Every safeguarding concern is an opportunity for learning.
Ask yourself: How did the concerns arise? Was there anything you or your organisation could have done to prevent the issue from arising?
These considerations can help you identify training and development opportunities that could minimise the risk of future harm.
If you do offer further training in response to a safeguarding concern, you must ensure that it really does make the difference that you had hoped for. You therefore need to consider how you might assess the outcomes of this training. Has it been effective in minimising risk?
What to Do After a Safeguarding Investigation
You need a system in place to consider any outcomes, and any changes you may have to make to your safeguarding strategies and practice. For example, you could assemble a learning group to meet regularly and discuss safeguarding matters. Or you could organise a group to look at specific investigations, and their impacts on your organisation.
If the learning group makes any recommendations, you must act on them. If these recommendations involve any organisational change, the change must apply to the whole organisation, and not just to the area affected by the safeguarding concern.
A Safeguarding Lead
All organisations should appoint a safeguarding lead. It’s a vital part of preventing abuse.
Your safeguarding lead’s responsibilities should include:
- Organising training and development.
- Auditing departments, policies and procedures.
- Ensuring that all safeguarding policies and procedures are understood and up to date.
- Gathering information during a safeguarding investigation.
- Ensuring that all concerns are acted upon in a timely fashion.
- Addressing the outcomes of any safeguarding investigation.
Analysing Safeguarding Data
It’s important that you record and review the outcomes of safeguarding concerns and investigations.
Analysing this data will help you to assess the effectiveness of your current safeguarding policies and practice. It will also allow you to monitor if there are any changes in the type of safeguarding concerns you face.
Many organisations commit to this as a part of their safeguarding governance process. They might discuss the data, and their findings, during regular meetings with key staff from the organisation.
Regular meetings can also include safeguarding as a standing agenda item. You could use the time to reflect on outcomes from the data.
The Benefits of Reflective Practice
Dealing with a safeguarding concern can be a difficult and stressful time for staff. You need to let them step back and reflect. Otherwise the impact on them and their team may be detrimental to their work practice. And ultimately this will affect the people they support.
So allow some time to consider the outcomes of your safeguarding investigation. Ask yourself: Have they have had a useful and effective impact on safeguarding in your organisation?
The Value of Individual Learning
Following a safeguarding investigation, you should give staff the opportunity to consider their own individual learning needs. The investigation may have made them aware of gaps in their knowledge. So you should let them pursue any training or development they feel will help.
You need an effective process to ensure that any outcomes from the investigation can spread across your entire organisation. Communication is key, so consider regional manager meetings and other similar processes as a means of sharing information.
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:
Safeguarding Adults at Risk Training. Learn more.
Is this abuse, or just poor practice? Training course. Learn more.
How to create a process to respond and report. Learn more.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003. Learn more.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005. Learn more.
Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Learn more.
How to behave – a safeguarding training video. Watch here.
Driving improvement: Case studies from adult social care services. Download here.
Overshadowed: The mental health needs of children with learning disabilities. Download here.
Protecting adults at risk: Good practice guide. Download here.
Safeguarding adults review under The Care Act: Implementation support. Download here.
Using the Mental Capacity Act: A resource for families and friends of people with learning disabilities. Download here.
Want to know more about training, audits and safeguarding policies? We’ll be happy to discuss your safeguarding needs with you, so get in touch today.