U3A Policy and Safeguarding Statements
This policy and procedure is written to enable the committee to address issues where there are safeguarding concerns. Safeguarding includes incidents between members, concerns regarding abuse or neglect that a U3A member may be experiencing outside of the U3A, health related issues or previous or pending criminal convictions.
Rainworth U3A committee has a duty of care to its members but does not hold any statutory authority. Matters of concern will be reported to the relevant safeguarding authorities and charity regulatory authorities, as appropriate.
Rainworth U3A recognises that some people are potentially at risk of abuse and neglect. Where abuse or neglect is suspected will aim to respond in a prompt and efficient manner to any situation where there is a risk of or perceived risk of harm. recognises that there are various forms of abuse which can be perpetrated by volunteers, members, relatives, friends and neighbours. Rainworth U3A will neither condone nor tolerate any form of abuse or neglect and believes that all people should be able and, where necessary, enabled to live in an environment which is safe and free from harm.
It is not appropriate for Rainworth U3A to take the lead role in Safeguarding Enquiry under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014. Where there are serious concerns regarding abuse or neglect committee will seek advice Rainworth U3A e and support from the Trust, where possible, and will contact the relevant statutory authorities, as needed. Rainworth U3A will monitor the implementation of this policy and procedure annually through its committee.
In following the safeguarding procedure will strive to uphold the principles that those involved in incidents are entitled to:
· be treated with dignity and respect
· lead an independent life and to be enabled to do so
· choose how they live their lives
· the protection of the law
· have their human and civil rights upheld regardless of ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, impairment or disability, age, religious or cultural background.
Rainworth U3A will also follow the principles enshrined within the Care Act 2014:
· Principle 1 – Empowerment – whereby the approach is focused on the individual making their own decision and gaining informed consent, where possible.
· Principle 2 – Prevention – seeking to take steps to prevent issues from arising or escalating.
· Principle 3 – Proportionality – responding in a proportionate way to the issue/s being presented.
· Principle 4 – Protection – seeking to keep the membership safe and protection for those deemed to be at risk.
· Principle 5 – Partnership – reporting incidents to the relevant statutory bodies and liaising with the Trust.
· Principle 6 – Accountability – accurate recording of incidents. Reporting incidents, as required, to the Trust and relevant regulatory authorities.
Rainworth U3A has a responsibility to ensure that its committee members and group leaders understand their safeguarding responsibilities.
Depending on the nature of the allegation and the identified risk, Rainworth U3A will support the alleged victims and the alleged perpetrators of any abuse as well as any volunteer who becomes aware of an allegation in so far as this does not compromise any safeguarding enquiry or investigation into the allegation or place other adults at risk.
Rainworth U3A will make every effort to respect the confidentiality of any information that is disclosed under this policy and procedure, however due to the seriousness of allegations confidentiality is not absolute. Information will be recorded and stored securely in accordance with Data Protection Act 2018 but information may have to be shared, on a ‘need-to-know’ basis only, to prevent:
· Danger to a person’s life
· Danger to a person’s health
· Danger to others
· Danger to the community
· or to prevent or to facilitate the investigation of a serious crime
3.1 Courses of action
· Rainworth U3A approach to safe guarding will include members who exhibit health concerns that could put themselves or others at risk, convictions (previous or pending) that include offences of a sexual or violent nature, inappropriate behaviour exhibited by a member including sexual advances, bullying, aggression or violent behaviour, harassment and/or discrimination. This can include behaviour exhibited face to face as well as electronic communications or via social media platforms.
· Where the committee becomes aware of a safeguarding concern steps will be taken, as needed, to ensure the safety of adult/s at risk is secured as a first priority. The steps to take to address this will be discussed and agreed between the Executive Officers of the committee in the first instance. No committee member will act in isolation when dealing with a safeguarding concern.
· Where Rainworth U3A committee becomes aware of a safeguarding concern, the first step will be to gather as much information as possible to assist with the decision as to the next steps. A risk assessment will be developed and recorded as soon as possible after the concern comes to the attention of the
committee. Where it is deemed that the risk is high and immediate action needs to be taken, the committee will contact the relevant local authorities and – where possible – the Trust for advice and support.
