Gaining access to an adult suspected to be at risk of neglect or abuse: a guide for social workers and their managers in England

Published: October 2014

The aim of this guide is to clarify existing powers relating to access to adults suspected to be at risk of abuse or neglect. The safeguarding duties under the Care Act 2014 apply to an adult who:

The guide has been created to provide information on legal options for gaining access to people who fulfil the three criteria above where access is restricted or denied. It is intended as a source of ready reference in situations of uncertainty, rather than as a learning tool, laying out the potential routes to resolution. It is important that social workers and their managers are as clear as possible on which legal powers or options apply to which situations, and in cases of any uncertainty that they consult their senior managers and/or the legal department of the local authority.

Throughout the guide you will find links to information on the relevant legislation and case law, should you wish to consult this.

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  • Gaining access to an adult suspected to be at risk of neglect or abuse: a guide for social workers and their managers in England