Protection of Vulnerable Adults Policy

Joanna North Associates Ltd – Adoption Support Agency

Updated June 2020

Our Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme will act to enforce safety for those who are vulnerable, and to ensure that professionals who can harm vulnerable adults cannot associate through the work that we undertake.  This is particularly relevant in our work as an intermediary agency where we are introducing people to relative strangers. 

Our Adult Abuse Policy is based upon information acquired from the Department of Health’s POVA or Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme produced in July 2004, and as set out in the Care Standards Act of 2000 and reproduced by the British Psychological Society for all members. 

Our intention is that vulnerable adults get the respect and care that they deserve throughout the work with the Adoption Support Agency.  As providers of a Service that may include work with adults who are vulnerable due to difficult life circumstances, poverty, physical disability, learning difficulty or due to historical or mental and emotional abuse.  Adults may also be exploited or used in trafficking or in modern day slavery. 

We guard against Abuse of Vulnerable Adults by the following:

  1. Our professionals undergo DBS checks before being allowed to work with us (Police Act 1997) or are asked to produce existing checks that are in date.  Any one with a DBS check that highlights any disclosure will not be included in our work.
  1. We undertake pre-employment checks on our Associates.
  1. We undertake the optional POVA First check on our DBS forms.
  1. If we receive any complaints relating to abuse of our Service Users by one of our professionals, the individual concerned will be suspended from that work immediately pending enquiries.  Every effort will be made to establish the validity of such complaints and to establish ‘elements of substance’.  Where there is substantial evidence of harm a recommendation will be made to the POVA list.

We adhere to the doctrines of ‘No Secrets’ guidance published by the Department of Health and Home Office November 2000.

We adhere to the guidance published by the National Assembly for Wales and the Home Office in July 2000 ‘In Safe Hands’.

Under circumstances of Misconduct or harm caused by any of our professionals we would abide by the Secretary of State’s proposal that a referral should be made for inclusion on the POVA list i.e. ‘where there is any action or inaction on the part of an individual who has harmed a vulnerable adult or placed a vulnerable adult at risk of harm.

We understand that as a minimum for inclusion on the POVA list the Secretary of State
will require the following documents and information:

  • Full name of individual
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Last known address
  • Confirmation that the individual was in a care position at the time of the misconduct
  • Details of allegation of misconduct
  • Detailed explanation of the misconduct
  • Details of any investigation including statements
  • Details of action taken
  • Information on police involvement
  • Details of proposed further action
  • Any other information considered relevant.

Referrals should be sent to:

Independent Safeguarding Authority
PO Box 181, Darlington  DL1 9FA

We understand that individuals can seek removal from the POVA list under three circumstances:

By power of the Secretary of State
Appeal to a Care Standards Tribunal
Application for Review of inclusion on the POVA list

In addition, we will protect vulnerable service users by working with their carers or support workers or key workers in our intermediary work.  This would apply particularly to people who may find it difficult to understand the process they are going through.

We will be observant and report to the Director any concerns we may have about any exploitation of an individual who may be vulnerable in their community.  This includes modern day slavery or any other form of imprisonment and abuse or exploitation.