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The Care Act: safeguarding adults

The Care Act 2014 sets out a clear legal framework for how local authorities and other parts of the system should protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect.

Local authorities have new safeguarding duties. They must:

lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system that seeks to prevent abuse and neglect and stop it quickly when it happens
make enquiries, or request others to make them, when they think an adult with care and support needs may be at risk of abuse or neglect and they need to find out what action may be needed
establish Safeguarding Adults Boards, including the local authority, NHS and police, which will develop, share and implement a joint safeguarding strategy
carry out Safeguarding Adults Reviews when someone with care and support needs dies as a result of neglect or abuse and there is a concern that the local authority or its partners could have done more to protect them
arrange for an independent advocate to represent and support a person who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or review, if required.

Any relevant person or organisation must provide information to Safeguarding Adults Boards as requested.

Safeguarding adults: resources

SCIE has developed the following resources to help social workers, local authority staff and their partners, chairs and members of Safeguarding Adults Boards, to meet their new safeguarding duties under the Care Act 2014.

Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs): implementation support

This resource supplements the policy development work already underway or completed by SABs. Topics covered:

  • How to keep a focus on learning not blaming
  • The skill requirements of reviewers
  • The quality assurance functions of the SAB for SARs
  • How to identify non-death or injury reviews that are of value
  • The available approaches or models to choose from
  • Core elements of a review report

Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) checklist and resources

This guide aims to inform Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) of what is required of them under the Care Act and to help them improve their effectiveness. It describes:

  • what boards should do – role and duties
  • who should do what – membership and tasks
  • how boards should operate – structure and substructures.

Safeguarding adults practice questions

Guidance is for frontline practitioners and managers who work with adults who have care and support needs and who may be at risk of abuse or neglect. It identifies a number of challenging safeguarding dilemmas, and aims to make clear how these should be handled within the new legal framework.

Sharing information guide

What information agencies should be sharing and with whom.

Gaining access to an adult suspected to be at risk of neglect or abuse: a guide for social workers and their managers in England

How social workers, local authority staff, and the police can use existing laws to gain access to an adult with care needs who is believed to be at risk of abuse or neglect.

Implementation support

Contact SCIE about your Care Act implementation and support requirements. We can develop a package of support including:

  • presentations on the Care Act
  • training on implications for key staff including social workers, commissioners, safeguarding boards and safeguarding reviewers
  • review and redesign of your policies, systems and procedures.

Keep up to date

Make sure you know when we publish our new resources on the Care Act by signing up for SCIEline ebulletin.