Safeguarding Policy – Adults at Risk of Harm


Seed and Somerset Film and Video Ltd Safeguarding Adults at Risk of Harm Policy 2021


Seed and SFV is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of adults at risk of harm at all times and to providing a safe, welcoming environment in order for them to benefit from and enjoy the opportunities/resources Seed has to offer, whether face to face or through the use of digital technology. All people, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief, sex and gender identity have a right to protection from harm or abuse. This policy should be read in conjunction with our safeguarding procedures (below) activity risk assessments and online/social media, anti-bullying, diversity, health & safety and data protection policies. The procedures and recommendations made apply to all staff and volunteers including trustees, contractors and freelancers where appropriate.

This policy is informed by the guidance set out in:

  • The Care Act 2014
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Summary Strategy for dealing with safeguarding vulnerable groups including children (Charity Commission 2017)
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) code of practice: 0-25 years- Statutory Guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities; HM Government 2014

Our aim is to review this policy annually or as appropriate in response to new guidance and best practice.

Participation in any Seed project can give a sense of identity, develop confidence and provide the individual with a voice. Such benefits require trust between the participants and tutors. Seed believes in the rights of adults at risk to be protected from abuse, harm or bullying.

Seed and SFV recognises the value of its relationships with leading organisations in this field such as Social Services and the NHS to advise on policy and training when required.

Seed and SFV has a great deal of experience in working with adults at risk of harm. It constantly draws on this experience for risk assessments, project planning and the undertaking of projects. Seed and SFV recognises its responsibility when dealing with commissioning bodies to discuss and advise on matters contained within this policy.

‘Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.’

Care and Support Statutory Guidance, Department of Health, updated February 2017

All adults should be able to live free from fear and harm. But some may find it hard to get the help and support they need to stop abuse.

An adult may be unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation due to many reasons, including their mental or physical incapacity, sensory loss or physical or learning disabilities. This could be an adult who is usually able to protect themselves from harm but maybe unable to do so because of an accident, disability, frailty, addiction or illness.

Adults at risk of harm may be vulnerable to a different and wide range of types of abuse including physical; domestic violence; sexual; psychological; financial; modern slavery; discriminatory; institutional; neglect; self-neglect. People with care and support needs, such as older people or people with disabilities, are more likely to be abused or neglected. They may be seen as an easy target and may be less likely to identify abuse themselves or to report it.

Adults who may be at risk of Abuse

First introduced by the Department of Health in 2011, but now embedded in the Care Act, the following six principles should be used to inform any response to a concern about an adult who may be at risk.

  1. Empowerment People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent
  2. Prevention It is better to take action before harm occurs.
  3. Proportionality The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
  4. Protection Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  5. Partnership Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  6. Accountability Accountability and transparency in safeguarding practice.

We will seek to keep adults at risk of harm safe by:

  • valuing, listening to and respecting them
  • appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding
  • adopting safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • developing and implementing effective online safety including social media policy and related procedures such as video call management/security procedures.
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures
  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • recording and storing information professionally and securely
  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with staff and volunteers via induction procedures and staff training
  • using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns about adults at risk of harm and relevant information with agencies who need to know, to obtain consent from adults or where it is necessary to share information without the express consent of the adult concerned that a record of this is made of the reasons for this;
  • using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
  • creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
  • ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
  • ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our participants, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance.


An adult at risk of abuse is defined by Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 as someone who:

  1. has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs),
  2. is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
  3. as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.


We will make it clear to candidates when advertising a job role if the work involved is regarded as a regulated activity (work that involves unsupervised contact with children or adults at risk of harm) and will determine this in accordance with the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. We will make this clear when advertising job roles and any offer of employment will be conditional upon satisfactory background checks. We reserve the right not to employ a candidate where these conditions are not satisfied. If staff are added to the barred list during employment we cannot legally allow them to be continued to engage in a regulated activity.

Before we can employ a candidate in a regulated activity, we will require the candidate to provide a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure with a relevant barred list check from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps us make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups. We will ensure that the correct level of DBS certificate is sought. The purpose of this check is to confirm that the candidate is suitable to perform this work and is not barred from doing so.

All enhanced disclosure certificates will be issued to the member of staff directly. As a consequence staff are required to provide the original DBS check to your line manager upon receipt. The DBS certificate number and date of issue will be noted for our records.

We will make any offer of employment in a regulated activity conditional upon satisfactory background checks, including satisfactory criminal record and barred list checks. We reserve the right not to employ a candidate where these conditions are not satisfied.

If work either becomes a regulated activity, or if staff and volunteers are asked to perform work that is a regulated activity, we will require them to provide a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure with a relevant barred list check from the Disclosure and Barring Service. The purpose of this check is to confirm that they are suitable to perform this work and are not barred from doing so.

If the member of staff or volunteer refuse to undertake these checks, or if a disclosure confirms that they have a relevant criminal conviction or have been placed on a relevant barred list, we will investigate the circumstances further and will fully consider the effect of this on continued employment.

