Preventing abuse and neglect

Guidance for housing managers

You should:

The ‘No secrets’ consultation report [23] highlighted practice examples in housing:

While it is important for housing staff to respond promptly and appropriately to safeguarding concerns, it is always better to try to prevent people from being abused in the first place. People who are informed, in control of their lives and empowered to assert their views are less likely to be victims of abuse and neglect, and will be in a better position to speak out should it happen. The ‘No secrets’ consultation report showed that housing professionals already have an approach to empowering people that is markedly different to other safeguarding partners, who may sometimes take a more controlling approach.

SCIE work on prevention of abuse found that common interventions include training and education on abuse in order to help people recognise and respond to it. Local authorities and housing departments should work together to raise general public awareness of abuse and safeguarding. Housing staff can support individuals by ensuring they have access to the right support from social services, voluntary support agencies and health. They can also provide information on known problems in the area, such as distraction burglary.

Empowering people also involves respecting their rights, so it is important that people are not forced to move to avoid abuse. They may fear less security of tenure or moving from adapted or suitable accommodation. In addition, the person would face the disruption of moving and may lose essential support and ties within the community. Disabled women should never be placed in residential institutions as a solution to domestic abuse unless they expressly want this. [8]

Resources

The SCIE Report 41 covers preventing abuse in detail

Social Care TV: Safeguarding adults: preventing abuse through community cohesion, communication and good practice

Social Care TV: Safeguarding adults: lessons from the murder of Steven Hoskin

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