This Policy sets out the procedure to be followed in the event of an allegation of financial irregularities involving a service user’s personal effects being made against a staff member:
1. When an allegation is made against a staff member the Domiciliary Care Services Manager must be informed immediately.
2. The Domiciliary Care Services Manager will meet the complainant in order to gather as much information as possible and to ensure that all relevant issues are completely clear.
At this point the Domiciliary Care Services Manager will not attempt to conduct any sort of investigation.
3. Depending upon the nature of the complaint, the Domiciliary Care Services Manager will interview the accused person to hear his / her side of the story.
4. According to the nature of the allegations the Domiciliary Care Services Manager will contact the Regulatory Authority / Social Services and / or the police. These organisations will then advise on the best course of action to take in the short term.
5. The Domiciliary Care Services Manager will keep clear written records of all discussions and observations involving the complainant, the accused person, and any other persons interviewed.
6. It is the responsibility of the Domiciliary Care Services Manager to remain focussed and completely objective regarding the allegation made. It must be borne in mind that there is the possibility that the person being accused is a risk to vulnerable persons and immediate safeguards must be put into place. Following advice from the Regulatory Authority, the Social Services and / or the police, the accused person should be suspended from all duties with immediate effect. It should be explained to the person that this does not in any way imply guilt but allows an independent investigation to proceed unhindered. It must be explained to the accused person that he / she should not attempt to contact the Organisation or other staff in any way while the investigation is in process.
7. The Domiciliary Care Services Manager will have established protocols for dealing with the following issues regarding the sudden absence of the suspended person from work. In all cases the rights of the accused person, together with appropriate issues of confidentiality, will be respected:
Communicating with service users and / or family members;
Communicating the facts to other staff members, and maintaining morale;
What and how to inform other service users when asked why the accused staff member is missing;
Organising replacement Care Workers for the service users, according to Policy No 3010;
Maintenance of overall staffing levels;
Handling the media in the event that the situation reaches that point;
Liaising with Regulatory Authority, the Social Services and the police, as appropriate.
8. The Domiciliary Care Services Manager will maintain close contact with Regulatory Authority, the Social Services and / or the police while the investigation is proceeding, and the accused person will be kept informed as to progress at regular intervals. The information to be given to the person will have been previously discussed and agreed with the appropriate investigating agencies.
9. Following completion of the investigation:
9.1 If the allegations are justified the staff member concerned will be subject to the Disciplinary Procedure through to summary dismissal, as appropriate. Criminal charges may be brought by the Police or other parties, depending upon the circumstances.
9.2 If the allegations are not proven, the staff member will be restored to full duties.
9.3 If the outcome is inconclusive but there remain concerns regarding possible misconduct in respect of the employee’s attitude, behaviour or practices, the Organisation’s Disciplinary Procedure can be invoked to address these concerns.