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Safeguarding Highlight – Domestic Abuse

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It is always important to consider family dynamics when supporting our clients, now more than ever within the current lockdown period, relationships can be strained and have additional stress thrust upon them.

There has been a shocking increase in calls to the National domestic abuse helpline during the COVID-19 pandemic and new figures from the helpline reveal there have been over 50 murder between the end of March 2020 and the start of July 2020. More than 40,000 calls were made to the National Domestic Helpline during the first lockdown, and the figures are continuing to rise. One significant and notable theme is that the use of technology to intimidate and control partners has increased, perpetrators were using smart lock webcams and social media or sharing revenge porn to harass their targets.

Liverpool University Hospitals recently produced a 7 minute briefing on this:

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner but also by a family member or carer.

1 – 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime.

2 – On average a victim will suffer 35 incidents of domestic abuse/violence before seeking help

3 – DV gets worse during pregnancy: it is estimated that 4 to 5 in every 100 pregnant women are abused during their pregnancy or soon after the birth

4 – Nearly half of male victims fail to tell anyone they are a victim of domestic violence (Only 51 % tell anyone)

5 – 62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed

6 – Two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales

7 – One in two young women have experienced controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship

As we support our clients – and especially through these trying times – know how to spot the signs of abuse.

Under the introduction of Clare’s Law – this provides the opportunity for people to gain information under ‘right to ask’ ruling. The right to know application can be done by the individual or by a professional such as social worker or case manager – so it’s good to be aware of this.

For more information on this law and help and advice visit Safe Lives and Safe Net

 

 

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Safeguarding Highlight – Staying Safe Online

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Grooming is a form of abuse that involves manipulating someone until they’re isolated, dependent, and more vulnerable to exploitation. 

Grooming itself is not listed as one of the 10 categories of harm in The Care Act. But many of the types of harm listed in The Care Act, including modern slavery, physical, sexual and financial abuse, can happen as a result of grooming.

When most people think about grooming, they think about children. But adults are vulnerable to grooming too.

In this post we’ll explore the the issue of adult grooming, including the signs of grooming that you should look out for.

What is Adult Grooming?

It’s a gradual process. The abuser picks their target, build up trust, and the actual abuse, which is usually sexual or financial, doesn’t come until much later.

It often starts with friendship. The groomer will look for ways to gain their target’s trust, often with gifts or promises. Eventually they’ll start to ask for something in return, and this eventually leads to abuse. Because groomers work to befriend their victims, some organisations refer to it as “mate crime”.

Grooming can happen in person, or it can happen online. Online grooming might be referred to as “catfishing”, where the groomer pretends to be someone they’re not in order to gain trust.

Read our guide to staying safe online here.

Why Does Adult Grooming Happen?

There are many reasons why someone might groom an adult at risk.

Some cases of grooming result in financial abuse. In these cases, the groomer’s motivation is clear – financial or material game.

Many cases of grooming lead to sexual abuse. Again, in these instances it’s clear to see what the groomer’s getting out of the arrangement.

Grooming can also result in radicalisation, in which case the groomer is simply working to win someone over to their cause.

But in some cases of grooming it might be difficult to identify a motive. Unfortunately, some people just enjoy having power over others.

Signs of Grooming

Here’s some of the signs of grooming you should look out for:

  • The person becomes withdrawn, or they may seem troubled by something but unwilling to talk about it. Alternatively, their emotions might become more volatile.
  • You notice them using or wearing something new, that you didn’t buy for them.
  • Groomers often aim to isolate their targets from their family or friends. If they seem reluctant to see you, or they refuse a visit, it might be because someone’s manipulating them.
  • You notice that sums of money have disappeared from the person’s bank account, or the person claims they cannot pay for food or bills.
  • The person might be spending more time on the phone, or online, than usual. But they won’t say what sites they’re visiting, or who they’re talking to.
  • They start talking about a new “friend”, “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, and it’s not clear who they are or how they met them.

