What happens when a concern is raised?
Raising a Safeguarding Concern
When somebody raises a concern about an adult with care and support needs who is at risk of abuse, we call the first step of the process raising a safeguarding concern. Anybody can raise a safeguarding concern, for example they might be a carer, a professional working with adults with care and support needs or somebody who thinks they have been abused. They can raise a concern by contacting adult social care help desk directly on 01452 426868.
Alternatively, if an individual has contacted other professional bodies (such as the police, health services or voluntary organisations) and there is concern that abuse is taking place, these agencies can also raise the concern.
What happens first?
When we receive a safeguarding concern we will make an immediate decision - is the person in immediate danger? If we think they are, we will take immediate action to safeguard them with their agreement. If we think they are in immediate danger and we think they do not have capacity to understand the situation we will take action that we consider to be in their 'Best Interest' and which is the least restrictive option to safeguard them. If we think they are NOT in immediate danger we will talk to them or meet with other professionals to decide how to proceed. Someone will be identified to keep them informed of what we are doing and why. This is likely to be their social worker
What are Safeguarding Meetings
We may hold one or more safeguarding meetings. The adult at risk will always be invited to safeguarding meetings about them and they can bring someone with them for support . If they do not want to attend or cannot attend, someone can go on their behalf to represent their views - such as an advocate; or we will talk to them before the meeting so their views can be heard. We will always tell the adult at risk what was discussed and what will happen next.
The first safeguarding meeting will decide if an enquiry is needed.
What happens if an enquiry is needed?
The most appropriate person to carry out the enquiry will be asked to do it. This might be Gloucestershire Council, the police, health staff or the care provider.
A person will be identified lead the enquiry and they will always talk to the adult at risk wherever they can. They can arrange for the adult at risk to be supported by an advocate. An advocate will listen to them, provide information and explain options, assist them to reach their own decisions and support or represent them in expressing their views. The independent advocate should always support the adult at risks views whether or not they agree with those views.
They may also talk to anyone else who can help with the enquiry so we can find out what happened. This may be members of the adult at risks family or employed staff.
We may also want to see care records
What happens at the end of an enquiry?
When the enquiry is finished in most cases we will organise a final safeguarding meeting.
The adult at risk will always be invited to safeguarding meetings about them and they can bring someone with them to help support them. If they do not want to attend or cannot attend, someone can go on their behalf to represent their views - such as an advocate; or we will talk to them before the meeting so their views can be heard. The adult at risk will always be told afterwards what was discussed and what will happen next.
At this meeting we will discuss what has happened and what needs to happen next. If we think the adult at risk is safe we will take no more action and the case will be closed as a safeguarding issue. If they are still at risk of abuse we will talk about what can be done to prevent the abuse. We do this by putting a Safeguarding Plan in place.
We record all our actions on our computer system.
What might happen to the person who is causing you harm?
If this person is important to them, we will, if possible, try to help keep their relationship with them. We can offer services, advice and information to support them.
If they don't want to see them anymore, we can help make this possible. If the person is an employed staff member they will not be allowed to contact them whilst the investigation takes place. The person who is abusing them may be arrested by the police who might prosecute them.
What is a Safeguarding Plan?
If we consider they are still at risk of abuse we will put a safeguarding plan in place. This plan will identify what can be done to prevent the abuse or reduce the possibility for further abuse.
We will identify someone to make sure the plan is put into action. We will review the plan on a regular basis with the adult at risk and any other people involved in the safeguarding plan.
What happens afterwards?
After all the above has happened we will ask the adult at risk if they are satisfied with the end result of what people did to try and keep them safe, how satisfied they are with how people dealt with their concern throughout and did they feel safer now because of the help from people dealing with their concern? We hope they will be able to tell us what their experience was, so we can review our procedures and make improvements if necessary.
How long will the process take?
Some Safeguarding Adults enquiries can be completed quite quickly, but others can be very lengthy and complex. The adult at risk will be kept informed as the enquiry progresses. If they have any questions or concerns, at any time, they can talk to their social worker who will be identified as their link worker.