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This glossary outlines common terms and words that are used to describe different aspects of adult safeguarding work.

4LSAB: a term describing the partnership approach adopted by the our Local Safeguarding Adults Boards covering Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.

Abuse and neglect: types and categories of abuse and neglect can take many forms. Agencies and organisations should not be constrained in their view of what constitutes abuse or neglect and should always consider the circumstances of the individual case. Abuse includes physical abuse, domestic violence or abuse, sexual abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, financial or material abuse, modern slavery, discriminatory abuse, organisational or institutional abuse, neglect or acts of omission, self-neglect.

ADASS: The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services is a membership organisation and charity whose membership comprises of current and past Directors of Adult Social Services, Principal Social Workers and Senior Managers.

Adult at Risk: The term ‘adult at risk‘ is detailed in the Care Act 2014 and focuses on the situation causing the risk, rather than the characteristics of the adult concerned.  Safeguarding duties apply to any adult (18 years and over) who meet the following criteria:

  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • as a result of those care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.

Adult safeguarding: activity to protect a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It involves 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 their well-being and safety is promoted, having due regard to their views, wishes and desired outcomes.

Advocacy or Advocate: Describes the process by which one person supports another to express their views. This may happen on a voluntary basis (by a family member) or be part of formal service commissioned by the local authority, an NHS trust or other provider.

Appropriate Adult: Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1984 (PACE) in English law an appropriate adult is a parent, guardian or Social Worker, or if no person matching this is available, any responsible person over 18. This term applies in England and Wales.

Assurance: The process by which managers and organisations can ensure what should be happening to protect people is happening. This might be by doing audits of cases, by talking to people who use services or by studying data to see what ‘trends’ are developing.

Best interests’ decision: Best interests are defined in Section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act. Their focus is not what other people think might be best for a person, but rather what the person themselves would have preferred to do, had they had the capacity to make the decision themselves. Where someone lacks mental capacity to make a specific decision, professional and others must follow the ‘Best Interests checklist’ provided by the law when they decide to do something to or on behalf of the person. Best Interests decisions must take account of:

  • Whether the person concerned is likely to regain capacity in relation to the decision in question.
  • The participation of the person in the decision as far as this is practicable.
  • In cases of life-sustaining treatment the decision must not be motivated by a desire to bring about the person’s death.
  • The past and present feelings and beliefs of the person.
  • The views of people engaged in caring for the person or in his or her welfare or any person holding an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney or a court appointed deputy.

Care Act 2014: This is the law that guides all practice when working with people aged over 18yrs. It is important in terms of Safeguarding Adults as it because it places duties and responsibilities on local authorities to ensure adults in their areas receive services that prevent their care needs from becoming more serious, or delay the impact of their needs; can get the information and advice they need to make good decisions about care and support; and have a range of provision of high quality, appropriate services to choose from. Significantly the Care Act 2014 builds on good practice – like having a Safeguarding Adult Board and adopting a Making Safeguarding Personal approach.

Care Act Statutory Guidance: Care Act statutory guidance [formal name is the Care and Support Statutory Guidance] tells professionals and others how they should meet their legal obligations placed on them by the Care Act 2014 and regulations.  Being ‘Statutory Guidance’ means that health, social care and others MUST act under the guidance, unless they can demonstrate legally sound reasons for not doing so. It includes chapter 14 that focuses on Safeguarding Adults.

Care Act Principles: The Care Act encourages caregivers to take a person-centred approach when safeguarding adults with care and support needs.  The six principles of the Care Act are: empowerment, prevention, proportionality, protection, partnership and accountability. These six principles are help involve the person in  safeguarding practice with adults.

Care and support needs: the support a person needs to achieve key outcomes in their daily life as relating to wellbeing, quality of life and safety. The Care Act introduces a national eligibility threshold for adults with care and support needs which consists of three criteria, all of which must be met for a person’s needs to be eligible.

Care Programme Approach: (CPA) an approach 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.