Grooming can also lead to radicalisation. In which case, you might notice that the person starts talking about an issue or a cause that’s never really interested them before. Head here for more information about radicalisation and adults at risk.

What To Do If Your Suspect Grooming is Happening

The problem is that victims of grooming often don’t feel like they need help. Also, some instances of grooming have all the appearance of authentic romances or relationships, until it’s too late.

If you suspect someone close to you is being groomed, either online or in person, there are plenty of ways you can get the support and guidance you need.

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National Safeguarding Week for Adults 2020

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It’s National Safeguarding Week for Adults.

As part of increasing knowledge, reflective learning and shining the spotlight on this, our Safeguarding Lead and Joint Registered Manager – Nicola Ewell, has chosen various subjects over the week to review.

Quite relevant with the recent challenges that everyone has been facing – today Nicola has chosen Safeguarding and Face Coverings.

Safeguarding & Face Coverings

Whilst the decision to make face-coverings in shops and on public transport compulsory may be beneficial to prevent further spread of coronavirus, the wearing of face-coverings does present challenges when considered through the lens of safeguarding.

For survivors of abuse, the wearing of face-coverings or being unable to see the faces of others, can make them feel worried or intimidated.

The wearing of face-masks can also make it more difficult to spot safeguarding concerns.

We have discussed the safeguarding challenges of face-coverings and signposted to resources where you can find additional support.

Survivors of abuse

The Survivors Trust have had a high number of calls from survivors that have described how covering their own face, or seeing the covered faces of others, has been a triggering experience for them.

Wearing a face-covering can trigger memories of abuse, such as the feeling of having a hand covering your mouth or your face pushed into a pillow. Face-coverings can make us feel claustrophobic. This can trigger fears of having a panic attack or losing control of our breathing.

Although it is not compulsory for everyone to wear a face covering, many survivors of abuse are worried about the reaction of other people if they are not wearing a mask.

Where can you find support?

  • The Survivors Trust have created discreet face-mask exemption card for survivors of abuse that can be used in shops and on public transport for those unable to wear a face covering.
  • If you, or someone you are supporting experiences anxiety related to past experiences, whether this is due to face-coverings or being overwhelmed by busy places, consider using grounding techniques. This can help remind ourselves that we are safe.
  • Women’s Aid has advice to support survivors who choose to wear a face-mask, and provides a live chat available for survivors of domestic abuse that are concerned about wearing a face-mask.

Remember that when someone decides to go mask-free, we may not always know their reasons.

Everyone can show their support for survivors of abuse by respecting those that choose not to wear a mask.

How can you spot safeguarding concerns behind a face-covering?

Recognising the potential signs of harm or abuse, and knowing what to do if you have a concern, can make a real difference. Facial cues, emotions and expressions can be important triggers for altering us to a safeguarding concern.

As we follow guidance regarding social distancing and the wearing of face-masks, it is important that we continue to be mindful of other signs that could indicate someone is at risk of harm, abuse or neglect.

What are potential signs someone is at risk of harm or abuse?

  • Hearing aggressive verbal communication, such as shouting or intimidating language
  • Witnessing someone looking frightened or guarded
  • Noticing that someone has poor hygiene or inappropriate clothing

How can your report a safeguarding concern?

  • If you believe someone is in immediate danger, contact the police on 999.
  • If you are worried about either an adult or child who may be a victim of abuse, you can contact your local council to report your concerns.
  • If you are concerned about someone in the workplace, speak with your manager.
  • The Government’s latest guidance provides advice on how to spot the signs of abuse and neglect and report safeguarding concerns during the pandemic.

 

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

If you are concerned that someone may be at risk of abuse or neglect, always report this. Never assume safeguarding is someone else’s responsibility.

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Tania Brown achieves Investors in People Gold!

