Protecting adults at risk in London: Good practice resource
Risk assessment: Factors to consider
This section looks at the mechanics of risk assessment in safeguarding adult cases. Any safeguarding adults at risk assessment should be designed to help determine:
- the circumstances of the adult at risk in terms of safeguarding procedures
- the severity and scope of the current risks to the adult, rating these in a systematic way
- the capacity of the adult at risk to evaluate and make choices about these risks
- the potential risks to the adult if safeguarding actions are not put in place
- the urgency and focus of what these actions might be
- if safeguarding interventions are working or not (and measuring this).
Encouraging the adult at risk of harm to quantify the risks is central to the process – unless this action would place them at more risk at that time. Mental capacity and ensuring compliance with the relevant code of practice also underpin risk evaluation. It is often necessary to strike the right balance between enabling a person to have choice and control while lessening the risks of harm, exploitation or mistreatment that some choices could lead to.
As partners in the adult safeguarding process, difficult judgements have to be made to determine this balance. A good risk assessment tool should aid such judgements by providing a clear, standardised framework for assessing risk as part of the adult safeguarding process.
Any agency with concerns regarding domestic abuse, stalking, harassment and ‘honour’-based violence should complete a Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse - Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment (CAADA-DASH) Risk Identification Checklist. Cases identified as high risk should be referred to the local MARAC.
Relevant forms, agency toolkits and further information about the MARAC can be obtained from the Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA) website.