Care Quality Commission: The CQC is an independent regulator of the health and social care sector in England. Whilst it is not a statutory partner on Safeguarding Adult Boards, it is legislated by its regulations to check that providers have systems and processes in place that protect people from harm. It registers, monitors, inspects and rates all providers

Carer: unpaid carers such as relatives or friends of the adult. Paid workers, including personal assistants, whose job title may be ‘carer’, are called ‘staff’.

Care settings or services: 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.

Channel Panel: essentially a safeguarding programme aimed at supporting individuals identified as vulnerable to being drawn into violent extremism or terrorist related activity. As with other safeguarding practices Channel is reliant on a multi-agency response and multi-disciplinary work to minimise and manage the risk to an individual. Channel is voluntary and so the individual must give consent. Channel draws on existing collaboration between local authorities, the police, statutory partners and the local community.

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

Closed Environments: A ‘closed environment’ is used to describe a situation, usually in a residential or hospital setting, where the people who need care and support are cut off away from their communities. They are characterised as residents having little contact with the outside world, its culture tends to focus on the needs of staff and organisations rather than residents.  Extended stays away from home areas, a high turnover of staff, lack of candour, poor communications with external organisations and imposition of blanket restrictions and whistleblowing is discouraged. Winterbourne View Hospital highlighted concerns in 2014, and started a process called ‘Transforming Care’ which aimed to bring people with learning disabilities out of such institutions. However, there are ongoing concerns and the need to restrict access to care homes during the pandemic has also led to concerns (in some cases) about the quality of care offered ‘behind closed doors.’

Coercive Control: Coercive Control is controlling behaviour in an intimate or family relationship (regardless of age, gender or sexuality) which causes someone to fear that violence will be used against them; or causes them serious alarm or distress. Coercive control is an act or a series of acts of assaults, threats, punishments, humiliations and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten individuals aged 16 or over.  This behaviour is designed to isolate a person from sources of support and make them dependant on the abuser which has a substantial adverse effect on and increasingly their day-to-day activities and lives. It is therefore important to be curious about why people make the decisions they make, rather than always making decisions on face value.

Community safety: a range of services and initiatives aimed at improving safety in the community. These include Safer Neighbourhoods, anti-social behaviour, hate crime, domestic abuse, PREVENT, human trafficking, modern slavery, forced marriage and honour violence.

Community Safety Partnership (CSP): set up as statutory bodies under Sections 5-7 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the CSP is a strategic forum bringing together agencies and communities 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, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Community Rehabilitation Companies and the National Probation Service.

Consent: the voluntary and continuing permission of the person to an 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.

Contemporaneous notes: notes taken at the time of meetings with individuals, telephone calls, visits to premises during the course of an investigation. These may also be important in the context of giving evidence in legal proceedings.

Continuing Health Care (CHC): Refers to situations where people have long-term complex health needs that qualify for free social care arranged solely by the NHS.

Co-production: The term ‘co-production’ describes working in partnership by sharing power between people who draw on care and support, carers, families and citizens.

County Lines: is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries (although not exclusively), usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs. The ‘County Line’ is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs.

Crime: an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited. In particular there are crimes that specifically relate to abuse or neglect, these are not an exhaustive list but include:

