4.1 Recruitment, Training and Staff Supervision
Research shows that a significant number of abuse incidents involve care workers, professionals and managers – people paid to care for and Adults at Risk.This fact places a responsibility both on those staff and those responsible for the practice of paid staff and volunteers both - in terms of management and supervision - to ensure that they are safe to work with Adults at Risk. This means that all the processes and checks surrounding who works with Adults at Risk and how they work must incorporate the avoidance of abuse including:
- How staff are recruited;
- The policies and procedures staff work to;
- How staff are inducted and trained, especially concerning professional standards, policy and procedures and the possibility of abuse;
- How staff are supervised and supported.
Managers, agencies and professions share responsibility for ensuring that staff are "fit for work", whatever their roles and responsibilities.
Employers should have robust procedures in place for vetting and barring potential abusers, including procedures in place in relation to:
- Safe recruitment and vetting through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks;
- Induction and training of new and existing staff, including whistleblowing (see also Whistleblowing Procedure) including basic mandatory induction training with respect to awareness that abuse can take place and duty to report. More detailed awareness training, including training on recognition of abuse and responsibilities with respect to the procedures in their particular agency. Specialist training for those who will be undertaking enquiries, and managers; and, training for elected members and others e.g. Healthwatch members. Post qualifying or advanced training for those who work with more complex enquiries and responses or who act as their organisation’s expert in a particular field, for example in relation to legal or social work, those who provide medical or nursing advice to the organisation or the Board.
Training for staff and volunteers on the Sunderland Safeguarding Procedures should be provided to all staff and volunteers at a level appropriate to their role. Training is a continuing responsibility and should be provided as a rolling programme;
- Supervision of all staff, including regular face-to-face supervision from skilled managers and reflective practice to enable staff to work confidently and competently with difficult and sensitive situations;
- Appropriate use of disciplinary procedures in relation to unsuitable staff;
- 'Whistleblowing' procedures for all staff - see Whistleblowing Procedure including organisational and individual responsibilities for whistleblowing and assurances of protection for whistle blowers;
- Responding to Complaints - see Safeguarding Adults Complaints Procedure;
- Responding to Allegations of mistreatment.