Section 1 of the Care Act 2014 states that Local Authorities must promote wellbeing when carrying out any of their care and support functions in respect of a person. This may sometimes be referred to as ‘the wellbeing principle’ because it is a guiding principle that puts wellbeing at the heart of care and support. For safeguarding, this would include safeguarding activities in the widest community sense and is not confined to safeguarding enquiries under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 ( See Procedures section 4).
Paragraphs 14.14 and 14.15 of the Care and Support Statutory Guidance support the need for the safeguarding to be person led and outcome focused.
“14.14. In addition to these principles, it is also important that all safeguarding partners take a broad community approach to establishing safeguarding arrangements. It is vital that all organisations recognise that adult safeguarding arrangements are there to protect individuals. We
all have different preferences, histories, circumstances and life-styles, so it is unhelpful to prescribe a process that must be followed whenever a concern is raised;
14.15. Making safeguarding personal means it should be person-led and outcome- focused. It engages the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.”
‘Wellbeing’ is a broad concept, and it is described as relating to the following areas:
- 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;
- Suitability of accommodation;
- The individual’s contribution to society.
All organisations working with adults who are or may be at risk of abuse and neglect, must aim to ensure that they remain safeguarded from it. This should underpin every activity through consistent safeguarding adults work. This includes any safeguarding activity that is outside the scope of a Section 42 Care Act 2014 enquiry.
The wellbeing principle should apply to all agencies involved in safeguarding adults.