For Professionals Working with Adults
Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people and adults at risk from abuse or neglect.
Safeguarding means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about making people aware of their rights, protecting them and preventing or stopping abuse. We need to encourage people to report any suspected adult abuse, whether it happened recently, or not.
Abuse is not normal and never ok. Being abused means a person is being deliberately hurt by someone else.
It can vary from the seemingly trivial act of not treating someone with dignity and respect – to extreme punishment, cruelty or torture.
The commonly recognised forms of abuse are Physical, Sexual, Financial, Psychological, Discriminatory, Neglect or acts of omission, Organisational, Self-Neglect, Domestic Abuse and Modern Slavery.
More on types of abuse.
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) provide protection for people who are in hospitals or care homes and are deprived of their liberty for the purpose of providing treatment or care but lack capacity to consent to these arrangements; these could include people with dementia and those with severe learning disability.
Deprivation of liberty is likely to occur when the person is not allowed to leave; the person has little or no choice about their life within the care home or hospital; the person is prevented from maintaining contact with the world outside.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 governs decision-making on behalf of adults where they lose mental capacity at some point in their lives or where the incapacitating condition has been present since birth. The Act received Royal Assent on 7 April 2005 and was implemented in full from 1st October 2007.
More on the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
The Safeguarding Adults Multi-agency Policy and Procedures for the West Midlands has been launched across the region to ensure that when abuse takes place it is dealt with swiftly and effectively in ways which are proportionate to the issues; and where the Adult in need of protection stays as much in control of the decision-making as is possible.
The policy and procedures set out here are designed to explain simply and clearly how agencies and individuals should work together to protect adults at risk.