The Care Act 2014 gives Local Authorities a statutory duty around Adult Safeguarding and replaces the previous guidance in No Secrets.
Adult safeguarding means protecting a person’s rights to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. The Care Act requires that each Local Authority must:
- Make enquiries or cause others to do so, if it believes an adult is, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect.
- Set up a Safeguarding Adults Board.
- Arrange where appropriate for an independent advocate to support an adult who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry.
- Co-operate with each of its relevant partners.
The aims of adult safeguarding are:
- To prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs.
- To safeguard individuals in a way that supports them in making choices and having control in how they choose to live their lives .
- To promote an outcomes approach in safeguarding that works for people resulting in the best experience possible.
- To raise public awareness so that professionals, other staff and communities as a whole play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect.
Definition of an Adult at risk
The Care Act defines an adult at risk as “an adult who has care and support needs and is, or is at risk of being abused or neglected and unable to protect themselves against the abuse or neglect because of those needs”.
The Adult Safeguarding team
This is a team of dedicated practitioners who work solely within safeguarding. Their role is to:
- Receive concerns about adults who have been abused or are at risk of abuse.
- Make enquiries about abuse or ask others to do so in line with the new requirements of the Care Act 2014.
- Co-ordinate the responses to enquiries to ensure these are carried out in a timely manner.
- Act as a source of expert knowledge to other professionals or members of the public.