Safeguarding adults

This information sheet is for all voluntary organisations that have contact with adults who might be at risk of abuse and neglect.

Safeguarding adults means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. Safeguarding adults is about trying to make sure that adults with care and support needs do not get harmed, and knowing what to do if anyone in your organisation suspects that an adult is at risk of abuse and neglect. Stopping abuse is everyone’s responsibility and anyone can raise a concern.

 

If you suspect that an adult is at risk of abuse or neglect, report it:

Newcastle Community Health and Social Care Direct during office hours Call 0191 278 8377

Newcastle Out of Hours Service for emergency social care needs Call 0191 278 7878

Newcastle advice (not referrals) for practitioners Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Unit Advice line Monday to Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm Call 0191 278 8156

Gateshead Adult Social Care Direct to report your concern, 24/7 Call 0191 433 7033

Northumbria Police Safeguarding Department offers advice Call 101 and ask for the Safeguarding Department.

Modern slavery NSPCC helpline for concerns that a child or an adult is a victim of slavery Call 0800 0121 700

The Care Act 2014

All organisations working with adults at risk of abuse and neglect must follow the government Care and Support Statutory Guidance which relates to the Care Act 2014 Part 1, which was implemented in April 2015.

The Care Act:

  • Replaced the No Secrets guidance
  •  ‘Adult at risk’ (Newcastle) or ‘adult with needs for care and support’ (Gateshead) replace the term ‘vulnerable adult’
  • Safeguarding Adults Boards and safeguarding adult enquiries became a statutory duty
  • The Care Act applies to adults aged 18 and over, including those who have children’s services until they are 19 or 25 years old
  • The definition of adult abuse and neglect was expanded. This information sheet is for all voluntary organisations that have contact with adults who might be at risk of abuse and neglect.
  • Safeguarding adults means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
  • Safeguarding adults is about trying to make sure that adults with care and support needs do not get harmed, and knowing what to do if anyone in your organisation suspects that an adult is at risk of abuse and neglect. Stopping abuse is everyone’s responsibility and anyone can raise a concern.

The Mental Capacity Act 2015

  • This applies to everyone caring and supporting children aged 16 plus and adults who are unable to make some decisions for themselves.
  • The code guides people on how to assess capacity in a time and decision specific way; and make decisions in a person’s best interest.

What is adult abuse and neglect?

The Care Act defines the abuse and neglect of adults to be:

  • ‘Physical
  • ‘Financial
  • ‘Sexual
  • ‘Neglect
  • ‘Emotional
  • ‘Self-neglect
  • ‘Modern Slavery
  • ‘Domestic Abuse
  • ‘Exploitation
  • ‘Discrimination
  • ‘Organisational (Institutional)

Spot the signs of adult abuse: www.scie.org.uk/publications/ataglance/69-adults-safeguarding-types-and…

Adults with care and support needs at risk of abuse and neglect

  • Under the Care Act, local authorities’ safeguarding duties apply to an adult, aged 18 and over, who:
  •  Has needs for care and support even if they do not have care services
  • And is experiencing or is at risk of abuse and neglect
  •  And as a result of their care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from the risk or experience of the abuse or neglect

The duty to make safeguarding enquiries exists even if there is no known ‘alleged perpetrator’ and there is no ‘significant harm’ threshold.

What is a “care and support need”?

“The adult’s needs for care and support are due to a physical or mental impairment or illness...Local authorities must consider… if the adult has a condition as a result of either physical, mental, sensory, learning or cognitive disabilities or illnesses, substance misuse or brain injury…a formal diagnosis of the condition should not be required.” (Care Act statutory guidance).

Young people aged 18 to 25

The Care Act widened the concept of abuse and neglect from the previous definition of vulnerable adult, and the adult at risk does not need to actually have care services. As a result more young people aged 18 and over will be defined as at risk of abuse and neglect under the Care Act especially if they have a care and support need due to misusing substances. Safeguarding adult enquiries could help. 

Trustees’ safeguarding responsibilities

Safeguarding is one of three key strategic risks identified by the Charity Commission in its report ‘Tackling abuse and mismanagement 2015-16’.

Charity Commission guidance states that Trustees have primary responsibility for safeguarding in their charity. The report says trustees should fulfil their responsibilities to ‘proactively safeguard and promote the wellbeing and welfare of their charity’s beneficiaries’. Trustees can do this by making sure there are good policies, procedures and practice in place, and that training is taken up. Visit www.gov.uk/guidance/charities-how-to-protect-vulnerable-groups-includin…

Safeguarding policy, procedures and practice

All organisations in contact with or visited by adults with care and support needs or who are at risk should agree how the organisation intends to respond to adults at risk of abuse and neglect. This is a safeguarding policy statement, usually written on one side of paper.

