At MacIntyre, we're committed to keeping the children, young people and adults we support safe. For the fourth day of National Safeguarding Adults Week, Deborah Kitson, CEO of Ann Craft Trust, shares her thoughts on safeguarding within MacIntyre.
"I was really pleased to be asked to write this piece, to coincide with the first ever National Safeguarding Adults Week. When I was thinking about how to approach this, I thought I would go back to see how long I had been working with MacIntyre. I was amazed to realise that the first meeting of MacIntyre's Safeguarding Special Interest Group, was held on 8 December 2009. I am not sure then, that we realised just how many issues would be addressed over the years and the impact that the group would have on ensuring best practice in safeguarding across the organisation.
As far as I know, MacIntyre was only the third national organisation to have a Safeguarding Special Interest Group and I think it showed that then, as now, MacIntyre was prepared to be critical and reflective of its practice. Over the years this has resulted in a number of excellent initiatives that have enhanced safer practices in the organisation.
The quarterly meetings are well attended by staff, engender lively discussion and always create new developments in safeguarding practice for members to take away.
The great advantage of being a ‘critical friend’ (as I am sometimes referred to), is that I can be part of the discussions and let others do the hard work! And they do – the new initiatives that have impacted on providing safer services for the people MacIntyre supports have been many. The detailed database has aided the group to really analyse the national picture.
With regard to safeguarding, training needs of all staff have been explored, an annual action plan has focussed the group on its main safeguarding objectives and the 'Safeguardian' is published following each meeting, to keep staff up to date with both internal and external safeguarding news.
When I set up the National Safeguarding Adults Network in 2013, I was delighted that MacIntyre agreed to be a member of the network. I had decided to set it up, as I realised that so many organisations were struggling with the same issues and were having the same conversations. The National Safeguarding Adults Network has brought together those with safeguarding responsibility in their organisations and has shared common concerns, dilemmas and best practice. It has also collectively taken forward issues to ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services), CQC and other relevant bodies to raise concerns centrally and the responses have been positive.
I am hoping that the Safeguarding Adult Week will give all services and organisations the opportunity to raise awareness of all issues relating to safeguarding. I hope it will encourage people to collaborate with the people they support to consider what future work is required, to ensure that people live their lives free from the fear of abuse and harm. Many thanks for all your support and commitment to keeping adults safe.
If you'd like to learn more about Ann Craft Trust, visit their website.