When you or your organisation is considering safeguarding training, for many bodies a statutory requirement, it’s a good idea first to look at the legislation that covers this important area, and to take a simplified, jargon-free approach to understanding its aims.
We’ll look specifically at safeguarding adults in this post. (We’ll look at safeguarding children in a future article).
The Care Act 2014 established a legal framework for local authorities and other bodies to understand their duties when it comes to safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect.
It summarises local authorities’ duties in saying that they must:
- lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system that seeks to prevent abuse and neglect and stop it quickly when it happens
- make enquiries, or request others to make them, when they think an adult with care and support needs may be at risk of abuse or neglect and they need to find out what action may be needed
- establish Safeguarding Adults Boards, including the local authority, NHS and police, which will develop, share and implement a joint safeguarding strategy
- carry out Safeguarding Adults Reviews when someone with care and support needs dies as a result of neglect or abuse and there is a concern that the local authority or its partners could have done more to protect them
- arrange for an independent advocate to represent and support a person who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or review, if required.
It also establishes that any relevant person or organisation must provide information to Safeguarding Adults Boards as requested.
Leading charity against the abuse of vulnerable adults, The Ann Craft Trust, provides a really useful guide as to the six principles of safeguarding as underpinning the Care Act 2014 that should always be in your mind:
- Empowerment: People are supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent. “I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and this directly informs what happens.”
- Prevention: It is better to take action before harm occurs. “I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is. I know how to recognise the signs, and I know what I can do to seek help.”
- Proportionality: The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented. “I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest and they will only get involved as much as is necessary.”
- Protection: Support and representation for those in greatest need. “I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want.”
- Partnership: Services offer local solutions through working closely with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse. “I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me.”
- Accountability: Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding. “I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.”
The underlying principle of any safeguarding training should be that it remains client-centric, with clients being involved as much as possible in any decisions to be made to protect them from abuse or neglect. This may present a challenge from time to time with more vulnerable clients, but it is an aim that any safeguarding training should keep at front of mind.