What will happen if you report your concerns?
You will be listened to, and will be given help and support. What you have reported will be passed to a Social Worker or Police Officer who will be able to support you further.
What will happen next will depend on the views and wishes of the person the concern is about, the nature and seriousness of the abuse or neglect and any possible risk to others.
Where necessary, the Social Worker or Police Officer will involve other professionals to investigate and protect you from further abuse.
Information will be treated as confidential, however, there may be occasions when some information needs to be shared when it is in the best interests of the 'adult at risk'.
What does the law say?
The Council, the Police and the NHS work in partnership to safeguard adults who need support.
By law the council must:
- make enquiries or request others to do so if the person at risk has care and support needs, is at risk of harm and is unable to protect themselves.
- arrange for an advocate to support any adult who needs extra help during a safeguarding enquiry or review
- work with any other agencies involved in order to protect an adult with care and support needs who is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect.
- have a Safeguarding Adults Board with members from the Council, the Police and the NHS who will work together to help keep people safe.
Relatives/Friends of the Adult at Risk
If the Adult at Risk wants their relatives/friends to be involved within the safeguarding procedures it is important that they are. This will help them to feel fully supported when dealing with difficult or distressing issues.
If the Adult at Risk gives their consent, it will be possible to share with relatives/friends the concerns for their welfare or safety, as well as to involve them within meetings about how concerns or allegations are being addressed and how the friends/relatives are being supported to be safe in the future. If the Adult at Risk decides that they do not wish for a relative/friend to be informed or involved, professionals will need to respect this decision. If they do not have the mental capacity to decide this themselves, a decision will need to be made in their ‘best interests’ under the Mental Capacity Act.
Information will only be shared in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Your role within the process
Relatives/friends may have a range of roles depending on the circumstances and wishes of the adult at risk. These may include:
- supporting your relative/friend to tell professionals what their views and wishes are and to help make sure these are heard
- supporting your relative/friend through the process, including at meetings
- sharing information about the risks your relative/friend is experiencing and what their support needs are
- contributing to a plan to protect your relative/friend – this is called a Protection Plan and is a record of the agreed action to keep the person safe
- supporting an assessment of your relative/friend’s needs – sometimes this might include your needs if you are a carer