Safeguarding training and support for housing staff: Examples from practice
Guidance for housing managers
- SCIE’s Learning Together initiative presents a ‘systems’ model of organisational learning that can be used across agencies involved in safeguarding children. Initially developed in children’s services, the model is proving helpful in adult care. The approach supports an analysis that goes beyond identifying what happened towards explaining why it happened. This helps the safeguarding network generate new ideas about how to improve safeguarding practice.
- Many local authorities, including North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Bradford and Gateshead, provide or arrange joint safeguarding training for local partners.
- Kirklees Council has trained its parks staff to spot the signs of grooming.
- Stockport Council has made case studies publicly available for training purposes based on a serious case review. The case involved a young man who had been associated with anti-social behaviour and was murdered.
- Together Housing Group incorporates safeguarding into recruitment processes by checking attitudes and behaviour. Safeguarding is also part of the induction and competency frameworks.
- Bournville Village Trust is refreshing its training on safeguarding for all staff. It will cover types and indicators of abuse, the Mental Capacity Act, the Human Rights Act, mental illness and hoarding.
- Peabody Housing Association provides safeguarding (adult and children) and domestic abuse training to all front-line staff. They and Gentoo (a group of housing-related companies) provide training for front-line staff on domestic abuse and how to identify it in people’s homes. Staff routinely fill out identification checklists on domestic abuse, honour and stalking risks, and refer to multi-agency risk assessment conferences where the threshold is met.
- Lewisham Homes has set up systems and processes for staff with concerns to alert a central team, who are responsible for assessing concerns and, where appropriate, making safeguarding referrals to children’s and adults’ services in the council. Lewisham Homes commissioned mandatory joint training on safeguarding children and adults at risk for managers, staff, operatives and contractors to ensure that they are aware of safeguarding issues and how to report them. The training programme was tailored to suit the needs and job relevance of particular groups of staff. There were very high levels of satisfaction from the training, with over 90 per cent saying they would be able to use the knowledge obtained and would recommend the training to a colleague.
- Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has trained front-line repairs operatives through a series of one-hour safeguarding awareness sessions covering adults and children. The training uses housing-based case studies to raise awareness about the types of abuse and how to report concerns. The relevant safeguarding champion also tries, where possible, to provide feedback to any operatives that report concerns. This feedback does not involve any personal detail but does provide an assurance that the report was acted upon and that it was a relevant referral.
- Thurrock Council runs a multi-agency basic awareness programme on safeguarding. A ‘train-the-trainer’ model is used to maximise effectiveness. Sheltered housing officers are encouraged to engage their residents in a conversation about safety and direct training is provided for some residents. Residents were unfamiliar with the terms ‘safeguarding’ and ‘abuse’ and this was a learning point – safeguarding is now a standing agenda item at all residents’ meetings. Support packs, including DVDs, case studies, leaflets and posters were supplied to support housing officers.