· As far as possible, the adult at risk’s wishes will be respected as to whether or not to refer any concerns to the local authority as a Safeguarding Enquiry under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014. However, it may be necessary to override their wishes in the best interests of other adults at risk.
· In developing the risk assessment, the committee will consider the level of risk and the action that needs to be taken accordingly. Assessment of risk will include:
o Risk to the individual member
o Risk to other members within the U3A
o Reputational risk for the individual U3A and the U3A movement as a whole
· Where the risk is not deemed to be high but support is needed, wewill contact the Trust to discuss the concerns and seek additional assistance in developing the risk assessment. Assistance will always be sought before moving to exclude any member from the U3A on the basis of a safeguarding risk assessment.
· Once the risk assessment is completed, the committee will decide as to the most appropriate course of action. This could include excluding members from certain groups i.e. groups held in people’s homes, requesting that a member attends the U3A with a carer or excluding a member from a group run by a particular group leader.
· Depending on the nature of the allegation it may be necessary to pursue the incident following U3A’s complaints, disciplinary or grievance procedure. Where it is decided that this is the best course of action the matter will not be investigated by any party that was privy to the initial reporting of the incident.
· All actions taken will be recorded. Any records will remain confidential to the committee unless a prior decision has been taken to share the record with the relevant statutory bodies.
This policy was adopted on: 13/03/2020
Signed:_____________________ Committee role__________________________
Policy review date:
4 Dealing with Disclosure
If someone discloses a safeguarding concern to you:
· Stay calm and try not to show shock or disbelief.
· Listen carefully to what they are saying.
· Be sympathetic (I’m sorry that this has happened to you’).
· Be aware of the possibility that medical evidence might be needed.
· Tell the person that:
o They did the right thing to tell you
o You are treating the information seriously. It was not their fault.
o You are going to inform the appropriate person.
o You/ will take steps to protect and support them.
· Record and report the disclosure in line with the procedure.
4.2 Do not
· Press the person for more details; this will be done at a later date.
· Stop someone who is freely recalling significant events (Don’t say ‘hold on, we’ll come back to that later’; they may not tell you or anybody else again).
· Promise to keep secrets; you cannot keep this kind of information to yourself.
· Make promises you cannot keep (Such as ‘This will never happen to you again’).
· Make contact with the alleged abuser unless they are also a U3A member and it is necessary to do so to safeguard other members and/or the alleged abuser.
· Be judgemental.
· Pass on the information other than to those with a legitimate ‘need-to-know’ under this policy and procedure.
4.3 Record of disclosure
In your record of the disclosure you should aim to:
· Note what people actually said, using their own words and phrases.
· Describe the circumstances in which the disclosure came about.
· Note the setting and anyone else who was there at the time of the disclosure.
· Separate factual information from your own and others’ opinions.
· Use pen or biro with black ink so that the report can be photocopied if needed.
· And be aware that your report may be required later as part of a legal action or disciplinary procedure.
5 Key Definitions
5.1 Adult at risk
is any person, who is over 18 years of age and who has need for care and support, is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse or neglect, and as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or risk of it.
is the “violation of a person’s human and civil rights by any other person(s). It may be a single or repeated act(s), physical verbal, psychological, sexual, institutional, discriminatory or financial, an act of neglect or failure to act”
5.3 Types of abuse
· Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
· Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence.
· Sexual abuse – including 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.
· Psychological abuse – including 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.
· Financial or material abuse – including 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.
· Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
· Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
· Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, 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.
· 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
· Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
6 Recommended agencies:
· The Local Authority, Social Services, GP Surgery, Police, etc. · Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) https://www.elderabuse.org.uk/ is a confidential support and advice for older people who have been abused or people who know an older person who may be suffering abuse. Available weekdays 9am - 5pm ., freephone 0808 808 8141.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Sample
For U3As in England, Scotland and Wales
This is a template document that you can adapt to suit the particular requirements of your U3A. It is recommended that U3As adopt an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy. The Charity Commission in England and Wales enquires as to the existence of this policy within the annual return questionnaire.
