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.

Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 states that safeguarding enquiries should be made where:

  • a person has needs for care and support;
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • as a result of their care and support needs, is unable to protect him or herself against the abuse or neglect, or the risk of it.

They may be a person who:

  • is elderly and frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment;
  • has a learning disability
  • has a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment
  • has mental health needs, including dementia
  • has a long-term illness or condition
  • misuses substances or alcohol
  • is a carer (family member/friend) and is subject to abuse
  • does not have capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support

Six key principles underpin all adult safeguarding work and apply to all sectors and settings:

1) Empowerment

People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.

A person should be able to say:

I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.

2) Prevention

It is better to take action before harm occurs

A person should be able to say:

I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.

3) Proportionality

The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented

A person should be able to say:

I am sure that the professionals will work in my interests as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.

4) Protection

Support and representation for those in greatest need

A person should be able to say:

I get help and support to report abuse and neglect.  I get help so I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want.

5) Partnership

Local solutions through services working with their communities.  Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse

A person should be able to say:

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) Accountability

Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding

A person should be able to say:

I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.

Making Safeguarding Personal

Making safeguarding personal means it should be person-led and outcome-focused.

It engages the person in a conservation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances their involvement, choice and control as well as improving their quality of life, well-being and safety.