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Safeguarding Principles and Values

Introduction

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

The aims of adult safeguarding are to:

  • Stop abuse or neglect wherever possible;
  • Prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs;
  • Safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live;
  • Promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned;
  • Raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect;
  • Provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or well-being of an adult; and
  • Address what has caused the abuse or neglect.

To achieve these aims it is necessary to:

  • Ensure that everyone, both individuals and organisations, are clear about their roles and responsibilities;
  • Create strong multi-agency partnerships that provide timely and effective prevention of and responses to abuse or neglect;
  • Support the development of a positive learning environment across these partnerships and at all levels within them to help break down cultures that are risk-averse and seek to scapegoat or blame practitioners;
  • Enable access to mainstream community resources such as accessible leisure facilities, safe town centres and community groups that can reduce the social and physical isolation which in itself may increase the risk of abuse or neglect; and
  • Clarify how responses to safeguarding concerns deriving from the poor quality and inadequacy of service provision, including patient safety in the health sector, should be responded to.


Key Principles Underpinning Safeguarding Adults Work

Whilst these are the overarching principles there may also be local variation therefore please check yours by using local links.

All safeguarding policies and practice should reflect the principles underpinning good safeguarding set out in the Statement of Government Policy on Adult Safeguarding.

The following six principles apply to all sectors and settings including care and support services, commissioning, further education colleges, welfare benefits, housing, regulation and provision of health and care services, social work, healthcare, wider local authority functions and the criminal justice system.

The principles should inform the ways in which professionals and other staff work with adults. The principles can also help Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) and organisations more widely, by using them to develop and improve their local arrangements.

  1. Empowerment - People being 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 these directly inform what happens.”
  1. Prevention - It is better to take action before harm occurs.

    I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.”
  1. Proportionality - Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.

    I am sure that the professionals will work in my interests, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.”
  1. 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.”
  1. Partnership - Local solutions through services working 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 to get the best results for me.”
  1. Accountability - Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

    I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.”


Key Values of all those Working with Adults

Adults have the following rights, which should be respected:

  • The right to live without fear and free from abuse and neglect;
  • The right to have their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs taken into account when making any decisions about how they wish to proceed in the event of abuse and in whom they wish to confide. Their wishes should only be overridden if considered necessary in the interest of their own safety or the safety of others;
  • The right to be safe and receive adequate care and protection. This includes protection from all forms of violence including physical punishment, intimidation, belittling, and lack of respect, harassment, and sexual assault;
  • The right to be given appropriate information about keeping themselves safe and exercising their rights;
  • The right to report violence and have their report taken seriously, including the right to have the police called, if a crime has been committed;
  • The right to make informed choices about intimate relationships without being exposed to exploitation or (Sexual Abuse);
  • The right to the money and property that is legally theirs and for these to be treated with respect;
  • The right not to be discriminated against because of their ethnic origin, culture, or religion, their gender or sexuality, their age or disability;
  • The right to bring a complaint under the relevant complaints procedure if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation;
  • The right to an assessment of their needs should they be a victim of abuse.

The Safeguarding Adult Procedures are intended to support good practice and sound professional judgement, and to:

  • Provide a coherent and consistent framework for recognising and taking action to prevent abuse of adults in need of safeguarding;
  • Recognise and promote the benefits of effective multi-agency working through dialogue and co-operation, to form a collaborative partnership between the agencies that have contact with adults in need of safeguarding;
  • Describe the common values, principles and law that underpin the protection of adults in need of safeguarding;
  • Define the different types of abuse, signs, symptoms and indicators;
  • Define the roles of each agency;
  • Ensure that information on allegations and incidents of abuse is collected, monitored and reviewed in order to inform future practice;
  • Complement other related policies, procedures and guidance.

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