You will have clear reporting procedures and all staff will be aware of them. Depending on the size and type of organisations, there may be a safeguarding lead who deals with all safeguarding reports and liaises with the local authority safeguarding team. In a smaller organization, it may all be down to you to follow the procedure for reporting.
You likely to be dealing with three broad types of safeguarding reports:
1. A potential safeguarding incident within your organisaton that was reported to you, or that you became aware of such as a medication error or a diet and nutrition error.
2. A safeguarding concern about relative or friend that took place in the community
3. A whistle-blowing report from a member of your staff, or a person using services, concerning a member of staff.
You will be reporting on each of these, initially through safeguarding procedures, but also directly to the police if you think there may have been a criminal offence.
If anyone using your service discloses abuse to you, or to s member of your staff, they are doing so because they want it to stop. You have the responsibility to make it stop.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects whistleblowers and ensures that they cannot be victimized by an employer for reporting abuse, or any other illegal acts. The Acts protects people making disclosures about:
1. A criminal offence
2. The breach of a legal obligation
3. A miscarriage of justice
4. A danger to the health or safety of any individual
5. Damage to the environment
6. Deliberate covering up of information tending to show any of the above five matters
The basis for being protected by the Act is that the worker is giving information that they ‘reasonably believe tends to show that one or more of the above matters either happening now, took place in the past, or is likely to happen in the future.
The Social Care Manager,
The National Skills Academy