This glossary is not an exhaustive list, but reflects some of the key words or terms that could be used in all aspects of adult safeguarding work.

4LSAB Four Local Safeguarding Adults Boards covering Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.

Abuse includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial, material, neglect, acts of omission, discriminatory and institutional abuse.

ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers), an organisation that leads the development of police policy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) is the national leadership association for directors of local authority adult social care services.

Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need.

Assessment is a process to gather information, assess the health and social care needs of an vulnerable person at risk of abuse, or of an adult who may have caused harm.

CAADA (Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse) is a national charity supporting a strong multi-agency response to domestic violence. The CAADA DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour-based violence) risk identification checklist (RIC) was developed by CAADA and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Care Setting/Services includes health care, nursing care, social care, domiciliary care, social activities, support setting, emotional support, housing support, emergency housing, befriending and advice services and services provided in someone’s own home by an organisation or paid employee for a person by means of a personal budget.

Carer refers to unpaid carers, for example, relatives or friends of the person at risk. Paid workers, including personal assistants, whose job title may be ‘carer’, are called ‘staff’ within this document.

Case Conference is a multi-agency meeting held to discuss the outcome of the investigation and to put in place a protection or safety plan.

Central Referral Unit is where all adult safeguarding referrals to the police are received, risk assessed, graded and allocated for action by the most appropriate police team and/or partner agency.

Clinical Governance is the framework through which the National Health Service (NHS) improves the quality of its services and ensures high standards of care.

Community Safety Partnerships bring agencies and communities together to tackle crime within their communities. Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) are made up of representatives from the responsible authorities, these are:

  • Police
  • Police authorities
  • Local authorities
  • Fire and Rescue authorities
  • Local health boards (LHBs) in Wales
  • Commissining Care Groups in England
  • Probation

Community Safety Partnerships were set up as statutory bodies under Sections 5-7 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Consent is the voluntary and continuing permission of the person to the intervention based on an adequate knowledge of the purpose, nature, likely effects and risks of that intervention, including the likelihood of its success and any alternatives to it.

CPA (Care Programme Approach) was introduced in England in the joint Health and Social Services Circular HC(90)23/LASSL(90)11, The Care Programme Approach for people with a mental illness, referred to specialist psychiatric services, published by the Department of Health in 1990. This requires health authorities, in collaboration with social services departments, to put in place specified arrangements for the care and treatment of people with mental ill health in the community.

CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

CQC (Care Quality Commission) is responsible for the registration and regulation of health and social care in England.

DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and ‘Honour’-based Violence) risk identification checklist (RIC) is a tool used to help front-line practitioners identify high risk cases of domestic abuse, stalking and ‘honour’-based violence.

Disclosure and Barring Service. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) was established in 2012 through the Protection of Freedoms Act and merges two former organisations, the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The DBS is designed to help employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable adults. The DBS search police records and barring lists of prospective employees and issue DBS certificates. They also manage central barred lists of people who are known to have caused harm to vulnerable adults.

DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) are measures to protect people who lack the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves. They came into effect in April 2009 using the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and apply to people in care homes or hospitals where they may be deprived of their liberty.

Domestic Violence and Abuse is defined as:
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: “An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family; (Home Office 2012).

Domestic Homicide Reviews are commissioned by local Safer Communities Partnerships in response to deaths caused through cases of domestic violence. They are subject to the guidance issued by the Home Office in 2006 under the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004. The basis for the domestic homicide review (DHR) process is to ensure agencies are responding appropriately to victims of domestic abuse offering and/or putting in place suitable support mechanisms, procedures, resources and interventions with an aim to avoid future incidents of domestic homicide and violence.

EDO (Emergency Duty Officer) is the social worker on duty in the emergency duty team (EDT).

FACS (Fair Access to Care Services) is a system for deciding how much support people with social care needs can expect, to help them cope and keep them fit and well. It applies to all the local authorities in England. Its aim is to help social care workers make fair and consistent decisions about the level of support needed, and whether the local council should pay for this.

HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is a national independent regulator that aims to reduce work-related death and serious injury across workplaces in the UK.

IDVAs (Independent Domestic Violence Advisers) are trained support workers who provide assistance and advice to victims of domestic violence.