  • The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 explicitly states that it is a criminal offence to physically or sexually abuse, harm or cause deliberate cruelty this includes: the crime of abuse between partners within the home.
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005. Creates an offence of ill-treatment or wilful neglect of a person lacking capacity by anyone responsible for that person’s care.
  • Offences Against The Persons Act 1861 including grievous bodily harm with intent, grievous bodily harm, chokes /suffocates/strangles, unlawfully applies drugs with intent to commit indictable offence, poisoning with intent to endanger life/cause GBH or with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
  • Criminal Justice Act 1988 including Common Assault.
  • Medicines Act 1968 including: Unlawfully administering medication, injuriously affecting the composition of medicinal products.
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003. This Act considers a number of offences designed to protect some of society’s most vulnerable adults who have a mental disorder. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced a number of new offences, for example, offences committed by care workers. The offences against those with a mental disorder are split into three categories. These are: offences against a person with a mental disorder impeding choice, sections 30–33. This covers individuals whose mental functioning is so impaired at the time of the sexual activity that they are unable to refuse; offences against those who have the capacity to consent to sexual activity but have a mental disorder which makes them vulnerable to inducement, threat or deception, sections 34–37; offences by care workers against those with a mental disorder, sections 38–41.
  • Public Order Act 1986 including affray, fear or provocation of violence, intentional harassment, alarm or distress, and harassment/alarm or distress
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1977 including course of conduct amounting to harassment, injunctions against harassment, and course of conduct that causes another to fear.
  • Theft Act 1968 including dishonest appropriation of property, robbery, burglary dwelling house, blackmail.
  • Mental Health Act 1983 including ill treatment or neglect of mentally disordered patients within hospital or nursing homes or otherwise in persons custody or care and unlawful sexual intercourse with patients/residents suffering mental disorder.
  • Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 sec 20-25 – offences involving ill treatment or wilful neglect.
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015 Section 52 – duty to notify Secretary of State about     suspected victims of slavery or Human Trafficking.

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

Cuckooing: the practice of taking over the home of a vulnerable person in order to establish a base for illegal drug dealing, typically as part of a county lines operation.

Defensible decision-making: providing a clear rationale based on legislation, policy, models of practice or recognised tools utilised to come to an informed decision. This decision is based on the information known at that particular time and it is important to accurately and concisely record the decision-making process, in order to explain how and why the decision was made at that time.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLs): measures to protect people who lack the mental capacity to consent to their residence and care which came into effect in April 2009 as part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The procedures apply to people in care homes or hospitals where they are being deprived of their liberty.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS): a government body established in 2012 through the Protection of Freedoms Act and the merger of 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 adults with needs of care and support.

Domestic abuse: 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 psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

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 stepfamily (Home Office 2012).

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR): statutory reviews commissioned in response to deaths caused through 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.

Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and ‘Honour’ Based Violence (DASH): a 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.

Duty of Candour: a requirement on all health and adult social care providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to be open with people when things go wrong.   The duty of candour means that providers have to act in an open and transparent way in relation to service user care and treatment.

Emergency Duty Team (EDT): a social services team that responds to out-of-hours referrals where intervention from the council is required to protect a child or adult at risk, and where it would not be safe, appropriate or lawful to delay that intervention to the next working day.

Family Group Conferences (FGC): an approach used to try and empower people to work out solutions to their own problems.   A trained FGC co-ordinator can support the person at risk and their family or wider support network to reach an agreement about why the harm occurred, what needs to be done to repair the harm and what needs to be put into place to prevent it from happening again.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as ‘all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.’

Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (FGMA): legislation extending the ban on FGM to address the practice of taking girls abroad to undergo FGM procedures.

Financial Abuse and Scams: Financial or material abuse comes in many forms, including theft, fraud, scamming and exploitation.  Using a person’s property without permission, coercive or pressurised tactics to get a person with care and support needs to a home carer using a client’s cashcard to buy items for themselves, a person being pressured or persuaded to buy items they don’t need, or part with money for house repairs that are not completed to an acceptable standard; or someone being convinced to give lasting power of attorney over their finances, to someone who abuses their position.

Forensic Medical Examiner (FME): Forensic Medical Examiner Forensic medical examiners (FMEs), formerly called police surgeons, are a group of doctors working in the field of clinical forensic medicine. Most FMEs are GPs and work on a part-time basis. A significant few work as FMEs full-time.

General Medical Council (GMC): the regulatory body for doctors and medical professionals in the UK. The GMC maintains a register of all doctors eligible to practise within the UK. It sets and reviews standards for their education, training, conduct and performance. The GMC also investigates allegations of impaired fitness to practise.