Rainworth U3A is a learning co-operative and membership charity which enables members in their third age to share educational, creative and leisure activities. Members of each U3A draw upon their knowledge, skills and experience to teach and learn from each other (peer to peer learning). _____ Rainworth U3A recognise that some people are particularly likely to experience discrimination and harassment and are committed to making sure that the U3A is as inclusive and welcoming as possible.
3 Aims of this policy
This policy has been drawn up to comply with the Equality Act 2010. The Act stipulates that organisations cannot treat someone unfairly on the basis of what it calls ‘protected characteristics’, which are:
· ethnic origin, nationality (or statelessness) or race
· religion or belief (including the absence of belief)
· marital or civil partnership status
· sexual orientation
· gender reassignment
· political belief
U3A will strive to ensure that members do not experience discrimination on the basis of their protected characteristics. This will include ensuring equal access to groups and behaviour between members and by U3A Committee Members and group leaders. The Equality Act highlights that organisations need to consider what ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be made in order to accommodate those who may have particular needs. U3A Committee will review the reasonable adjustments needed for all members and individual members with particular needs on an ongoing basis. Where necessary, the Committee will seek guidance and additional support from the U3APlus sub-committee and/or National Office.
4 Practical approaches to inclusion
U3A will make sure all new members are aware of our policies and procedures in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion and accessibility as well as the Member Code of Conduct. U3A will make reasonable adjustments and
take practical steps to ensure a wide range of people can participate in our activities and meetings. This may include:
· Consideration given to the time of day of meetings and their location.
· Consideration of venues for meetings including:
o Accessible to wheelchair users
o Access to PA system and a hearing loop
o Parking and disabled parking available
o Disabled toilet facilities available
o Using a variety of methods and platforms to communicate externally and raise the profile of the U3A.
o Make communications available to those who don’t have access to the internet
o Use a range of images that reflect the local community
· Recruiting new members:
o Doing outreach sessions and contacting agencies working with community groups who may be harder to reach
o Encouraging members who are representative of the groups who are underrepresented within the U3A i.e. men or younger members to assist with the recruitment process
o Managing growth so that we ensure that new members can be accommodated
U3A will monitor member numbers i.e. the numbers of members who join, re-join and leave each year in order to identify any trends in membership.
U3A committee will review the diversity of the membership on an ongoing basis and will seek to ensure that the U3A remains attractive and accessible to all.
· Tasks and Roles:
o Ensure a range of people get their voices heard by encouraging more members to take on roles such as leading groups.
o The U3A will appoint an Accessibility Officer whose role it will be to ensure that both new and existing members can access the members meetings and groups that they would like to join and consider what reasonable adjustments may be needed to ensure this.
o The Groups Coordinator will ensure that new Group Leaders are made aware of issues in relation to accessibility and what steps they may need to take in meeting access requirements. Each group will be reviewed on an individual basis as certain groups may require a certain level of fitness or mobility and members need to be made aware of this in advance.
U3A will offer induction and training around equality, diversity and inclusion to Committee Members and Group Leaders on an ongoing basis.
5 Code of Conduct
U3A has a member code of conduct. The code of conduct outlines that members should abide by the U3As policies and procedures as well as treating each other with dignity and respect. This would include not acting in a way that would be deemed discriminatory or offensive.
6 Dealing with discrimination and harassment
Where U3A Committee become aware of any discriminatory practice or harassment, the committee will seek to address this through consultation with all parties concerned and, where necessary, through invoking formal procedures.
If any member of U3A feels they have experienced or witnessed discriminatory behaviour or harassment, this should be reported to the Committee. Any matters of concern will be reviewed by the Committee and a decision will be made, in line with the U3As constitution and formal procedures, as to what steps will be taken to address the issue.
Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents, and believing that no one should have poorer life chances because of where, when or whom they were born, or because of other characteristics. Promoting equality is about behaving in a way that tackles inequalities, aiming to ensure that all members are treated fairly, and do not experience discrimination.
Promoting diversity is about recognising that everyone is different and creating an environment that values members and ensuring that the U3A Movement is as accessible as possible to different groups within the community.
Inclusion is about positively striving to meet the needs of different people and taking practical steps to ensure members feel respected.
Direct Discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably because of their ethnic origin, nationality (or statelessness) or race, age, disability, religion or belief (including the absence of belief), marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender reassignment, political belief
Indirect Discrimination occurs when a condition or requirement is applied equally to all groups of people but has a disproportionately adverse effect on one particular group.
