Approved by the Board: 14 December 2017
Review Date: October 2018
Version: 7


1. Purpose
2. Aims and Objectives
3. YMCA Derbyshire’s Responsibilities
4. Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
5. YMCA Derbyshire Safeguarding Group
6. Monitoring and Review of the Policy

YMCA Derbyshire aims to assure the safe and secure provision for children, young people and vulnerable adults across all remits through effective inspection and regulation. Therefore, safeguarding the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is part of our core business and all staff must be aware of their responsibilities in this regard.


This document outlines YMCA Derbyshire’s policy on identifying and responding to concerns regarding the safeguarding and protection of children and young people, with a specific section on protection of vulnerable adults. This policy, with the associated procedures, provides guidance for all staff who may come across concerns of this nature within the context of their work for YMCA Derbyshire. These include:

  • All members of YMCA Derbyshire’s workforce;
  • Other individuals, consultants and agencies contracted by YMCA Derbyshire.

The policy seeks to promote effective multi-agency working in light of the Children Act 2004 and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015).

YMCA Derbyshire works within settings and services which includes young people and vulnerable adults. The policy and procedure for responding to concerns regarding the protection of vulnerable adults, when these are identified through YMCA Derbyshire’s business activities, are incorporated in this document. Although the legislative and policy base is different when responding to the safeguarding needs for adults, most of the principles and procedures for staff are the same as those for children and young people.

The definition of safeguarding – children and young people

In relation to children and young people, YMCA Derbyshire adopts the definition used in the Children Act 2004[1] and the guidance document: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 (paragraph 2),[2] which define safeguarding and promoting children and young people’s welfare as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

[1] The Children Act 2004:

[2] Working together to safeguard children, 2015;

The above statutory guidance defines child protection as part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. Child protection is the activity undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

For the purposes of this policy, YMCA Derbyshire’s responsibilities cover protecting children and young people from:

  • Neglect;
  • Physical abuse;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Emotional abuse;
  • Bullying, including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying;
  • Racist, disability and homophobic or transphobic abuse;
  • Gender based violence/violence against women and girls;
  • Radicalisation and/or extremist behaviour;
  • The impact of new technologies on sexual behaviour, for example sexting;
  • Teenage relationship abuse;
  • Substance misuse;
  • Issues that may be specific to a local area or population, for example gang activity and youth violence;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Female genital mutilation;
  • Forced marriage;
  • Fabricated or induced illness;
  • Poor parenting, particularly in relation to babies and young children; and
  • Other issues not listed here but that pose a risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults


YMCA Derbyshire has a broad remit and has a wide range of contract and regulation activity which covers settings which also have broader safeguarding responsibilities. In all of this activity, as well as responding to immediate concerns, we will ensure that there is a clear focus on the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. This focus will be consistent across our frameworks and our approach to regulation.

YMCA Derbyshire will disseminate the learning from our outcomes through the safeguarding team to the wider organisation. This will maintain YMCA Derbyshire’s role as a learning organisation with a focus on continuous improvement and provide clarity about the roles and responsibilities of staff.

When taking our service users to none YMCA Derbyshire premises, we expect that providers will have appropriate measures in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and that they will bring matters of concern to our attention.

All YMCA Derbyshire staff are required to complete a basic safeguarding training and assessment programme, supplemented by a refresher course after two years, and to attend relevant safeguarding training focussing on what constitutes safe practice as appropriate for their role. Staff are therefore expected to have a good understanding of safeguarding concerns, including potential abuse and neglect of children and young people, which may come to light in the work place as well as in other settings YMCA Derbyshire works with.

Staff who work in areas involving vulnerable adults are also required to complete training and assessment on this aspect of safeguarding.

At whatever level we identify risks, YMCA Derbyshire will highlight them and seek to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to safeguard the service users concerned.

All YMCA Derbyshire employees, and those who undertake work on YMCA Derbyshire’s behalf, must maintain a proper focus on safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults, and this must be reflected both in sound individual practice and in our internal policies and guidance. All permanent and contracted staff working with children and young people and vulnerable adults must:

  • Give highest priority to their safety and welfare;
  • Recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people or vulnerable adult;
  • Respond appropriately to disclosure by a child, or young person, or vulnerable adult of abuse;
  • Respond appropriately to allegations against staff, other adults and against themselves;
  • Understand and implement safe practice in carrying out their duties within their role;
  • Be alert to the risks which abusers, or potential abusers, may pose and pursue concerns through the safeguarding team;
  • Be aware of the importance of the role of services in promoting the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults; and
  • Contribute, as necessary, to all stages of YMCA Derbyshire’s safeguarding and protection processes.


