What is safeguarding?

Adult safeguarding is about preventing and responding to concerns of abuse, harm or neglect of adults. Safeguarding concerns can be reported by anyone including members of the public, family, friends or health professionals.

Abuse is defined as something someone does or says things to another person to upset, hurt or make them frightened. It is a behaviour that causes harm, endangers or violates their basic human rights. 

Abuse can be deliberate, or something that was unintentional due to lack of understanding or result of negligence.

Adults have a right to be:

  • safe and able to protect themselves from abuse and neglect
  • treated fairly and with dignity and respect
  • protected when they need to be
  • able to easily get the support, protection, and services that they need.

The council has a duty to investigate safeguarding concerns under the Care Act 2014 in a person-centred way to protect a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Who is a vulnerable adult?

A vulnerable adult is a person who is aged 18 years or over, who:

  • has care and support needs
  • may be at risk of abuse or neglect
  • is unable to protect themselves against significant harm or serious exploitation.

Care and support needs may be due to one or more of the following:

  • mental health needs, including dementia and personality disorder
  • learning disability, physical disability or sensory impairment
  • frailty due to old age, ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment
  • long-term illness/condition
  • substance misuse issues.

Types of abuse and neglect

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Organisational or institutional
  • Acts of omission
  • Self-neglect

Types of abuse and neglect