Where they are not legally permitted to perform a regulated activity, or where we otherwise have reason to believe that this will be inappropriate, we may consider if there are any other non-regulated activities in which they can be employed.

We reserve the right to dismiss staff and volunteers where continued employment cannot be supported.

Barred Lists

If staff or volunteers are added to a barred list during employment, we cannot legally allow them to continue to engage in a regulated activity.

Where staff or volunteers are not permitted to perform a regulated activity, we may investigate if there are any other non-regulated activities in which they can be employed.

We reserve the right to dismiss staff or volunteers where continued employment cannot be supported.

Safeguarding Procedures

When an allegation is made against a member of staff

We will investigate all complaints of alleged or suspected abuse fully, in accordance with the disciplinary procedure.

We may be required to refer information to the Disclosure and Barring Service, and may also consider it necessary to inform the Police of allegations under investigation.

We reserve the right to suspend staff on full pay pending investigation into an allegation of abuse and pending any resulting disciplinary proceedings.

We have reason to believe that an allegation of abuse has foundation, we will arrange a disciplinary meeting with the individual. This could result in a decision to take disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including dismissal.

We are legally required to refer certain information about an individual to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

This duty applies where:

(a) a member of staff is dismissed because they have harmed, or may harm a child or adult.

(b) we have suspended a member of staff and have reason to believe that they have engaged in relevant conduct, or have harmed or may harm a child or adult, or have received a caution or a conviction for a relevant criminal offence.

(c) a member of staff resigns in circumstances where there is a suspicion that they harmed, or may harm, a child or vulnerable adult. This may, for example, arise where an employee resigns before disciplinary action is taken by the organisation.

Staff Induction and Training

We will provide staff, freelancers, artists and volunteers with copies of safeguarding and related [[policies and procedures on induction/contracting and will provide access to training where needed. This policy will form part of the terms and conditions of their contract.

All core staff should undertake safeguarding protection training and refresh this every three years.

What are your roles and responsibilities?

All staff, management, trustees and volunteers at Seed and Somerset Film are expected to report any concerns to the named person for safeguarding. If the allegation is against one of our members, volunteers or trustees seek advice from the safeguarding lead.  If the allegation is against the safeguarding lead, seek advice from the Trustees.

The designated safeguarding adults lead should be responsible for providing acknowledgement of the referral and brief feedback to the person raising the original concern. Feedback should be given in a way that will not make the situation worse or breach the Data Protection Act.  If the police are involved, they should be consulted prior to giving feedback to the referrer to ensure any criminal investigation is not affected.

The local authority will decide on who will lead on a safeguarding enquiry should it progress to that stage. Seed and Somerset Film should not conduct its own safeguarding enquiry.

Staff and volunteers should ensure that the adult with care and support needs is involved at all stages of their safeguarding enquiry ensuring a person-centred approach is adopted.

Who do I go to if I am concerned?

The person responsible for safeguarding strategically is Laura Hylton for Seed activities and commissioned projects. Contact 01278 433172

The person with designated responsibility for safeguarding operationally is Deb Richardson. Contact 01278 433187

Deb Richardson in conjunction with Somerset Film trustees will be responsible to make decisions about notifying adult social services if required and consider alternative actions, where necessary.

What should I do if I am concerned?

  1. Respond
  • Take emergency action if someone is at immediate risk of harm/in need of urgent medical attention. Dial 999 for emergency services
  • Get brief details about what has happened and what the adult would like done about it, but do not probe or conduct a mini-investigation
  • Seek consent from the adult to take action and to report the concern. Consider whether the adult may lack capacity to make decisions about their own and other people’s safety and wellbeing.  If you decide to act against their wishes or without their consent, you must record your decision and the reasons for this.
  1. Report
  • Report any potential safeguarding concerns immediately to the designated safeguarding officer detailed above.
  1. Record
  • Put details of the incident in writing, date and sign them. Try to write up the details as soon as you can. Give a copy to the designated safeguarding officer. Any electronic copies should password protected. Physical copies should be kept in the back filing cabinet and locked away.
  • Keep records about safeguarding concerns confidential and in a location where the alleged abuser will not have access to the record. Access should not be given to any unauthorised personal for accessing confidential information including the sharing of passwords.
  1. Refer

In making a decision whether to refer or not, the designated safeguarding lead should take into account:

  • the adult’s wishes and preferred outcome
  • whether the adult has mental capacity to make an informed decision about their own and others’ safety
  • the safety or wellbeing of children or other adults with care and support needs
  • whether there is a person in a position of trust involved
  • whether a crime has been committed

This should inform the decision whether to notify the concern to the following people:

  • the police if a crime has been committed and/or
  • Somerset Adult Social Services for possible safeguarding enquiry Adult Social Care in Somerset 0300 123 23 27 (01823 368399 out of hours)
  • If a mental health concern then Glanville House 01278 720292 for the community mental health team in Bridgwater
  • family/relatives as appropriate (seek advice from adult social services)

The designated safeguarding lead should keep a record of the reasons for referring the concern or reasons for not referring.

Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple and may affect one person or more. Staff and volunteers should look beyond single incidents to identify patterns of harm. Accurate recording of information will also assist in recognising any patterns.

As soon as Adult Social Services becomes involved, a 4-stage safeguarding adults process is followed.  For more information about this 4-stage safeguarding adults process, refer to the Somerset Safeguarding Adults Procedures.


Staff and volunteers should only use an organisational email account, profile or website when responding to messages and at least one other member of staff should be copied into any emails sent to adults at risk of harm.

Staff should choose a formal means of communication, such as face-to-face, in an email or writing, rather than via social media platforms.

Staff and volunteers should avoid where possible communicating with adults at risk of harm via email or social media outside of normal office hours. Emails and other forms of communication should be signed off in a professional manner avoiding the use of emoji or symbols such as ‘kisses; (X’s).  Any disclosures of abuse reported through social media should be dealt with following Somerset Film safeguarding guidelines and reported to the designated safeguarding lead.

Staff should seek advice from the designated safeguarding lead if they have any concerns about the use of the internet or social media.

Staff should not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ adults at risk of harm from personal accounts.

Staff and volunteers should take every step to avoid any misinterpretation of messaging. If such communication is misinterpreted and the adult at risk of harm tries to engage staff in a conversation the staff member will take the following steps: end the conversation or stop replying, suggest discussing the subject further at the next workshop or project engagement. If concerned about the adults at risk of harm’s communication this must be discussed with Seed and Somerset Film’s designated safeguarding lead.

So all everyone can enjoy, learn and be creative and actively take part in events, workshops, training and activities supported or delivered by Seed we will discourage the use of personal mobile phones during activities. If an activity requires mobile phone use during activities terms and conditions of use will be agreed and put in place by Somerset Film.

Smartphone users should respect the private lives of others and not take or distribute pictures/images/videos of other people if it could invade their privacy. Staff and volunteers must not engage in ‘sexting’ or send pictures/images/film to anyone that are obscene, indecent or menacing.

Social Media

Managing our online accounts

Our website or social media platforms will adhere to the following guidelines:

All social media accounts will be password protected and at least 3 members of staff will have access to each account.

All accounts will have a designated person managing our online presence and will seek advice from the designated safeguarding lead to advice on safeguarding requirements:

Twitter – Seed Sedgemoor: Kirsten Mulcahy

Facebook – Seed Sedgemoor: Kirsten Mulcahy

Facebook – Glow Home: Kirsten Mulcahy

Facebook – Front Garden Music Festival: Kirsten Mulcahy

Instagram -Seed Sedgemoor: Kirsten Mulcahy

Youtube – -Seed Sedgemoor: Kirsten Mulcahy

Any inappropriate post by children, adults or staff will be removed and DSO Lead and trustees will be informed of any incidents as well as anyone who may have been affected (including their parents/guardians).

Online events or interaction will be set to private unless this event or project is for the public. Child or adult at risk of abuse focused projects will always be set to private unless stated otherwise in the project description (approval will be required by the DSO Lead).

An event setting or group set to ‘private’ will be by invite only or pending approval by admin.  Members should not share personal details such as adult at risk of harm’s home address or telephone number.


Our aim is to also protect adults at risk of harm when working with Seed who make use of technology (such a mobile phones, games consoles and the internet) while in our care or participating in a Seed projects and/or Seed commissioned activities.

We will understand the safety aspects – including what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for staff when using websites, social media, apps and other forms of digital communication. The same safety aspects will apply whether it is a computer, mobile phone, or game console when using social media platforms (including Facebook, twitter, Instagram, YouTube, sound cloud etc.). We will ensure that we adhere to relevant legislation and good practice guidelines regularly reviewing existing safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that online safeguarding issues are fully integrated, including: making sure concerns of abuse or disclosures that take place online are written into our reporting procedures incorporating online bullying (cyberbullying) into our anti – bullying policy.

Risk and safeguarding will be managed in the same way as face to face sessions.

Staff should avoid being left alone in an online environment with an adult at risk of harm. This includes breakout rooms.

Staff should close all other apps, tabs and windows on your device before an online session, especially programs that use a lot of memory or data, or docs with sensitive information, as accidental screensharing can happen.

  • All participants will be informed of safety guidance and procedures when engaging in an online activity: either at the start of the session verbally (e.g. zoom) or through on-screen instruction (e.g. game).
  • Content from online activity must not be shared or recorded in any way without permission from participants or workshop leaders and in agreement with DSO. Parents/guardians/support worker/referring agency will have completed the appropriate media release forms before any recorded content e.g. via zooms etc is shared via other online platforms
  • Activity risk assessments will be completed for each online project outlining any potential hazards for example: recording or filming from home or in the community, being aware of your surroundings avoiding any potential hazards such as wires, tables or trip hazards.

Staff will advise participants on what to do if the connection is not performing well, how to use the chat function, the length of the session and break times and the process for addressing unacceptable behaviour.