Safeguarding Adults Week – 16 to 22 November

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Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd November is Safeguarding Adults Week, and each day is focused on a different adults safeguarding risk issue.  Everyone in the VCSE sector, but also from any and all walks of life, should be aware of the role they can play in helping prevent abuse. We should all know how to spot the signs of abuse, and the actions to take if we spot any signs. 

Key Themes 

These themes are broad, and each one covers many different areas of focus. Nor are they exhaustive. The aim is to highlight certain causes, and to start some vital conversations.  

Safeguarding and Wellbeing 

There’s a strong link between safeguarding and mental and physical wellbeing. In short, if someone’s wellbeing is suffering, they may consider certain actions that put them at risk.  We also know that the experience of and neglect has a negative effect on people’s lives.  

Adult Grooming 

Grooming is a form of abuse that involves manipulating someone until they’re isolated, dependent, and more vulnerable to exploitation.  Grooming itself is not listed as one of the 10 categories of harm in The Care Act. But many of the types of harm listed in The Care Act, including modern slavery, physical, sexual and financial abuse, can happen as a result of grooming. Read more here.

Understanding Legislation 

All safeguarding matters are governed by legislation, including The Care Act and The Mental Capacity Act, Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales), Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act. You can find more information here, including Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) as an aspect of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA)  and the importance of DBS checks.    

Creating Safer Places 

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. So it’s important that everyone can help make the places they live, work and play safer for everyone. The invitation this week is to ask what our individual roles in safeguarding should be.  

Organisational Abuse 

Organisational abuse includes neglect and poor care practice within a specific care setting. This could be a hospital or a care home, but also the care you receive in your own home. You can read more detail about this here. Norman Lamb, ex-North Norfolk MP, now chair of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust talks about the Transforming Care agenda here. During safeguarding adults week, we’ll take a closer look at the Transforming Care agenda.  

Sport & Activity 

Sports organisations at all levels need safeguarding policies and procedures. Read more here about why such policies are needed, and the difference between those aimed at safeguarding adults and those for safeguarding children. 

Safeguarding in the community 

The overriding theme of Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 is that we all have a responsibility to look out for each other. Communities need to come together and to recognise our shared responsibilities towards keeping each other safe.  In our county the Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB) brings together statutory and VCSE organisations to promote effective working relationships to address the issue of abuse and harm. NSAB's aim is to promote awareness and good practice in Norfolk.  

The importance of safeguarding has of course manifested itself during the COVID-19 pandemic as response groups and VCSE organisations respond to the ongoing situation.  You can read more about the pivotal role played by Voluntary and Social Enterprise organisations in Norfolk’s Covid-19 response effort please read our Norfolk VCSE Covid-19 Story page.