Vulnerable Adults

Protection of Vulnerable Adults Policy
This policy defines the arrangements and procedures in place within Walsden Cricket and Bowling
Club (WC&BC) that ensures the protection of vulnerable adults from abuse.
POLICY PRINCIPLES: WC&BC will develop and implement procedures and strategies which are
designed to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. These strategies will:
• Identify who is at risk.
• Define what is meant by abuse and identify the types of abuse that can occur.
• Promote staff /volunteer awareness of the common indicators associated with each type of abuse
and ensure that at least one named coach/volunteer undergoes specific training.
• Specify the procedures to be followed in the event of alleged or suspected abuse.
Definitions of a Vulnerable Adult (Department of Health Guidance “No Secrets” March 2000)
• Someone who is aged 18 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 protect
himself/herself from significant harm or exploitation.
• WC&BC also applies this policy to those not receiving community care services but that are
considered to be vulnerable to abuse.
Definitions of Abuse:
• Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. For
vulnerable adults this will focus upon others who have influence over them.
• These violations may be intentional or unintentional.
• These violations may be a single act or a repetition of acts over a period of time.
Definitions of significant harm:
• “ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment that are not physical)
• the impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health
• the impairment of physical, emotional, social or behavioural development”.
Categories of Abuse: For the purpose of this Policy, abuse is classified into the following categories:
• Physical – can include hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or
inappropriate sanctions.
• Abuse in care settings – care settings include residential and nursing homes, hospitals, day centres,
sheltered housing schemes, group or supported housing projects.
• Sexual – can include rape, sexual assault, sexual acts to which the person has not consented, could
not consent to or was pressured into consenting to.
• Psychological or emotional – includes threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation or contact,
humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or
withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
• Financial and / or material – can include 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 / acts of omission – includes ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide
access to appropriate health, social or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life
such as medication, adequate nutrition or heating.
• Discrimination – includes racism, sexism, abuse based on a person’s disability and other forms of
harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
Symptoms/Indicators of Abuse: Coaches/volunteers will be made aware of the detection of abuse
through symptoms, indicators and behaviour. The indicators relevant to the Club situation are
summarised as follows:
Physical Abuse:
• unexplained bruising
• history of unexplained falls or minor injuries
• slap, kick, pinch or finger marks
• unexplained burns and scalds in unusual locations or of an unusual type
• injury mark similar to an object
• untreated medical problems
• weight loss / complaints of hunger
• dehydration
• nervous/fearful watchfulness; fear of physical contact
Sexual Abuse: • Pain, itching, bruising or bleeding in the genital area
• stained/bloodstained underclothes
• bruises to the thighs and upper arms
• change in usual behaviour for no apparent or obvious reason
• discomfort when sitting or walking
Psychological / Emotional Abuse:
• excessive fears
• tearfulness
• ambivalence about carer
• fearful of the carer / avoiding eye contact or flinching on approach
• unusual weight gain or loss / changes in appetite
• low self esteem
• insomnia or need for excessive sleep
• emotional withdrawal
• high levels of anxiety, agitation or paranoia
Financial or material abuse:
• person lacks belongings or services which they should be able to afford
• missing personal property (jewellery, cash etc)
• purchase of items the person does not require or use
• extraordinary interest by family members or others in the vulnerable persons assets
Neglect: (not self-neglect or refusing help)
• poor physical condition e.g. malnourished, pressure sores, ulcers
• inadequate or unclean clothing
• failure to ensure privacy and dignity
• slurs and offensive remarks regarding ethnic origin, religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation,
disability or age
Action to be taken in the event of alleged/suspected abuse:
The Child Welfare Officer will also serve as the Club’s Vulnerable Adult Officer and be designated as
the key contact person within WC&BC with direct responsibility for deciding on the appropriate
action to be taken about any alleged or suspected incidences of abuse. Any coach/volunteer with
concerns regarding possible abuse of a vulnerable adult will report the matter directly to the
Vulnerable Adult Officer. N.B. If an allegation or suspicion relates to the named Vulnerable Adult
Officer then any member of the Club General Committee should be approached.
Reporting such matters to agencies outside WC&BC will take into account the balance which needs
to be maintained for the confidentiality of the vulnerable person’s affairs, the vulnerable person’s
capacity to consent to the matter being taken further and the duty of care to report suspected
The Vulnerable Adult Officer will assess the allegations / suspicions and decide upon the
appropriate action to be taken:
• If the incident is not considered to fit the criteria of abuse the Vulnerable Adult Officer they can
deal with the situation directly.
• If the incident is considered to fit the criteria of abuse the Vulnerable Adult Officer or other senior
person within the organisation should refer the matter to Social Services in accordance with the
process outlined in the Multi-agency Policy, In all cases, the Vulnerable Adults Officer is responsible
for maintaining complete records of the allegations made, including dates, times and persons
involved and actions taken.
This action may be of two types:
• Corrective action – action to be taken against alleged or confirmed perpetrators (as set out in the
disciplinary procedure) involved in incidents of abuse, and the discreet and sensitive handling of the
abused person.
• Preventive action – strategies to be implemented with the objective of halting further abuse and /
or limiting the opportunities for potentially abusive practices.
WC&BC Child Welfare Officer is responsible for developing, communicating, implementing and
reviewing this policy on behalf of the Club General Committee