Recognising the safeguarding role of housing staff: Housing representation on the safeguarding adults board

Guidance for local authority social care staff

Housing representation on the safeguarding adults board is important for sharing information, but accommodating numerous housing associations on the board may be unworkable. Some local authorities have numerous housing providers in their area and it is not possible to include them all on the safeguarding adults board. Equally, some housing associations operate in many different areas and so cannot attend all safeguarding adults boards. It is important therefore to ensure clear lines of communication across complex networks of organisations. Some local authorities have a housing forum or a housing sub-group to ensure there is communication between the board and various housing providers.

The ‘No secrets’ consultation report [23] outlined what housing professionals want from this interaction:

The government has not included housing as a statutory partner on safeguarding adults boards in the draft Care and Support Bill. It has, however, warned that:

we would be most concerned if safeguarding adults boards did not address the role, contribution and responsibilities of housing providers in adult safeguarding. We would expect safeguarding adults boards to draw on the housing sector for input, collaboration and advice. The government will not dictate how this happens, as this will depend on local circumstances, which vary widely across the country. For example, in some areas the safeguarding adults board may operate sub-groups, including one devoted to housing-related issues that reports back to the main board. [38]

A survey of independent safeguarding adults board chairs found that the benefits of housing representation on boards included:

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