Harm: Ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical), the impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health and/or the impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.

Hate Crime: any crime that is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be racist, homophobic, transphobic or due to a person’s religion, belief, gender identity or disability.

Health Care Professions Council (HCPC): the Professional Body that regulates health and allied care professionals. HCPC professional standards were amended in Jan 2016 to require all those registered with that body to comply with a professional DUTY to take appropriate action to address and report concerns about safety or wellbeing of people using services, follow up concerns and be open and honest if things go wrong.

HealthWatch: an independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the public. It exists in two distinct forms – local Healthwatch and Healthwatch England at a national level.   The aim of local Healthwatch is to give citizens and communities a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided within their locality. Local Healthwatch has taken on the work of the Local Involvement Networks (LINks).

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

Health and Well Being Board: a statutory, multi-organisation committee of NHS and local authority commissioners coordinated by the local authority which gives strategic leadership across the Local Authority area regarding the commissioning of health and social care services.

Herbert Protocol is a national scheme which encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a person going missing.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP): an independent inspectorate which reports on conditions for and treatment of those in prison, young offender institutions and immigration detention facilities.

Homelessness and Safeguarding Adults: One of the themes picked up by the National Review of Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs), which identified a number of SARs involving people who were homeless. Issues of homelessness and safeguarding came to the fore during the pandemic, with the introduction of the ‘Everyone In’ funded scheme that enabled councils to house rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping in order to protect people’s health and reduce wider transmission of COVID-19. This initiative brought people experiencing homelessness into contact with adult social care and other council practitioners who were able to have a conversation with the person and safeguarding concerns and wider support needs were identified .

Human Resources (HR): the division of an organisation that is focused on activities relating to employees. These activities normally include recruiting and hiring of new employees, orientation and training of current employees, employee benefits, and retention.

Human Trafficking: the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA): a trained support worker who provides assistance and advice to victims of domestic violence.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA): established by the Mental Capacity Act 2005, IMCAs are a legal safeguard for people who lack the capacity to make specific important decisions, including decisions about where they live and 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. However, in the case of safeguarding concerns, IMCAs can be appointed. irrespective of whether there are friends or family around and irrespective of whether accommodation or serious medical treatment is an issue.

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC): oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales. It is independent, making its decisions entirely independently of the police, government and complainants.

Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court: The High Court can make orders to protect people who may be intimidated, coerced or otherwise unable to act on a decision to protect themselves against harm.

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

Integrated Care Board: An integrated care board (or ICB) is a statutory NHS organisation which is responsible for developing a plan for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the NHS budget and arranging for the provision of health services in a geographical area.

Integrated Commissioning Systems: ICSs are partnerships of organisations that come together to plan and pay for health and care services to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area.

Intercollegiate document: This document advises on the levels and content of safeguarding training that all health professionals are expected to undertake.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): in English law was created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and came into effect on 1 October 2007. The LPA replaced the former enduring powers of attorney which were narrower in scope. An LPA is a legal document that lets the individual (the donor) appoint one or more people (known as attorneys) to help the individual make decisions or to make decisions on their behalf. The individual must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make their own decisions) when the LPA is made. There are two types of LPA: (1) health and welfare (2) property and financial affair. An individual can choose to make one type or both. Their purpose is to meet the needs of those who can see a time when they will not be able – in the words of the Act, will lack capacity – to look after their own personal, financial or business affairs. The LPA allows them to make appropriate arrangements for family members or trusted friends to be authorised to make decisions on their behalf. The LPA is created and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice of the United Kingdom.

Lead Agency: the lead agency for the enquiry are the local authority who will be responsible for co-ordinating the enquiry and chairing any safeguarding meetings. However, another agency or organisation may take a lead role, for example the police if there is a criminal investigation, or the NHS may take a lead role if within the enquiry, there is Serious Incident in a NHS setting.

