4 – Safer Recruitment and DBS Checks

DBS (previously CRB) checks will only be undertaken against a staff member or potential staff member if their
role will involve them being engaged in regulated activity.
Regulated activity is different for working with children and adults.
Full definitions can be found at :
For full safer recruitment guidance please refer to the Safer Recruitment Toolkit.
The key policy principles are as follows :-
Advertising the Post
If a DBS check will be required the job advert for the post will state that a DBS check will be a pre requisite of
Application/Short listing and Interview
In all cases when recruiting, applicants will be required to complete the Councils own application form (model form
available from the Toolkit).
Applications will be objectively assessed by a panel before short listing for interview takes place.
In all cases a minimum of 2 written references will be obtained at least 1 of which must be from a previous
For jobs involving regulated activity 3 written references will be obtained and if possible at least 2 of those
references must be from a previous employer.
Interviews will in all cases be undertaken by a minimum of 2 individuals and for posts involving regulated activity
3 individuals will be required.
Candidates should be asked to bring their identification documentation and evidence of their right to work to
All staff will be provided with a copy of this policy on induction.