What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is everybody’s business

It means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

The aims of adult safeguarding are to:

  • prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs
  • stop abuse or neglect wherever possible
  • safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live
  • promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned
  • raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing,
  • identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
  • provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse,
  • how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or well-being of an adult
  • address what has caused the abuse or neglect.

Who this guidance applies to

This guidance for safeguarding adults applies to anyone over the age of 18 who:

  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • As a result of their care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse and neglect

(Care Act 2014 – Care and Support Statutory Guidance)

An adult at risk may therefore be a person who:

  • is elderly and physically disabled due to ill health or cognitive impairment
  • has a learning disability
  • has a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment
  • has mental health needs, including dementia or a personality disorder
  • has a long-term illness / condition
  • misuses substances or alcohol
  • is unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive

There are ten types of abused listed in the Care Act 2014. We have produced a document that lists the possible signs, symptoms and indicators of abuse.

Sometimes adults can be vulnerable to being influenced by someone else’s ideas to support or participate in violent extremism. If you are worried that someone may be being influenced in this way Prevent is the multi-agency set of arrangements aimed at preventing individuals and groups from engaging in violent extremism.

When someone is 18 or over but still receiving Children’s services and a safeguarding issue is raised, the matter should be dealt with through adult safeguarding arrangements if the conditions set out above are met. Where appropriate, adult safeguarding services will involve Children’s Services, as well as any other relevant partners or persons. As evidence of good practice it is important to distinguish the young adults’ social care needs at an early stage of the concerns being noted.

Enquiries will be made to enable a decision about whether any action should be taken in each individual situation and, if so, what and who by.

It is important that a proportionate and timely response is provided to concerns raised about the safety or welfare of an adult at risk. The response required will vary depending on the circumstances of the concern.

Safeguarding interventions must always consider the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, as well as the requirement to consider the need to appoint an advocate for a person who has substantial difficulty being involved in the safeguarding process and the principles of “Making Safeguarding Personal“. These requirements apply whether care is given in a person’s own home or other care setting, and must underpin all safeguarding interventions.

Last reviewed: October 19, 2023 by James

Next review due: April 19, 2024

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