Most adults with mental illness, physical or learning disabilities or other special needs manage to live their lives comfortably and securely. They either do this independently or with assistance from carers, relatives, friends, professionals or volunteers. However, for a small number, dependence on someone may produce conflict, exploitation or harm.
The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 was introduced to protect people at risk of being harmed. This is because some people may find it more difficult to stop harm happening to them. The Act calls people in this situation 'adults at risk'.
The purpose of the Act is to provide protection from both deliberate and unintentional harm.
The Act introduces new measures to identify and protect individuals who fall into the category of adults at risk.
These measures include:
Adult Protection Committees are multi-agency committees that oversee adult protection activities at a strategic level. Their functions include encouraging and evaluating inter-agency working, developing and reviewing policies, monitoring and reviewing activities and raising awareness.
Fife's Adult Protection Committee is a partnership between Fife Council Social Work Service, Fife Constabulary and NHS Fife. The Committee aims to make sure that support and protection is provided to adults at risk of harm in Fife, so that they can live safe, healthy and happy lives within the community. The Committee also has representatives from other organisations such as the Care Commission, the private and voluntary sector, carer representation and Housing.
Although these organisations do not have specific legal duties or powers under the Act, they need to have knowledge and awareness of adult support and protection issues.
Many organisations have a duty of care, and they should have procedures in place to report and record any concerns, suspicions or disclosures made by or about any adults who may need protection.
Staff should also be aware of the "whistle blowing" procedures.
The support and protection of adults at risk of harm is a high priority for the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors. The revised multi-agency guidance is designed to ensure that there is a common practice across Fife. The purpose of the guidance is to provide a framework that can be applied across all agencies and is intended to advise and complement individual agency guidance/procedures.
This guidance outlines the duties and responsibilities of all agencies concerned with the protection of adults however, it is important to recognise that "Adult Protection is everyone's business". This statement confirms that if we want to support and protect adults at risk of harm in Fife, all individuals and services have a contribution to make.
These procedures support the safeguarding of adults at risk of harm and give guidance to staff as to what action to take if it is reported that an adult is at risk. Fife takes the protection of vulnerable adults extremely seriously and the guidelines give clarity to all staff involved in their care and the part they play in meeting the legislation. These procedures highlight the need for all agencies to work together to make sure that people in the community who are at risk of harm are appropriately supported.
All adults have a right to be safe and free from harm. However some people might find it more difficult to stop harm happening to them. Fife Adult Protection Committee aims to ensure the provision of support and protection to adults at risk of harm in Fife, enabling them to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives within their community.
For more information on Adult Protection in Fife visit: www.fifedirect.org.uk/adultprotection
STOP HARM SPEAK UP!
Phone this number to report harm
In an emergency call 999
Deaf BSL users/hard of hearing people
SMS text service: 07781 480 185 (available from 8am - 8pm)
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the PDF documents on this page. If you don't have it, you can download a free copy from www.adobe.com.