YMCA Derbyshire does not investigate individual child protection cases or referrals. Therefore, all staff should follow the procedures to ensure that all allegations or suspicions of abuse or significant harm to any child are reported to the children’s services department[1] of the relevant local authority. We will share all relevant information with the respective statutory child protection agencies (children’s services and/or police) without delay and within agreed protocols. The reasons for action taken, or not taken, by YMCA Derbyshire will be clearly recorded.

YMCA Derbyshire will ensure that it fulfils its responsibilities to work jointly with others to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and, where necessary, to help bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against children, young people and vulnerable adults.

[1] The term Children’s Services is used throughout this document to include children’s social care services


The legal and policy basis for responding to concerns regarding the safeguarding and welfare of vulnerable adults is different from that of children and young people under 18. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 only applies to children and young people until they reach the age of 18. Any incidents or concerns relating to a young person of 18 years and over, even if still at school, are not covered by Local Safeguarding Children Boards or their procedures.

Government guidance in relation to adults is contained in the document ‘No Secrets’ and the previous Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) guidance (now Adult’s List guidance).[1] Good practice guidance is also available through the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) publication – Safeguarding Adults: A national framework of standards for good practice and outcomes in adult protection work.[2]

However, it is important to be aware that following amendments to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, adults are no longer deemed vulnerable because of their personal attributes, characteristics or abilities. An adult is considered ‘vulnerable’ if they receive a health, personal or social care service from a professional. Personal services would include, for example, help with financial matters, feeding, washing or dressing.

In this policy, the term ‘vulnerable adults’ is used for any persons over the age of 18 who meet the statutory definition in paragraph 18 above.

The definition of abuse of vulnerable adults

The definition of abuse of adults is contained in ‘No Secrets’ (para 2.5). Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person or persons. Abuse may consist of single or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it.

Within this context abuse can take the form of:

  • Physical abuse – including hitting, pushing, kicking, misuse of restraint or inappropriate sanctions;
  • Sexual abuse – including sexual assault or acts to which the adult did not, or could not, consent;
  • Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats, deprivation of contact, humiliation, intimidation, coercion, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services;
  • Financial or material abuse – including exploitation and pressure in connection to wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions; and
  • Neglect or acts of omission – including ignoring medical or physical care needs, withholding of medication or adequate nutrition and failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services discriminatory abuse – including racist, sexist and other forms of harassment.

[1] No Secrets: guidance on protecting vulnerable adults in care, Department of Health, 2010:

[2] Safeguarding adults: a national framework of standards for good practice and outcomes in adult protection work, Association of Directors of Social Services, 2005:

YMCA Derbyshire’s responsibilities

YMCA Derbyshire is committed to working with other agencies to ensure that people in our settings are safeguarded. People who use services have a right to live and work in environments free from abuse, neglect and discrimination.

YMCA Derbyshire does not investigate issues of concern in relation to vulnerable adults. Local authorities and the police hold the lead responsibility for responding to allegations of abuse in relation to adults, and in coordinating the local interagency framework for safeguarding adults.

YMCA Derbyshire will bring to the attention of the local authority social services and the police any concerns in relation to safeguarding or allegations of abuse identified through any part of its work.


YMCA Derbyshire has established a Safeguarding Group, chaired by the Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding, to ensure that these arrangements are effective. The terms of reference of the group are:


To ensure that robust internal arrangements are in place with respect to YMCA Derbyshire’s responsibilities and duties for assuring safe and secure provision for children, young people and vulnerable adults across all remits and includes work undertaken by contracted inspectors.


The group reports via the the Training and Education Committee and the Accommodation and Support Committee  and works across all remits to improve safeguarding practice. It works to:

  • Oversee the implementation and revision of YMCA Derbyshire’s safeguarding policy and procedures and review how effectively they are being applied;
  • Provide a holistic view of serious incidents to ensure that cross-cutting issues are identified and appropriate action taken within defined timescales;
  • Consider and advise on the development of methodologies to ensure that safeguarding issues are adequately addressed;
  • Ensure that YMCA Derbyshire understands the key messages arising from its involvement in any case reviews, ensures that these are disseminated and appropriate learning takes place;
  • Annually assess the impact of the safeguarding action plan;
  • Ensure that appropriate staff training and induction arrangements are developed and delivered, and the impact of these on practice is systematically and routinely evaluated;
  • Ensure that YMCA Derbyshire’s recruitment and other HR processes and procedures take appropriate account of safeguarding considerations; and
  • Consider issues escalated from external agencies as they relate to safeguarding.


This policy will be reviewed annually or earlier in the event there is a need to change our practice.