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Berkshire Safeguarding Adults
Policies and Procedures
2. Adult Safeguarding Policy

2.2 Who do adult safeguarding duties apply to?

 In the context of the legislation, specific adult safeguarding duties apply to any adult who:

  • Has care and support needs, and
  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
  • Is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect, because of those needs.

Within the scope of this definition are:

  • All adults who meet the above criteria regardless of their mental capacity to make decisions about their own safety or other decisions relating to safeguarding processes and activities;
  • Adults who manage their own care and support through personal or health budgets;
  • Adults whose needs for care and support have not been assessed as eligible or which have been assessed as below the level of eligibility for support;
  • Adults who fund their own care and support; 
  • Children and young people in specific circumstances as detailed below. 

Outside of scope of this policy and procedures:

2.2.1 Children and Young People

The Berkshire Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards have Safeguarding Children Procedures http://www.proceduresonline.com/berks/

The Children Act 1989 provides the legislative framework for agencies to take decisions on behalf of children and to take action to protect them from abuse and neglect. Young people who receive leaving or after care support from children and family services, are included in the scope of adult safeguarding, but close liaison with children and family service providers is key to establishing who is the best person to lead or support young people through adult safeguarding processes.

Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places duties on a range of organisations and individuals to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

In all adult safeguarding work, staff working with the person at risk should establish whether there are children in the family and whether checks should be made on children and young people who are part of the same household, irrespective of whether they are dependent on care either from the adult at risk, or the person alleged to have caused harm.

Children and young people may be at greater risk of harm or be in need of additional help in families where adults have mental health problems, misuse substances or alcohol, are in a violent relationship, have complex needs or have learning difficulties. For further information see Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Abuse within families reflects a diverse range of relationships and power dynamics, which may affect the causes and impact of abuse. These can challenge professionals to work across multi-disciplinary boundaries in order to protect all those at risk. In particular, staff may be assisted by using Domestic Abuse risk management tools, such as the DASH risk identification checklist, as well as safeguarding risk management tools. Staff providing services to adults, children and families should have appropriate training whereby they are able to identify risks and abuse to children and vulnerable adults.

2.2.2 Transition

Together the Children and Families Act 2014  and the Care Act 2014, create a new comprehensive legislative framework for transition when a child turns 18 (Mental Capacity Act applies once a person turns 16). The duties in both Acts are on the Local Authority, but this does not exclude the need for all organisations to work together to ensure that the safeguarding adults' policy and procedures work in conjunction with those for children and young people.

There should be robust joint working arrangements between children’s and adults’ services for young people who meet the criteria set out in this section above. The care needs of the young person should be at the forefront of any support planning and requires a co-ordinated multi-agency approach. Assessments of care needs should include issues of safeguarding and risk. Care planning needs to ensure that the young adult’s safety is not put at risk through delays in providing the services they need to maintain their independence, wellbeing and choice.

Where there are on-going safeguarding issues for a young person and it is anticipated that on reaching 18 years of age they are likely to require adult safeguarding, safeguarding arrangements should be discussed as part of transition support planning and protection. Conference Chairs and Independent Reviewing Officers, if involved, should seek assurance that there has been appropriate consultation with the young person by adult social care and invite them to any relevant conference or review. Clarification should be sought on:

  • What information and advice the young person has received about adult safeguarding;
  • The need for advocacy and support;
  • Whether a mental capacity assessment is needed and who will undertake it;
  • If Best Interest decisions need to be made;
  • Whether any application needs to be made to the Court of Protection.

If the young person is not subject to a plan, it may be prudent to hold a professionals meeting.

2.2.3 Children and Young People who abuse

If a child is causing harm to an adult covered by the adult safeguarding procedures, action should be taken under these procedures, and a referral and close liaison with children’s services should take place.

Physical and sexual abuse towards parents and other relatives (for example, grandparents, aunts, uncles) some of whom, may be adults at risk, can be carried out by adults and by young people and children, some of which can cause serious harm or death. The UK prevalence study of elder abuse identified younger adults (rather than the person’s partner) as the main perpetrators of financial abuse.

2.2.4 Young Carers

In respect of young carers, Section 1 of the Care Act 2014, alongside Section 96 and Section 97 of the Children and Families Act 2014, offers a joined up legal framework to identify young carers and parent carers and their support needs. Both Acts have a strong emphasis on outcomes and wellbeing.

 2.2.5 Carers and safeguarding

Circumstances in which a carer could be involved in a situation that may require a safeguarding response includes when:

  • A carer may witness or speak up about abuse or neglect; 
  • A carer may experience intentional or unintentional harm from the adult they are trying to support or from professionals and organisations they are in contact with; or 
  • A carer may unintentionally or intentionally harm or neglect the adult they support on their own or with others.

Where there is intentional abuse, adult safeguarding under Section 42, the Care Act , should always be considered.

Work developed by ADASS, carers groups, commissioners and organisations working with carers, identify six distinct areas related to carers and safeguarding: (See Appendix 1).

  • Partnership working 
  • Prevention 
  • Support 
  • Information and Advice 
  • Advocacy 
  • Role of carers in strategic planning

2.2.6 Risk factors (relevant to rough sleepers)

There are a range of risks experienced by people living on the streets that expose them to a higher level of vulnerability to harm and abuse. A risk assessment tool designed to support front line practitioners can be found at pages 12 & 13 .

The risk factors identified in this tool highlight some particular risk issues that may be more prevalent amongst people who sleep rough.