Positions of Trust
Safeguarding and Positions of Trust
The Care Act 2014 requires the local authority, its relevant partners and those providing care and support services to have clear policies in place for dealing with allegations against anyone working in a position of trust. These policies should clearly distinguish between an allegation, a practice concern, a complaint and a care quality issue.
Partners should report concerns regarding abuse or neglect of people with care and support needs to their local authority. Where the concern involves someone working or volunteering in a position of trust this should be clearly noted. Every employer should ensure their organisation has a policy in procedure in place for how these concerns will be responded to and that all staff are familiar with their policies and able to respond to these.
Partner agencies should refer to section 2.5 of the Sussex Safeguarding Adults Procedures (Safeguarding and Managing Allegations Against People in a Position of Trust) which sets out employer responsibilities in this area.
Wider Public Protection Considerations
It is vital that partners feel confident in sharing information where a risk to the public is emerging, and the pan-Sussex Information Sharing Guide and Protocol should be used actively and referenced where needed, as a robust agreed guide to this work.
The work of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is central to supporting a robust safeguarding environment in relation to sensitive employment and voluntary positions. The barring function seeks to prevent the most high-risk individuals from working in specified roles with the vulnerable. For all others whom do not feature on the DBS “barred lists” the decision as to whether to appoint an individual is a matter for the employer.
Where a partner becomes aware of concerning information regarding a person in a position of trust they should consider their employment responsibilities, safe recruitment and quality assurance to any service user groups. If this partner is a police force who become aware of information which may pose risk to the public and are not highlighting a particular individual safeguarding concern of abuse or neglect to the local authority they should ensure that the Police Protection Common Law Disclosure power is considered.
This is a common law power to share personal sensitive information with third parties where a “pressing social need” can be established. A pressing social need might be the safeguarding, or protection from harm, of an individual, a group of individuals, or society at large.