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What is adult safeguarding?

Safeguarding adults means providing additional support for those least able to protect themselves from harm or abuse.

The Care Act (2014) describes adult safeguarding as protecting an adult's right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect by protecting  adults who:

  • have needs for care and support
  • are experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect; and
  • as a result of those care and support needs, are unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.

Safeguarding is about people working together to prevent and reduce the risks of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult's wellbeing is also addressed

Wellbeing is a broad concept and the statutory guidance defines it as relating to the following nine areas in particular:

  • Personal dignity (including treatment of the individual with respect)
  • Physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Control by the individual over day to day life (including over care and support provided and the way it is provided)
  • Participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • Social and economic wellbeing
  • Domestic, family and personal relationships
  • Suitability of living accommodation
  • The individual's contribution to society

It is the local authority's duty under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 to make enquiries, or direct others to do so, when concerns about abuse or neglect are raised.