1. Introduction
  2. Document Control
  3. Operational Owners
  4. Reporting
  5. Purpose
  6. Scope
  7. Specific Safeguarding Issues Relating to Parkinson’s and YOPD
  8. Appendices


1.0 Introduction

At Spotlight YOPD, we put those with YOPD at the heart of everything we do. This document is an active demonstration of that commitment and our relentless desire to ensure that those with whom we work remain safe & protected.

This document aims to be a comprehensive guide to identifying, reporting any form of abuse of any child or adult at risk with whom we work, and where necessary escalating that report to higher levels. We remain committed to the safety and protection of children, young people and adults at risk at all times, and as such this document is at the centre of how we aim to do that. 

Children are defined as under 18 years old.

Young people are defined as between 18-25 years old. 

Adults are people over the age of 25 years old.


2.0 Document Control

This document has been drawn using National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) guidelines and draws on best practice and example policies from other organisations working with children, young people and adults at risk. It has been approved and formally adopted by the Spotlight YOPD Trustee Board and will be formally reviewed by that Board annually.

Each member of the Board will be given a copy of this document, it will also be kept on the Spotlight YOPD main drive.  Other staff and volunteers will receive a training and resource pack which mirrors this policy and is written in layman terms for easy understanding and simple practical advice and guidance.  All staff and volunteers will be trained in both Adult and Child safeguarding


3.0 Operational owners

Any concerns with a child, young person, adult at risk, parental behaviour or indeed this document itself must be raised immediately with the Spotlight YOPD Safeguarding lead.

The Spotlight YOPD Safeguarding lead is the CEO.


4.0 Reporting 

Any concerns or observations held by any member of Spotlight YOPD staff or volunteers about children, young people or adults at risk with whom we have any contact must immediately be raised verbally and then followed up in writing. 

The safeguarding concern will need to be reported to the local authority in that specific geographical area. Each local authority has their own LADO (local authority designated officer) and safeguarding reporting documents. There is a website to find the local safeguarding team.  To locate the correct LADO please access https://www.gov.uk/report-child-abuse-to-local-council.


If you are concerned that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is at risk of harm now, this means that if you do nothing that child or young person will be harmed now,  you should call 999 to report your concerns.  

5.0 Purpose

At Spotlight YOPD, we believe in those we work with and we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that, in every aspect of our work, they are protected and kept safe from harm and treated fairly and equally.  All children, young people and adults at risk, without exception, have the right to protection from abuse regardless of their age, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race, or disability.

Safeguarding is a statutory responsibility and this policy and procedure outlines the core details of that responsibility put in place by Spotlight YOPD to ensure compliance with UK government legislation, policy, guidance, research and good practice. 

Spotlight YOPD makes reference to current legislation in addition to Government published guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’, ‘Safeguarding Children in Education 2021, the ‘Care Act 2014’, and  ‘Care Act Guidance, Chapter 14, Department of Health and Social Care’, updated 1st October 2018.


Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:

  • protecting children and young people from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children and young people’s health or development;
  • ensuring that children and young people grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.


Safeguarding an adult at risk is defined as an adult who: 

  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the Local Authority is meeting any of those needs) and; 
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and; 
  • due to those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect. 


If all three are not present, then the adult is not at risk.  Abuse or neglect may be deliberate, or the result of negligence or ignorance. Unintentional abuse or neglect may occur owing to life pressures or as a result of challenging behaviour which is not being properly addressed. It is the intent of the abuse or neglect which is therefore likely to inform the type of response. It is irrelevant who is supplying support for the adults’ care needs or indeed whether or not their care needs are being met or not.


Safeguarding those we work with must have three key elements:

    1. The creation of a culture in which those we work with are valued and their right to be safe is upheld.  
    2. The management of risk to minimise circumstances those we work with using YOPD suppliers may suffer harm. 
    3. Working together with other organisations that have a responsibility to safeguard and protect those we work with. 


The six key principles that underpin all safeguarding work are:

  1. Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.  “I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.”
  2. PreventionIt is better to take action before harm occurs. “I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.
  3. ProportionalityThe least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented. “I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.”
  4. ProtectionSupport and representation for those in greatest need.“I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want.”
  5. PartnershipLocal solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in Preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse. “I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me
  6. AccountabilityAccountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding. “I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.”


6.0 Scope

This policy outlines the ‘must do actions’ for all staff and volunteers to ensure that they are clear about their role, responsibility and expectations to ensure those we work with are protected from harm.  This policy operates in accordance with national legislation and guidance to safeguard and protect children, young people and adults at risk as specified above.

It provides clear information and procedures on:

  1. Responding to a safeguarding concern regarding an adult at risk
  2. Responding to a safeguarding/child protection concern, including children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation, trafficking, or going missing
  3. Referring a child protection concern 
  4. Tackling extremism and radicalisation
  5. Fabricated and Induced Illness
  6. Female genital mutilation
  7. Sexual exploitation
  8. Online safety and social media applications
  9. Managing safeguarding allegations against staff and volunteers 
  10. Communicating adult safeguarding and child protection responsibilities and compliance 


Everyone who works or volunteers for Spotlight YOPD has a duty to safeguard and promote adult, children and young people’s welfare alongside a duty to recognise, respond and share concerns or worries about possible abuse and harm in a timely fashion. Everyone who works or volunteers for Spotlight YOPD will be supported to make decisions as to how to proceed in a way that is in the best interests and safety of the person. YOPD does undertake DBS checks on its staff and volunteers.  This is assessed on an individual basis according to the role that person undertakes and is risk assessed using the DBS decision tree provided by the UK Government on their website www.gov.co.uk.  The role of the YOPD Trustees has been risk assessed, and currently does not meet the threshold for requiring a DBS check to undertake the role. if they are in direct contact with children, young people and adults at risk.


7.0 Specific Safeguarding Issues Relating to Parkinson’s and YOPD

There are specific problems associated with Parkinson’s and YOPD, including the behaviour issues associated with impulse control disorders (ICD) and the side effects of dopaminergic medications, which may trigger a safeguarding incident.

All Parkinson’s medications (especially dopamine agonists) that stimulate the dopamine receptors have potential in certain individuals to cause side effects which can manifest in impulsive behaviours which are difficult for the individual to control, or even be aware of themselves.  These behaviours include hypersexuality, impulsive behaviours, gambling, and ‘risk taking’ behaviours.  These have been known to trigger safeguarding incidents including sexual inappropriateness within and also out of marriage/relationships, alcohol and drug misuse, manic behaviours, uncontrollable gambling, and financial abuse (within a relationship/family.)  Disinhibition can manifest with a person with Parkinson’s (PWP) or affect the person with Parkinson’s family or dependents or the people they may come in contact with. 

Severe hoarding can also trigger a safeguarding issue, especially if environmental health concerns to the person or those that live around are caused. 

Staff and volunteers should be aware of impulse control issues especially if a person with Parkinson’s or a member of family/friend or carer discloses a behaviour (mentioned above) which could trigger a safeguarding issue.  

These behaviours are not included in standard safeguarding policies looking at protecting adults at risk, so are specifically highlighted in the Spotlight YOPD policy.  It should be noted that those with YOPD are more likely to be on high doses of dopamine agonists and have more biomarker risks for impulse control disorders than older PWP.


8.0 Appendices

The following appendices offer practical action and definitions for the complex nature of safeguarding and protecting adults, young people and children  These appendices form the content of the training package and resource developed for staff and volunteers, as well as acting as guidance for Board members.