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Aims and Principles of All Adult Safeguarding


Care and Support Statutory Guidance (section 14 Safeguarding)


In May 2017, this chapter previously called Underlying Values and Principles was extensively updated and should be read throughout.


  1. Aims of Adult Safeguarding
  2. Principles of all Adult Safeguarding

1. Aims of Adult Safeguarding

Defining what Safeguarding is

The statutory guidance describes safeguarding as ‘protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect’.

Safeguarding and other duties under the Care Act

Safeguarding duties must be carried out alongside other duties of the Care Act. This includes the duty to Promote Individual Wellbeing, the duty to prevent or reduce the likelihood of further Care and Support needs developing and the duty to provide good information and advice.

For information about these and other general duties of the Act see General Responsibilities and Universal Services.

The aims of Adult Safeguarding

The aims of safeguarding under the Care Act are both reactive and proactive as follows;

  1. To prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with Care and Support needs;
  2. To stop abuse or neglect wherever possible;
  3. To safeguard adults in a way that supports them to make choices and have control about the way they want to live;
  4. To promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adult (s) concerned;
  5. To raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect;
  6. To provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and well and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or Wellbeing of themselves of another adult; and
  7. To address what has caused the abuse or neglect.

The statutory guidance sets out a number of steps that the Local Authority should take to achieve the aims. They should;

  1. Ensure that everyone that works with adults who have Care and Support needs (either directly or indirectly) is clear about their safeguarding role and responsibilities;
  2. Create strong multi-agency partnerships that are able to provide effective and timely responses to abuse, and also work effectively and proactively to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring;
  3. Support a positive learning development culture across all agencies involved so they are able to move away from risk adverse practices and also recognise wider factors that lead to abuse and neglect (rather than always looking to blame one individual person or factor);
  4. Enable access to mainstream community resources that can reduce social and physical isolation (two factors known to contribute to the risk of abuse and neglect); and
  5. Have a clear response to concerns that are raised about poor quality or inadequacy of service provision. 

2. Principles of all Adult Safeguarding

The six key principles that should underpin all Adult Safeguarding work

The Care Act statutory guidance defines 6 principles that should underpin all safeguarding functions, actions and decisions. Each principle is accompanied by its own ‘I’ statement clearly explaining what the principle would feel like in action to an adult affected by safeguarding. Often the principles are referred to solely as ‘I’ statements.

Empowerment People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent. “I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens”
Prevention It is better to take action before harm occurs. “I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help”
Proportionality The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented. “I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed”
Protection Support and representation for those in greatest need. “I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want”
Partnership Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse. “I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me”
Accountability Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding. “I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they”

Making Safeguarding Personal

In addition to the 6 key principles it is important that safeguarding processes are not so prescriptive that the individual circumstances of the people affected cannot be taken into account. Making safeguarding personal is an approach to safeguarding that is person-led and outcomes-focussed. Based on conversations with people the best approach to safeguarding is agreed and this takes into account the views, wishes, preferences, histories, circumstances and lifestyle of the adult. 

In order to support these values, the District Council's will:

  • Actively work within the agreed inter-agency framework of all relevant agencies involved, providing a consistent and effective approach, as set out in the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Policy, Procedures and Guidance and guidance within the documents Care and Support Statutory Guidance;
  • Have a zero tolerance of abuse and neglect within the District Council’s;
  • Endeavour to provide safe and effective delivery of services that facilitate the prevention and early detection of abuse;
  • Maintain effective dialogue to ensure co-operation with other agencies, including sharing information as appropriate in line with the Information Sharing Procedure to safeguard Adults at Risk;
  • Contribute to safeguarding assessments;
  • Ensure the District Council’s Safeguarding Procedure is compliant with the multi-agency framework (see first bullet point above);
  • Ensure that employees and elected members are familiar with the procedures and take a proactive approach to identify and prevent the abuse of Adults at Risk;
  • Actively promote the empowerment and well-being of Adults at Risk through the services it provides;
  • Facilitate any necessary action to address abusive behaviour;
  • Implement recruitment practices that deter those who actively seek vulnerable people to exploit or abuse.