IMCAs (Independent Mental Capacity Advocates) were established by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. IMCAs are a legal safeguard for people who lack the capacity to make specific important decisions, including making decisions about where they live and about serious medical treatment options. IMCAs are mainly instructed to represent people where there is no one independent of services, such as a family member or friend, who is able to represent the person.

Intermediary is someone appointed by the courts to help a vulnerable witness give their evidence either in a police interview or in court.

Investigation is a process agreed within a strategy discussion or meeting undertaken by a member of staff of an organisation who has a lead responsibility to investigate the allegations of abuse.

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) is an acronym used to refer collectively to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

MAPPA (Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements) are statutory arrangements for managing sexual and violent offenders.

MARAC (Multi-agency Risk Assessment Conference) is the multi-agency forum of organisations that manage high risk cases of domestic abuse, stalking and ‘honour’-based violence.

Mental Capacity refers to whether someone has the mental capacity to make a decision or not.

NHS (National Health Service) is the publicly funded health care system in the UK.

OASys (Offender Assessment System) a standardised process for the assessment of offenders, developed jointly by the National Probation Service and the Prison Service.

Out of Hours or EDT (Emergency Duty Teams) are social services teams that respond to out-of-hours referrals where intervention from the council is required to protect a vulnerable child or adult, and where it would not be safe, appropriate or lawful to delay that intervention to the next working day.

OPG (Office of the Public Guardian), established in October 2007, supports the Public Guardian in registering enduring powers of attorney, lasting powers of attorney and supervising Court of Protection appointed deputies.

PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) is an NHS service created to provide advice and support to NHS patients and their relatives and carers.

PREVENT is a Government strategy, launched in 2007, which seeks to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It is the preventative strand of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, PREVENT

Person Causing the Harm is the person or adult who is alleged to have caused the abuse or harm.

PREVENT is the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, whose aim is to:

  • respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat from those who promote it
  • prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support
  • work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that need to addressed.

Public Interest – a decision about what is in the public interest needs to be made by balancing the rights of the individual to privacy with the rights of others to protection.

Referral – an alert becomes a referral when it is passed on to a safeguarding adults referral point and accepted as a safeguarding adults referral.

Safeguarding Adults Process refers to the decisions and subsequent actions taken on receipt of a referral. This process can include a strategy meeting or discussion, an investigation, a case conference, a care/protection/safety plan and monitoring and review arrangements.

Safeguarding Adults Work is used to describe all work to help adults at risk stay safe from significant harm.

Safeguarding Assessment is the process to gather information to assess the health and social care needs of a person at risk experiencing abuse, neglect or exploitation or of an adult who may have caused harm.

Safer Neighbourhood Teams are local police working with local people and partner agencies to identify and tackle issues of concern in their area to make neighbourhoods safer.

Serious Case Review (Adults) is undertaken by a Safeguarding Adults Board when a serious case of adult abuse takes place. The aim is for agencies and individuals to learn lessons to improve the way in which they work.

Significant Harm is not only ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical), but also the impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health, and the impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.

SIRI (Serious Incident Requiring Investigation) is a term used for serious incidents in the NHS requiring investigation. It is defined as an incident that occurred in relation to NHS- funded services resulting in serious harm or unexpected or avoidable death of one or more patients, staff, visitors or members of the public.

Specialist Services are dedicated teams or services provided for particular service user groups. Examples include Mentally Disordered Offenders Service (MENDOS) and Eating Disorders Services.

Strategy Discussion is a multi-agency discussion between relevant organisations, and which include the vulnerable adult, to agree how to proceed with the referral It can be face- to-face, by telephone or by e-mail.

Strategy Meeting is a multi-agency face-to-face meeting, with a chairperson and the relevant individuals involved, including the person at risk where appropriate, to agree how to proceed with the referral.

Vital Interest is a term used in the Data Protection Act 1998 to permit sharing of information where it is critical to prevent serious harm or distress, or in life threatening situations.

Wilful Neglect or Ill Treatment is an intentional or deliberate omission or failure to carry out an act of care by someone who has care of a person who lacks capacity to care for themselves. Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 makes it a specific criminal offence to wilfully ill-treat or neglect a person who lacks capacity.