When serving people through the spiritual support service you may on occasion come across vulnerable adults or safeguarding concerns. Below is our process for handling these.
The Department of Health defines a vulnerable adult as a person who is aged 18 or over that is or may need community care services because of a disability (mental or other), age or illness and is someone who could be unable to look after themselves, or protect themselves from harm or exploitation.
If during your session you feel the person you are ministering to falls into the above description you should follow the procedure below.
1) Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and date of the session. Explain why you feel the person is vulnerable.
2) Put explanatory notes in the session record that can be referenced by future team members.
3) Edit the record and mark it as a Vulnerable Adult record.
4) Any following sessions will the be delivered with at least one of the team holding an up to date DBS check
If you discern the person you are ministering to has mental health issues then follow the procedure below:
1) If the person is receiving treatment and their condition is mild enough to mean ministry is appropriate and beneficial. Follow the vulnerable adults procedure above.
2) If the person is not receiving treatment, advise they contact their GP. If their condition is mild enough to mean ministry is appropriate and beneficial follow the vulnerable adults procedure above.
3) If their condition is too severe for Spiritual Support ministry to be beneficial then advise the service user that Spiritual support is not a professional service, nor are we qualified in mental health treatment or support. Refer the service user to their GP or St Helens Council Care Cares. If they require church connection, connect them with St Helens CLC Pastors via email@example.com.
4) Do make appropriate notes on their dashboard record.
1) If the person is an immediate risk to themselves or others, or is in an at risk situation currently. Report this to the safeguarding coordinator. Record the time and date of the session and the persons name and contact details. The safeguarding coordinator will advise of further action including reporting to the appropriate local authority.
If the perceived risk is of an emergency nature then contact the police or ambulance service immediately.
2) If you have safeguarding concerns but the person is not immediately at risk or a risk to others. Contact the safeguarding coordinator who will advise if any action or recording is required.
Concerns of Suicide
If a person is feeling suicidal then inform them that you will need to contact St Helens Mental Health Crisis Team. Record the time and date of the session and the persons name and contact details. Contact the Crisis team and follow their advice.
Safeguarding coordinator – Gill Haddican 9am to 9pm – firstname.lastname@example.org, 07753 823593
St Helens Council Contact Cares – 01744 676767
St Helens Mental Health Crisis Team – 0800 051 1508
(available 24/7 7 days a week)
The Hope Centre St Helens – 01744 26414 (for Homelessness Advocacy and Support)
Pastoral Support – Contact CLC Church Office – email@example.com or 01744 617148
Helplines provide trained listeners and often have other options for getting in touch, like email or web chat.
Samaritans – operates a free-to-call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you want to talk to someone in confidence. Call them on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PAPYRUS HOPELine UK – for under 35s can be contacted on 0800 068 41 41, 9am to midnight, seven days a week including bank holidays.
CALM helpline – for men can be contacted on 0800 58 58 58, 5pm to midnight every day.