For many years the BMC has had a safeguarding policy that includes both safeguarding children and safeguarding adults. That policy is called Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy and Guidelines. However, as things have evolved, the differences between safeguarding children and safeguarding adults have diverged significantly.
For instance, in addition to bullying, there are four ways that children can be harmed or abused: physically, emotionally, sexually and through neglect. Whereas, there are up to 14 ways that an adult can be harmed or abused. These include financial abuse and modern slavery.
Given this divergence, it’s becoming standard for organisations to separate out the two policies and have separate Children and Adults policies. The BMC is doing this too. After several years of discussion and consultation we now have a new Safeguarding Adults at Risk policy that is on the BMC website here. The terminology used is important. The word “vulnerable” has been dropped from the title as this was thought not to encapsulate what the policy is about and adults who are at risk may not wish to be seen as vulnerable.
As well as the many different forms of possible abuse, the adult safeguarding policy outlines what to do if you have concerns about an adult who you think may be at risk of harm. The first thing, the policy suggests, is to speak to the person and ascertain whether they are happy with what is happening to them or not. At that point you will know whether they want you to seek help /support for them or not. If they would like you to seek help or support the policy outlines how you can do that.
Now that the BMC has an Adult Safeguarding policy the next step is to roll it out and also develop training that can be delivered to staff, volunteers and clubs. This will be happening in 2021.
Additionally, the BMC’s Safeguarding Group is reviewing the existing policy called the Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy and Guidelines with the aim of creating a separate child only safeguarding policy. That policy will also be produced during 2021.
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