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Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy


Safeguarding vulnerable adults – definition of a Vulnerable Adult

A vulnerable adult is a person 18 and over who is or may need community care services by reason disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation”.

Combat 2 Coffee, hereinafter referred to as the Organisation, aims to ensure that vulnerable people, are protected and kept safe from harm while they are with staff and volunteers in this organisation. In order to achieve this, we will ensure our staff and volunteers are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised. 

Who do adult safeguarding duties apply to?

The Care Act 2014 sets out that adult safeguarding duties apply to any adult who:

  • Has care and support needs, and
  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse and neglect, and
  • Is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect, because of those needs

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.

The Organisation adheres to following the six key principles that underpin safeguarding work (See Care Act guidance)

  • Empowerment
  • Prevention
  • Proportionality
  • Protection
  • Partnership
  • Accountability

Selection of Staff

  • All applicants will complete an application form
  • Short listed applicants will be asked to attend interview
  • Short listed applicants will be asked to provide references, and these will always be taken up prior to confirmation of an appointment
  • Where relevant to the post, the successful applicant will be asked to agree to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure. Disclosures will be requested prior to the applicant taking up post


  • All volunteers will fill out an application form
  • All volunteers will be interviewed
  • Volunteers will be requested to supply the name and addresses of two referees; these will be taken up before a volunteer is registered.
  • Before a volunteer works with a vulnerable adult DBS disclosure will be requested


  • The successful applicant will receive induction training, which will give an overview of the organisation and ensure they know its purpose, values, services and structure
  • Relevant training and support will be provided on an ongoing basis, and will cover information about their role, and opportunities for practicing skills needed for the work
  • Training on specific areas such as health & safety procedures, identifying and reporting abuse, and confidentiality will be given as a priority to new staff and volunteers, and will be regularly reviewed


  • All staff and volunteers will have a designated line manager who will provide regular feedback and support.  
  • The Organisation will ensure that all staff and volunteers involved in recruitment, training and supervision, are aware of this policy and have received appropriate training and support to ensure its full implementation

The Organisation’s reporting procedure:

  • When an issue concerning a vulnerable adult is identified in the first instance this should be reported to the Organisation’s Designated Safeguarding Officer who will advise on the process to follow
  • If the issue is connected to the organisation’s Designated Safeguarding Officer in any way, such as allegation, behaviour or incident then the matter is to be reported directly to the Chair of Trustees.

The Manager will follow the reporting mechanism and guidance of Suffolk County Council’s Suffolk Adult Safeguarding Board and ensure contact is made with Customer First. This can be done by phoning 0808 800 4005 or by completing and forwarding an adult safeguarding online referral form at www.suffolkas.org


Name: Nigel Seaman                                            Contact Number:    07429439766

Combat 2 Coffee, Non-Executive Director

Name: Paul Botterill                                              Contact Number:    07809622170

Revision history

This policy and related guidance will be monitored by the Chair of Trustees/Chief Executive on a regular basis for compliance and will be reviewed at least annually.

Date policy approved or amendedAmendmentsSigned

Appendix 1

Types and Signs of Abuse

It has been estimated that roughly two-thirds of those harming a vulnerable adult are family members, most often the victim’s adult child or spouse. Research has shown that in most instances the abuser is financially dependent on the vulnerable adult’s resources and have problems related to alcohol and drugs.

Staying alert to the different types of abuse

The word abuse covers many different ways someone may harm a vulnerable adult.

Physical abuse is intentional bodily injury. Some examples include slapping, pinching, choking, kicking, shoving, or inappropriately using drugs or physical restraints. 

Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact (any unwanted sexual contact). Examples include unwanted touching, rape, sodomy, coerced nudity, sexually explicit photographing. 

Mental mistreatment or emotional abuse is deliberately causing mental or emotional pain. Examples include intimidation, coercion, ridiculing, harassment, treating an adult like a child, isolating an adult from family, friends, or regular activity, use of silence to control behaviour, and yelling or swearing which results in mental distress. 

Exploitation occurs when a vulnerable adult or his/her resources or income are illegally or improperly used for another person’s profit or gain. Examples include illegally withdrawing money out of another person’s account, forging checks, or stealing things out of the vulnerably adult’s house. 

Neglect occurs when a person, either through his/her action or inaction, deprives a vulnerable adult of the care necessary to maintain the vulnerable adult’s physical or mental health. Examples include not providing basic items such as food, water, clothing, a safe place to live, medicine, or health care. 

Self-neglect occurs when a vulnerable adult fails to provide adequately for themselves and jeopardizes his/her well-being. Examples include a vulnerable adult living in hazardous, unsafe, or unsanitary living conditions or not having enough food or water. 

Abandonment occurs when a vulnerable adult is left without the ability to obtain necessary food, clothing, shelter or health care. Examples include deserting a vulnerable adult in a public place or leaving a vulnerable adult at home without the means of getting basic life necessities.

Signs of physical abuse

  • Bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, and rope marks
  • Broken bones
  • Open wounds, cuts, punctures, untreated injuries in various stages of healing
  • Broken eyeglasses/frames, or any physical signs of being punished or restrained
  • Laboratory findings of either an overdose or under dose medications
  • Individual’s report being hit, slapped, kicked, or mistreated
  • Vulnerable adult’s sudden change in behaviour
  • The caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see a vulnerable adult alone

Signs of sexual abuse

  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area
  • Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • An individual’s report of being sexually assaulted or raped

Signs of mental mistreatment/emotional abuse

  • Being emotionally upset or agitated
  • Being extremely withdrawn and non-communicative or non-responsive
  • Unusual behaviour usually attributed to dementia (e.g., sucking, biting, rocking)
  • Nervousness around certain people
  • An individual’s report of being verbally or mentally mistreated

Signs of neglect

  • Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores and poor personal hygiene
  • Unattended or untreated health problems
  • Hazardous or unsafe living condition (e.g., improper wiring, no heat or running water)
  • Unsanitary and unclean living conditions (e.g., dirt, fleas, lice on person, soiled bedding, faecal/urine smell, inadequate clothing)
  • An individual’s report of being mistreated

Signs of self-neglect

  • Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated or improperly attended medical conditions, and poor personal hygiene
  • Hazardous or unsafe living conditions
  • Unsanitary or unclean living quarters (e.g., animal/insect infestation, no functioning toilet, faecal or urine smell)
  • Inappropriate and/or inadequate clothing, lack of the necessary medical aids
  • Grossly inadequate housing or homelessness
  • Inadequate medical care, not taking prescribed medications properly

Signs of exploitation

  • Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money
  • Adding additional names on bank signature cards
  • Unauthorised withdrawal of funds using an ATM card
  • Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents
  • Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions
  • Bills unpaid despite the money being available to pay them
  • Forging a signature on financial transactions or for the titles of possessions
  • Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming rights to a vulnerable adult’s possessions
  • Unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family
  • Providing services that are not necessary
  • Individual’s report of exploitation

Signs of abandonment

  • Deserting a vulnerable adult in a public place
  • Deserting a vulnerable adult in his/her own home or living space
  • Individual’s report of being abandoned

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