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Stage Six: Case Conference and Safeguarding

RELATED GUIDANCE

See also Summary of Stages and Timescales of the Safeguarding Process Table

This chapter was added to the manual in April 2015.


Contents

  Purpose and Timeframe of the Safeguarding Plan
  Case Conference/Safeguarding Plan Meeting
  The Safeguarding Plan
  Review of Safeguarding Plan
  Difficulties in Achieving Objectives
  Feedback to those Reporting Abuse


Purpose and Timeframe of the Safeguarding Plan

The purpose of the Safeguarding Plan is to formulate a set of arrangements within a multi-agency context, which safeguard the Adult and achieves the Adult at Risk's desired outcome.


Case Conference/Safeguarding Plan Meeting

A multi-agency Case Conference/Safeguarding Plan Meeting will be held to consider the written report/s of the Safeguarding Assessment/Investigation, unless the investigating officer/social worker r, in consultation with the Adult, considers that this would not be the most appropriate way to develop a Safeguarding Plan, taking into account the particular circumstances.

If a Case Conference/Safeguarding Plan Meeting is not appropriate, the Safeguarding Plan must be made in consultation with the adult concerned and relevant others, see Effective Outcomes: Making Safeguarding Personal Procedure.

The adult concerned and their Advocate, Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) or Appropriate Person must always be invited. The adult must also be asked if they want anyone else at the meeting.

Where an adult does not have the mental Capacity to be included, a person acting in their best interests should be nominated to take part in the development of the Safeguarding Plan. The representative could be an advocate, appropriate person, key worker or relative.

Prior to the meeting, reports of the Safeguarding Assessment should be accessible to the adult concerned, with the involvement of a family member or advocate if appropriate.

If the adult has Capacity and is choosing to stay with an abusive Carer, it may be appropriate for both to be at the Safeguarding Plan Meeting.

The nominated worker will arrange the meeting. An appropriate manager should chair and minute the meeting using the locally agreed format.

If several adults who are at risk are involved, consideration should be given to holding a separate Safeguarding Plan Meeting for each person.

If the alleged perpetrator is an Adult, a Safeguarding Plan Meeting must also be held to look at his/her needs.


The Safeguarding Plan

A multi-agency decision will be made on the outcome of the Safeguarding Assessment. This will include whether or not the concerns or allegations are substantiated or if this is still not known, whether or not there is thought to be an ongoing risk of Abuse or Neglect.

Where Abuse appears to have taken place, or an on-going risk is identified, a Safeguarding Plan will be agreed to prevent possible further Abuse or to decrease the risk.

The plan will:

  • Identify clear objectives;
  • Nominate a worker to provide a focal point for liaison and communication and ensure that the action plan is followed;
  • Specify the responsibilities and roles of each named agency worker;
  • Include active consideration in consultation with the police and legal services of the potential use of relevant legislation in cases where Abuse has occurred;
  • Include consideration of a referral to the Witness Support Services of any person identified as entitled to 'special measures' under Achieving Best Evidence;
  • Include actions to prevent the alleged perpetrator from abusing or neglecting in the future;
  • Include referral for consideration under MAPPA (Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements) of any relevant alleged perpetrator meeting MAPPA criteria;
  • If relevant nominate the police officer who will ensure that the adult, carers (formal/informal), if appropriate, and the nominated worker are all informed of the progress and outcome of any police investigation that may have taken place;
  • Make arrangements for monitoring, support and counselling.

In all cases, where possible, this joint discussion, planning and decision making should involve the adult. In deciding what action to take, there should be the presumption that the majority of people can make choices which involve taking risks. Of course their capacity to make decisions about managing the abusive situation should be taken into account.

In order to make sound decisions, the adult’s emotional, physical, intellectual and mental capacity in relation to self-determination and consent and any intimidation, misuse of authority or undue influence will have to be assessed.

The adult’s capacity or ability to make decisions is the key to what happens next, since if someone has the capacity to make decisions in this area of their life and declines assistance this can limit the intervention that organisations can make. The focus should therefore be, on harm reduction. It should not however limit the action that may be required to protect others who are at risk of harm. The potential for ‘undue influence’ will need to be considered if relevant. If the adult suspected of being abused or neglected is thought to be refusing intervention on the grounds of duress then action must be taken.

The Safeguarding Meeting should be recorded and circulated to all those involved.


Review of Safeguarding Plan

The Safeguarding Plan Meeting will agree and record a timescale for the review of the effectiveness of the Safeguarding Plan.

The first review should be within 6 weeks and monitored appropriately until case closure or outcomes have been achieved.


Difficulties in Achieving Objectives

If there are difficulties in achieving the objectives it is important that the nominated person reports back to the Chair so that consideration can be given to alternative strategies to protect the Adult and, if appropriate, an early review of the plan should be held.


Feedback to those Reporting Abuse

The Safeguarding Plan Meeting will agree appropriate feedback to be given to those who reported abuse or neglect.

If practitioners do not receive feedback, they must follow this up. If they are not happy with the feedback, they must take this up with their manager.

This applies to any practitioner making a referral, whether internally or from an external agency.

Outcome

  • The adult is safeguarded by the Plan.

End