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Investors in people is delighted to award Tania Brown Limited, a leading Case Management and Expert Witness company, Gold Accreditation!

Gold Accreditation means that Tania Brown Limited have got the policies in place, but more than that, it means everyone – from senior management to apprentice – takes ownership for making them come to life!

Only 17% of organisations accredited by Investors in People achieve Gold – a massive achievement!

Within the recent Investors in people review the report said:

  • Tania Brown Limited scored 850/900 in benchmark employee surveys:
  • That is 100 points more than on our last review in 2017
  • Currently outperforming the sector which sits at 729
  • HIGHEST score of ALL organisations assessed YTD in 2020

The assessor also commented:

that the new senior leadership team are highly committed to leading and managing their people effectively to deliver organisations goals – with the main focus of Client First’

‘A collaborative culture was evident throughout the organisation’

‘Staff regularly spoke that putting client first was the overarching aim and ensuring client outcomes are achieved’

‘Staff commented that values are at the centre of everything we do’

‘People are encouraged to demonstrate the values and underlying behaviours; the client is definitely at the heart of everything we do’

‘Staff commented ‘ We are encouraged to think creatively about how we deliver the best outcomes for our clients’

Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said:

“We’d like to congratulate Tania Brown Limited. Gold accreditation on We Invest In People is a fantastic effort for any organisation, and places Tania Brown Limited in fine company with a host of organisations that understand the value of people”

Commenting on the award, Janette Wynn, Business Manager said:

”This is an amazing achievement and is a testament to the amazing team we have in place and how we have moved over to a more collaborative approach to ensure we get the best results for clients by all working as a team, we are absolutely thrilled and will continue to use the review to push ourselves even further!”

Also commenting on the award, Anna Watkiss, Clinical manager said:

”We are absolutely delighted to receive this award and think it reflects the strength of our team and our commitment to our people in supporting them to be the best they can be to maximize progress and outcomes for our client”

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Recognition Awards

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Although we are always client first here at Tania Brown Limited, we also like to show our appreciation to our staff for their continued commitment to our clients.

We would like to say a massive well done to one of our case managers, Karen Thwaite for receiving yet another recognition award in June 2019 for her continuous hard work. Received staff feedback states “Karen always has a smile on her face and always brings joy into the office” “Karen works really hard and it always shows well in her work”.

Another huge well done to Jessica Redhead our Case Manager Co-ordinator, again she has received another recognition award  for her hard work and support towards our clients and case managers. Received staff feedback states ” Jessica is a delight to work with, nothing is ever too much for her, she is always there to help no matter how big or little the job is”.
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Happy Work Anniversary

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We would like to wish our Finance Officer Hannah Davies a happy work anniversary. Hannah has been with Tania Brown Ltd for a year now and has fit right into the team.

Hannah manages the Tania Brown accounts daily keeping update accurate daily records, assisting with the invoicing process, reconciling the internal systems daily with financial data.

Hannah celebrating with the Office Manager Teresa.
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Reflections of a Care Expert

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By Deanne Barrow Dip RCOT

My Professional Background I qualified as an occupational therapist (OT) in 1985 and have worked extensively in the NHS and Social Services since that time. Over the years I have been an integral part of various multi-disciplinary teams, working alongside doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians, social workers and architects amongst others. Since 2007, I have worked in the private sector for Tania Brown Ltd Case Management and Expert Witness Services. During this period, I have gained experience of working as a case manager in addition to undertaking my ongoing clinical role as an OT. Since 2008, I have also worked as an expert witness. In the thirty-four years since I qualified, I have gained a wealth of experience of undertaking functional assessments of people with a wide range of physical, cognitive and psychological issues. Assessing people from all backgrounds and in a wide variety of home environments from houseboats and caravans to grand manor houses and all things in between.

How Does My Experience Qualify Me to Comment on Care?

