Context and background to gaining access to an adult suspected of being at risk of neglect or abuse: a guide for social workers and their managers in England

Published: October 2014

Under Section 42 of the Care Act, a local authority has a duty to make enquiries itself or cause others to make enquiries in cases where it has reasonable cause to suspect that an adult:

The purpose of a safeguarding enquiry is for the local authority to clarify matters and then decide on what course of action (if any) is required in order to protect the adult in question from abuse and neglect. If any action is necessary, then it is for the local authority to take the lead in coordinating what action is appropriate and by whom. A safeguarding enquiry may not necessarily result in what is typically considered to be a ‘safeguarding response’, such as an investigation by the police or a health and social care regulator, but it could result in other action to protect the adult concerned, such as providing a care and support package for either or both the adult and their carer.

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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