Navigating the Waters of Adult Safeguarding: A Guide for Designated Safeguarding Leads

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Blog

Introduction:

Safeguarding adults at risk is a pivotal aspect of healthcare and social work, mandated under the Care Act 2014. As Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs), the responsibility to uphold these principles and ensure the safety and well-being of adults at risk is paramount. This blog post aims to provide DSLs with a comprehensive understanding of the key principles of adult safeguarding under the Care Act 2014, empowering them to effectively implement these in their practice.

Understanding Adult Safeguarding:

Adult safeguarding refers to the protection of adults who are in vulnerable situations due to age, illness, or disabilities, from abuse, harm, or neglect. You may see very few adults who meet this criteria depending on the nature and cohorts for your setting. However, it is useful to understand the principles underpinning adult safeguarding.

The Care Act 2014 lays down a legal framework for safeguarding adults, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between various sectors and agencies to protect those at risk.

Key Principles of Adult Safeguarding under the Care Act 2014:

  1. Empowerment: Adults should be supported to make their own decisions and informed consent. As DSLs, it is crucial to empower those you safeguard by ensuring they are given all the information and support needed to make choices about their own lives and care.
  2. Prevention: It is better to take action before harm occurs. This principle underscores the importance of proactive measures and early intervention strategies to prevent abuse or neglect from happening in the first place.
  3. Proportionality: The response to any safeguarding issue should be proportionate to the level of risk. This means that actions taken should be the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented, respecting the individual’s right to privacy and dignity.
  4. Protection: Support and representation should be provided for those in greatest need. Ensuring that adults at risk have access to the help they need to protect themselves from abuse or neglect is a fundamental duty of DSLs. You do this through your policies, procedures and training.
  5. Partnership: Local solutions through services working with their communities have a key role to play in preventing, detecting, and reporting neglect and abuse. DSLs should work in partnership with other local community services, healthcare providers, and law enforcement to create a comprehensive safeguarding network. This is encouraged in Working Together to Safeguard Children and Keeping Children Safe in Education. If you are working under either of these, partnership working should already be familiar to you.
  6. Accountability: Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding. This principle emphasizes the need for clear accountability and roles within safeguarding practices, ensuring that actions are taken in the best interest of those at risk and are open to scrutiny.

Implementing Safeguarding Practices:

For DSLs, implementing these principles involves a multifaceted approach, including:

  • Training and Awareness: Ensuring that all staff members are trained and aware of their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding adults at risk and how this differs from working with under 18s.
  • Policies and Procedures: Developing and maintaining clear policies and procedures that align with the Care Act 2014 and support the key principles of safeguarding.
  • Collaboration: Working closely with other professionals and agencies to share information and coordinate responses to safeguarding concerns.
  • Monitoring and Review: Regularly reviewing and monitoring safeguarding practices and outcomes to ensure they are effective and meet the needs of adults at risk.

Conclusion:

The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead is critical in ensuring the safety and well-being of adults at risk. By adhering to the key principles of adult safeguarding under the Care Act 2014, DSLs can ensure that their practices are not only compliant with legislation but also truly centered on the needs and rights of those they aim to protect. Empowerment, prevention, proportionality, protection, partnership, and accountability are the cornerstones of effective safeguarding practices. Through dedicated implementation of these principles, DSLs can make a significant impact on the lives of adults at risk, ensuring they live safe, secure, and empowered lives.

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As we conclude our quick overview of the principles of adult safeguarding, the journey doesn’t end with understanding its importance; it begins with taking decisive action to create safer spaces for everyone. This is where the Safeguarding Leaders Hub comes into play—a community dedicated not just to learning but to leading change.

Joining the Safeguarding Leaders Hub isn’t merely a sign-up; it’s a step towards becoming part of a movement. A movement where knowledge meets action, where resources are not just shared but implemented, and where each member is committed to elevating safeguarding standards within their sphere of influence.

By becoming a member, you gain access to a wealth of resources, training modules, expert advice, and a network of like-minded professionals. But more importantly, you become a beacon of change. Each member’s active participation and contribution amplify our collective ability to protect and empower those we serve.

So, as we part ways in this blog post, let this not be the end of your journey with safeguarding but a bold step towards becoming a leader in this critical field. Join the Safeguarding Leaders Hub today. Embrace the opportunity to make a difference, to learn, share, and lead by example. Together, we can forge a future where safeguarding is not just a policy but a culture embedded in the very fabric of our organizations.

The time to act is now. Become a member of the Safeguarding Leaders Hub, and let us transform our collective commitment into tangible actions that safeguard the well-being of our communities. Let’s not just be participants in this crucial conversation; let’s be the leaders who shape its outcome. Join us, and together, let’s lead the way to a safer tomorrow.

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Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Safeguarding Practitioners Ltd & Kate Flounders disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

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