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:
- has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
- is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
- as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.
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.
Key messages for gaining access
A brief introduction to safeguarding enquiries
Practical issues and principles involved in adult safeguarding
The difficulties and duties involved in gaining access
The legal powers that may be required in gaining access
What this guide tells us about gaining access
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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