Extensive experience of undertaking functional assessments in clients home settings has provided me with a broad knowledge base which I am able to draw upon when preparing care reports for Court. I view my role as painting a picture for the Court of what life was like for the client before the index event, what has changed and what needs to be addressed to improve that persons quality of life and increase their independence wherever possible. Whilst training to be an occupational therapist, the importance of a holistic approach was emphasised repeatedly so that it became second nature to me and this has served me well. I now realise that our training back in the 1980 was ahead of its time in many ways as we learned how important it is for physical and mental health/wellbeing to be meaningfully occupied, to have goals and aspirations and to feel that you are making a contribution to society. Within the budgetary and time constraints of working within statutory services, it has been challenging to adhere to the principle of holistic assessment and treatment at times but within the private sector and particularly whilst working as an expert witness, the ability to look at all aspects of an individual’s life has come into its own.

What is the role of the OT Expert Witness?

The role of the occupational therapy expert witness is to provide information, clarification, opinion and impartial advice to the Court to enable them to come up with a fair and reasonable conclusion to all parties involved in a case.

Final Thoughts

I am regularly approached by OT colleagues who are interested in becoming an expert witness. I always advise that in addition to the obvious requirement of extensive clinical experience, they need to be passionate about report writing because the reports can be very lengthy and arduous at times. Dogged determination is needed to present a thorough, well-reasoned report, taking into account all of the available medical/psychiatric/psychological evidence. A love of presenting an argument on paper and orally is essential. If you have those qualities, I would highly recommend working as a care expert.

Deanne Barrow Dip RCOT

Deanne qualified as an occupational therapist in 1985. Since that time she has worked extensively in acute hospital and community settings taking sole responsibility for the management of a significant number of complex cases. E:deannebarrow@taniabrown.com W: www.taniabrown.com

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Meet Georgina Moore

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Georgina has worked at Tania Brown for three months now and she is enjoying learning new things everyday, we asked Georgina why she enjoys working with us and she likes the team she works with and everyday is different. Georgina is very adventurous and likes to go for walks with her family and partner in in summer/spring, she enjoys seeing the sights and likes to keep fit.

We asked Georgina a couple of questions:

1.What’s your favourite food?

Steak,veg, new potato’s and peppercorn sauce

2. Name your claim to fame –

Got to second place in Miss Wigan.

3. Which would you prefer & why? Three wishes over five years or one wish right now.

Three and because I may not like the one wish.

 4. What skill would you like to learn?

The art of jewellery making.

 5. What is your favourite TV show?

Breaking Bad.

6. What would you like to be in five years time?

I would like to have a side business of accounts.

7. If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Britney Spears and she was my childhood idol.

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Elf Day – Awareness for Alzheimer’s

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On the 7th December we raised awareness for Alzheimer’s day, everybody had to dress up in something relating to Elf! We raised a good amount of money for this cause! Remember to show your photo’s from your Elf Day.

See below the fun that we got up too!

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Meet Hannah Davies

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Hannah has recently moved from Wolverhampton to Wigan in June and has been working at Tania Brown since her move five months ago. She likes to spend her spare time cleaning her house, going on walks and listening to music. We asked Hannah why she enjoys working at Tania Brown and she likes that the job offers a lot of diversity, it’s a good team and we all work really well together.

  1. If you could go back in time, what year would you go back too and why? 2007 and because this is the last year my mum was here and I would like to say all the things I didnt have a chance to say before.
  2. What is your favourite way to relax? I love to have a bubble bath with my favourite coconut candles.
  3. If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why? Steven Hawking, I would love to sit down with him and ask him so many questions,he was full of knowledge and I would love to know everything he knew.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have visited? Montserrat, Catalonia’s I found the story behind it really interested.
  5. Name your claim to fame? I auditioned for X-Factor in 2014.
  6. Whats your favourite TV Show/Films? Vampire Diaries is my favourite and my favourite film is Titanic.
  7. What is your favourite meal? Chicken and Bacon Burger.
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