Hestia Marks National Safeguarding Adults Week

National Safeguarding Adults Week takes place from 18th to 24th November

Due to the nature of Hestia's many services, safeguarding is of paramount importance. We see safeguarding as everyone's responsibility, regardless of role, and at every level throughout our organisation.

Safeguarding is defined under the Care Act 2014, which 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.

The Care Act states, in section 42, that safeguarding is:

’Protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s well-being is promoted including, where appropriate, having their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships, and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances."

Throughout National Safeguarding Week, we will be sharing the important pillars of safeguarding, and how those involved in giving support play a vital role in safeguarding adults.

There are three critical elements in identifying whether something is a safeguarding issue, as visualised in Hestia's Safeguarding Adults Triangle below.

Eligibility for Safeguarding is linked to, as laid out in section 42 of the Care Act 2014:

  • An individual with care and support needs, whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those (ie older people, physical disability including LD and sensory impairment, long-term health conditions, mental health needs including dementia and PD, someone who misuses drugs or alcohol to the extent that it affects their ability to manage day-to-day living and victims of sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and modern slavery)

  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect, and

  • As a result of those needs is unable to protect themselves against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

A part of safeguarding involves being aware of the types of abuse and our role in identifying them.

Abuse occurs when someone exploits another person or treats them in a way that harms or hurts them. It can happen once or on multiple occasions. People who abuse are not always strangers. They can also be partners, relatives, a friend, neighbour or carer.

Broadly, any unexplained change in behaviour or circumstance may be an indicator of abuse or neglect and this should be explored by professionals working with service users. For example someone who usually manages their money well, struggling financially.

If a professional becomes aware through unexplained behaviour changes that a service user is potentially experiencing abuse or neglect, they should sensitively check in with their service users about what is happening in their lives, to help identify any concerns or risks together.

Employing the use of 'professional curiosity' will help staff in sensitively helping service users to explore any difficulties or challenges they are facing which may be rooted in a safeguarding issue.

Building trust and spending time listening to service users about what is important to them is critical in supporting disclosures of concerns from service users.

Types of abuse

There are a wide range of different kinds of abuse and abuse can happen anywhere. A non-exhaustive list of types of abuse include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Domestic abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Organisational abuse
  • Neglects and acts of omission
  • Self-neglect
  • Hate crime
  • Exploitation by radicalisers who promote violence

As National Safeguarding Week continues, stay tuned for further information on Hestia's safeguarding initiatives, and how we implement them across our services throughout London and the South East.

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