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Risk Assessment and Management

Risk assessment and risk management are central to the Safeguarding Adults process.

A risk assessment must be undertaken when an alert is raised. This should clarify the degree of risk to the adult at risk, other adults and/or children. Risk should be constantly re-evaluated throughout the process to ensure adults at risk and all others involved are appropriately protected.

Risk assessment is integral to the whole process of safeguarding and is specifically concerned with the identification of specific risks to a person covered by the Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures.

Risk assessment will seek to determine:

  • What the actual risks are – the harm that has been caused, the level of severity of the harm, and the views and wishes of the adult at risk;
  • The person’s ability to protect themselves;
  • Who or what is causing the harm;
  • Factors that contribute to the risk, for example, personal, environmental, relationships, resulting in an increase or decrease to the risk;
  • The risk of future harm from the same source.

The risk assessment should also take into account wider risk factors, such as the risk of fire in the person’s home.

Organisations will have a range of risk assessment tools in paper and IT formats to assist staff in risk assessment.

The Safeguarding Adults protection plan is the risk management plan that is put in place aimed at removing or minimising risk to the person, and others who may be affected if it is not possible to remove the risk altogether. It will need to be monitored, reviewed and amended/revised as circumstances arise and develop.

The risk assessment should:

  • Establish the facts of the abuse or neglect and inform the protection plan;
  • Assess what service provision may be needed by the adult at risk and/or, where indicated, their carer;
  • Gain information to help inform decisions about what legal powers may be relevant to a protection plan;
  • Ensure that forensic and other evidence is collected and preserved, and relevant files and documents are secured, using the appropriate powers of partner organisations where necessary;
  • Ensure that any other assessments required are carried out;
  • Establish if there is a need to protect other adults at risk and find out what is needed to protect them;
  • Identify the person causing the harm if their identity is not known and establish where they are;
  • Find out if the person causing the harm is also a service user;
  • Decide if domestic violence is indicated and the need for referral to a MARAC;
  • Identify people causing harm who should be referred to MAPPA;
  • Identify whether a child (under 18 years) is at risk.