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Safeguarding Adults

What does Safeguarding Adults mean?

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances. (The Care Act 2014 Care and Suppoort Guidance, chaoter 14,  page 236 Adult Safeguarding)

Why do we need to safeguard adults?

Because staff, family, neighbours and so-called friends abuse adults at risk!

  • Physical: including hitting, burning, pushing, kicking, rough handling, unreasonable restraint (including misuse of medication), locking someone in a room
  • Financial or material: including theft, fraud, coercion over wills, misusing someone’s money, property or other belongings without their agreement
  • Psychological/emotional: including intimidation, bullying, shouting, swearing, taunting, threatening or humiliating someone, or radicalisation
  • Sexual: including rape, inappropriate touching or forcing someone to take part in or witness any sexual act against their will
  • Neglect: or acts of omission: by people responsible for giving care – ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
  • Domestic abuse – controlling and coercive behaviour, forced marriage, female genital mutilation or “honour”-based violence
  • Discriminatory abuse: including  ill-treatment or harassment based on a person’s age, sex, sexuality, disability, religious beliefs or ethnic group; disability hate crime
  • Self-neglect: including hoarding and neglecting to care for oneself or environment
  • Modern slavery: including trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude
  • Organisational abuse: through rigid regimes, systemic poor care, poor organisational culture, lack of resources, denial of choice, lack of dignity and respect for service users.


How do we Safeguard Adults?

The Care Act guidance promotes six key principles:

Empower adults at risk;  Prevent first;  Proportionate response; Protect those most at risk; Partner with others in the community; and be accountable and transparent.

Above all; Make Safeguarding Personal.


Safeguarding adults is not a tick box exercise.  Safeguarding adults needs to permeate the whole ethos of your organisation.

Look at our other pages for further information about policies and procedures and training for staff and managers.

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