Prevention is always better than a cure.

The six core principles of The Care Act 2014 are:

  • Empowerment.
  • Protection.
  • Prevention.
  • Proportionality.
  • Partnership.
  • Accountability.

You can learn more about the six core principles of adult safeguarding here.

In a care setting, all six principles are equally important. But prevention plays a particularly vital role in safeguarding, as it can help with possible interventions in the future.

Prevention is especially important when it comes to creating a safeguarding policy. Working with prevention in mind will help you ensure you have a structure in place equipped to deal with safeguarding issues. A combination of previous case studies, research, knowledge and experience is the best starting point when developing your policy.

The steps you need to consider for prevention

Whether you are a small group or a large organisation, you need a safeguarding policy. What’s more, your policy must be accessible to everyone it concerns. This can include staff, managers, volunteers, and directors.

It’s a good idea to base your policy on the idea that prevention is better than a cure. Here are the steps you can take to do just that:

Appoint a Safeguarding lead or group

Your safeguarding lead will have the responsibility for overseeing the safeguarding practice in your organisation. This can include data collection, training, governance, and creating policies and procedures.

It’s important that people understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding. If you can’t appoint a safeguarding lead, then consider creating a safeguarding group. Just like a safeguarding lead, this group will be dedicated to overseeing your organisation’s safeguarding strategies and practices.

Ensure the Board, Directors and Management are informed of the policy and procedures

Within an organisation the overall responsibility for safeguarding lies with the board or management team. It’s therefore crucial to keep them updated on factors like data reporting, CQC, and Charity Commission reporting. And of course, you must also keep them updated on safeguarding activity.

Is your organisation divided on a regional basis? Then you must make sure that this division does not result in varying safeguarding standards across the regions.

Safeguarding policies and practices should be consistent across your organisation. You should offer training and awareness courses across the organisation, and not just to those who are show an interest in the issues.

Adopt a Person-Centred Approach

You should put the people you support at the centre of your work.

Making Safeguarding Personal means including people in the decision making process when any concerns are raised about them. It means ensuring that safeguarding is person-led rather than process-driven.

Set out the right recruitment procedures

Prevention must also guide your recruitment process. There are a number of steps your should take when recruiting staff:

  • Make sure you have enough time to check references.
  • Carry out DBS checks as appropriate, and repeat them periodically.
  • Talk about safeguarding during the interview process.
  • Carry out a clear induction and probationary period for new staff. Also commit to regular appraisals, and make a record of all discussions.
  • Address any concerns about competency.
  • Have procedures in place to assist in dealing with staff shortages.
  • Provide ongoing safeguarding training and evaluation.
  • Review your staffing policies through carrying out and recording exit interviews for leavers.

Personal safety and risk assessments

It’s not enough to just keep people safe. People must also understand how to keep themselves safe as far as possible.

Personal resilience is especially important with the increase in use of social media and its associated risks.

All organisations should commit to regular risk assessments. These are vital to ensure that you’re not placing staff, or the people using your service, at risk. The risk assessment may be about many factors, including staffing, activities, the environment, volunteers, and individuals.

Below you’ll find many resources that’ll help you ensure you have the right procedures in place to make prevention the centre of your safeguarding policy.

To self-assess your safeguarding knowledge, policy and procedures, complete the checklist online here.

Already completed this assessment and want to further your knowledge? Check out our list of useful resources and guides:

Organisation Evaluation and Action Plan for Safeguarding Adults. Learn more.

What is a hate crime? Learn more.

10 Changes You Could Make to Improve Safeguarding in Your Business. Learn more.

Downloadable Resources:

Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice. Download here.

Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards 2019. Download here.

The Human Rights Framework for Restraint. Download here.

Staying Safe on Social Media and Online. Download here.

What am I looking for online? Download here.

Example of Macintyre’s Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy Download here.

Example of Good Practice Guidance from MacIntyre. Download here.

Want to know more about Recognising safeguarding issues? Click here.