Written procedures should explain how the policy is put into practice. It should include what abuse is, how to recognise the signs, explain how to respond to abuse, what to do if there are allegations against volunteers and workers, and set out how your group will develop its safeguarding skills.

Good practice will protect the people you have contact with, protect your staff, volunteers and management committee, and protect the good reputation of your organisation.

Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board has information at. www.newcastle.gov.uk/ services/care-and-support/adults/report-suspected-adult-abuse-and-neglect/newcastle-safeguarding

Gateshead Safeguarding Adults Board information is at www.gatesheadsafeguarding.org.uk/article/9176/Gateshead-Safeguarding-Ad…

Support to safeguard adults

Local Safeguarding Adults Boards offer training, local practice guidance, interagency procedures, and publications to support learning and safeguarding.

Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board: www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/care-and-support/adults/report-suspected-…

Free Plain English guide, Easy read guide and BSL film, visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/ social-care-and-health/safeguarding-and-abuse/safeguarding-adults/report-suspected-adult-abuse

Gateshead Safeguarding Adults Board: www.gatesheadsafeguarding.org.uk/article/9176/Gateshead-Safeguarding-Ad… Factors that increase or decrease an adult’s vulnerability or risk (page 11) https://www.gatesheadsafeguarding.org.uk/article/9286/Multi-agency-poli…

Social Care Institute for Excellence Free guidance for practitioners and managers, and about information sharing. Visit www.scie.org.uk/care-act-2014/safeguarding-adults/

NSPCC Helplines and advice including: on non-recent abuse; on modern slavery of adults and children; for people abused as young footballers; about Operation Seabrook. Visit www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/report-abuse/dedicated-helplines/

Connected Voice information sheets

  • Safeguarding check up
  •  DBS checks (used to be CRB) includes risk assessment guidance in the event of a positive DBS check
  • Safeguarding children
  • Safeguarding and social media
  • Young people and the Care Act
  •  Safeguarding and Data – what you need to know
  • Automatic Disqualification Rules

 Safeguarding training

Safeguarding training should be renewed at least every three years; Gateshead Council recommends every two years. There are face to face courses at levels 1, 2 and 3, specialist courses, and e-learning online courses.

Free safeguarding adults training for practitioners and volunteers in Newcastle. Visit https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/care-and-support/adults/report-su…

Gateshead Safeguarding Children Board offers free training for voluntary organisations’ staff and volunteers operating in Gateshead. Visit https://www.gatesheadsafeguarding.org.uk/ article/9209/Training-Newcastle

Sexual Exploitation training

There is joint NSCB and NSAB work to tackle the sexual exploitation of children and adults, missing children, and trafficking in Newcastle. Sexual exploitation (SE) training is mandatory for NSAB partners. To find out what training and resources are available to your organisation and what is appropriate for which role, there is a SE capability framework. Visit www.nscb.org.uk/sites/default/files/ NSAB%20and%20NSCB%20Sexual%20 Exploitation%20Training%20Plan.pdf

Non-recent (historical) abuse

Non-recent (historical) abuse has had a high profile in recent months as more adults have spoken out. Whilst most non-recent abuse concerns people abused in childhood, sometimes abuse continues after the person turns 18. If someone has made an allegation of non-recent abuse and the alleged offender is still alive, children, young adults and adults with care and support needs may still be at risk, remembering that some sexual abusers actively abuse for decades. You should ask for the name of the alleged offender and report it, following your safeguarding procedures.

Call Northumbria Police Safeguarding Department on 101. For more information about non-recent abuse, the impact on adults abused as children that puts them at risk now, and to support someone who has made an allegation of non-recent abuse visit: www. nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/signs-symptoms-effects/non-recent-abuse/ NSPCC helpline for people abused as young footballers 0800 023 2642

The Truth Project www.iicsa.org.uk/victims-and-survivors

Action for your group

  • Write or update your Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures, assess the risks and review it every year
  •  Agree a Designated Adult Safeguarding Manager Someone senior in your organisation must act as the Designated Adult Safeguarding Manager
  • Know the Care Act definitions of ‘risk of abuse and neglect’ and ‘need for care and support’ and consider how they apply to your organisation
  •  Write or update your safe recruitment and supervision procedures Ongoing supervision and asking for appropriate criminal record checks are part of safeguarding. Your procedures should include pre- recruitment and ongoing DBS checks of trustees, staff and volunteers who are in relevant roles
  • Consider your staff, volunteer, and management committee training needs Keep a record of who has done which training, and when it is next due. Know how to raise a safeguarding adult concern 

Keep yourself up to date: Connected Voice newsletters include safeguarding resources.

Sign up for free on www.connectedvoice.org.uk to find out more If you would like to find out more about how we can help.

Organisation support category