Harassment is unwanted conduct related to ‘protected characteristics’ that has the purpose or effect of violating a members dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment is also unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has that same purpose or effect.
Victimisation occurs when a member is treated less favourably than others in the same circumstances because he or she has made a complaint or an allegation of discrimination, harassment or bullying or given information regarding such a complaint or allegation.
This policy was adopted on:
Accessibility policy for U3As in England, Scotland and Wales Sample
This is a template document that you can adapt to meet the particular needs of your U3A.
U3A is a learning co-operative and membership charity which enables members in their third age to share educational, creative and leisure activities. Members of each U3A draw upon their knowledge, skills and experience to teach and learn from each other (peer to peer learning). U3A is committed ensuring that the U3A is as inclusive and accessible as possible for those in their third age who meet the criteria for membership. This policy document should be read alongside U3A’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
2.2 Aims of the Policy
This policy has been drawn up to ensure that U3A takes steps to review accessibility needs for individual members and makes reasonable adjustments, where possible, to accommodate the needs of members with disabilities and/or health related needs. The policy takes into account the requirements of the Equalities Act 2010 and the need for U3A to avoid discriminating directly or indirectly against members with disabilities and/or health related needs. The policy will act as a reference point for Committee Members, Group Leaders and individual members in terms of the steps U3A will take. The policy will also identify the parameters of the adjustments that can be made. U3A is a membership charity and not a service provider, therefore whilst reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure that individuals can participate and can attend with carers to support their needs, there will be certain needs that the U3A will not be able to accommodate due to the level of care that an individual may need.
2.3 Practical Approaches to Increasing Access
In ensuring equality of access U3A will take the following steps:
· An Accessibility Officer will be identified from amongst the membership. This will be a volunteer role/committee member role.
· The Accessibility Officer will have responsibility for liaising with Group Leaders on an ongoing basis to ensure that groups are accessible and that group leaders are aware of what the expectations are and what adjustments may need to be made e.g. relocating a group held within someone’s home to a wheelchair accessible venue.
· The Accessibility Officer will contact new members who indicate that they have a disability or health related issue that may need additional support and/or
adjustment and discuss with them what needs they have and how these could be met – as appropriate.
· General meetings will, as far as possible, be held at a well lit, fully wheelchair accessible venue, spacious enough to cope with wheelchairs and mobility scooters, with wheelchair accessible toilet and hearing aid loop system, and with a sound system in use.
· Speakers giving visual presentations will be asked to give a good description of the presentation if there is a possibility that people with visual impairment are present.
· At the monthly members meetings the front row of seats will be reserved for members who have impaired hearing or vision.
· Access will be reviewed by the committee on an ongoing basis with a view to considering any additional adjustments that may need to be made e.g. availability of a hearing loop or access to dementia friends training.
· Committee members and Group Leaders will receive an induction and/or training designed to support them in having an awareness of and facilitating access.
· Group Leaders running groups that require a certain level of fitness and/or mobility will be asked to provide this information to members in advance so that members can decide as to whether the group is suitable for them.
· Group Leaders will liaise with the Accessibility Officer where there are concerns about an individual’s ability to participate.
· U3A will try to ensure that there are a range of groups available that will provide access to members so that members do not feel excluded from too many interest/activity groups.
· U3A will encourage and may require members to bring carers with them to U3A activities, as needed, with no additional cost for the carer. The carer will fall under U3A liability insurance unless they are a professional carer, in which case the individual will be covered by their employer’s insurance cover.
·U3A will maintain a database of venues and the facilities offered by each venue to accommodate different needs.
·U3A has a duty of care to all members and this may mean that difficult decisions have to be taken in assessing an individual’s ability to participate either in the U3A as a whole or within individual activities. These decisions will always be taken through discussion with the individual member and his or her carer in order to ensure that a fair and considered decision is taken. This may include developing a risk assessment with the individual regarding their ability to participate.
·U3A will seek additional advice and support from U3APlus, the Regional Trustee, National Office, the national website and external specialist organisations as required.
This policy was adopted on: 12/03/2020
Policy review date: