Links between SABs and other public protection and safety forums
Multi-agency working, information-sharing and clear and open communication processes are key to good safeguarding practice. There may be overlap between approaches and processes to safeguard people. The SAB should be satisfied that there are clear mechanisms for managing this.
The Care Act 2014 imposes safeguarding duties. The local authority must make enquiries or cause others to do so where it suspects an adult with care and support needs is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect and is unable to protect themselves.
There will be occasions where abuse is from a current or previous intimate partner or family member and therefore comes under the definition of domestic abuse. This may not be life-threatening, but where there is a risk of serious harm or murder a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) should be held to share information and agree a coordinated, risk-focused safety plan for anyone who may be at significant or serious risk.
Similarly, some of the actual or potential perpetrators of abuse may be subject to multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPAs). These are arrangements to manage the risk posed by serious sexual or violent offenders, including those who may also be the subject of a multi-agency risk assessment conference, or an abuser within safeguarding processes.
These processes are separate, but, as with the safeguarding adult process they are multi-agency arrangements and any relevant agency can be asked to:
- attend a meeting
- provide information
- follow through actions from any agreed plan to prevent abuse or protect someone who has been abused.
The differences between each process relate to the involvement of the person who is or might be at risk:
- In adult safeguarding, the person at risk should, whenever possible, be at the centre of the process from the outset. They should have access to advocacy as necessary, as required by the Care Act and detailed in the statutory guidance, and have the opportunity to attend meetings.
- For a multi-agency risk assessment conference, the person at risk will be aware of (but not attend) the meeting and will be supported by an independent domestic violence advisor.
- Under multi-agency public protection arrangements, representatives of responsible or relevant agencies meet and agree plans.