LeDeR: Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) is a service improvement program established to improve care for people with a learning disability and autistic people; reduce inequalities and prevent early death for people with a learning disability and autistic people.  A LeDer looks at significant incidents of health and social care the person received that may have been relevant to their overall health outcomes.

Legal literacy: Refers to people’s ability understand and apply legal rules within practice.

Liberty Protection Safeguards: In July 2018, the government published a Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, which passed into law in May 2019. It replaces the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) with a scheme known as the Liberty Protection Safeguards. It extends to those individuals not just in hospitals and care homes but to those living in the community.   An implementation date has not yet been set by the Government.

LGA: The Local Government Association is a politically led, cross-party organisation that works on behalf of councils to ensure local government has a strong, credible voice with national government. They aim to influence and set the political agenda on the issues that matter to councils, so they are able to deliver local solutions to national problems.

Local Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB): a statutory, multi-organisation partnership committee, coordinated by the local authority, which gives strategic leadership for adult safeguarding, across the local authority. A SAB has the remit of agreeing objectives, setting priorities and coordinating the strategic development of adult safeguarding across its area.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO): the role of the LADO is set out in HM Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) Chapter 2 Paragraph 4. and is governed by the Authorities’ duties under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 and MKSCB Inter-Agency Policy and Procedures (Ch 2.8). This guidance outlines procedures for managing allegations against people who work with children who are paid, unpaid, volunteers, casual, agency or anyone self-employed.

Local Authority Section 42 Enquiry Coordinator: the nominated practitioner within the local authority who will lead and coordinate the S42 enquiry.

Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP): Making Safeguarding Personal is a sector-led initiative developed out of a concern that too often professionals were focusing on getting the ‘process’ of safeguarding right, and eliminating risks, rather than finding out what the person themselves wanted to happen. This approach focuses on working with people, finding out their views and wishes, and working with them so that they are central to the process and their outcomes are achieved.

Mate Crime: a form of exploitation which occurs when a person is harmed or taken advantage of by someone, they thought was their friend.

Mental Capacity: refers to whether someone has the mental capacity to make a decision or not. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Code of Practice outlines how agencies should support someone who lacks the capacity to make a decision

Mental Health Act 2007 (MHA): amends the Mental Health Act 1983 (the 1983 Act), the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. This includes changing the way the 1983 Act defines mental disorder, so that a single definition applies throughout the Act, and abolishes references to categories of disorder.

Modern Slavery: includes human trafficking, slavery, servitude ad forced and compulsory labour. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 became law on 26 March 2015 and is designed to tackle slavery in the UK and consolidates previous offences relating to trafficking and slavery.

 Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): The purpose of the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is to improve the quality of information sharing between professionals in order to make timely and informed decisions about risk based on accurate and up-to-date information. With this information the MASH is able to provide a brief risk assessment and recommendation to the front door services across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth to assist in improving the quality of safeguarding decisions for children and adults. The MASH comprises of representatives from Children’s Social Care, Adult Social Care, alongside Hampshire Police, with virtual or co-located partners from other agencies.

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

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

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

National Library of SARs: Hosted by the National Network of Chairs of Safeguarding Adult Boards, the online repository for all Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) published in England since 2019. It is an open access website, which means that  anyone is able to search for a SAR cases to share learning in a bid to improve outcomes for adults with care and support needs.

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC): The NPCC brings police forces in the UK together to help policing coordinate operations, reform, improve and provide value for money.

 No Delay: the principle that safeguarding responses are made in a timely fashion commensurate with the level of presenting risk. In practice, this means that timescales act as a guide in recognition that these may need to be shorter or longer depending on a range of factors such as risk level or to work in a way that is consistent with the needs and wishes of the adult.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC): the regulatory body for nursing and midwifery professions in the UK. The NMC maintains a register of all nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses and nursing associates eligible to practise within the UK. It sets and reviews standards for their education, training, conduct and performance. The NMC also investigates allegations of impaired fitness to practise.

Office of the Public Guardian (OPG): This statutory body looks after the process (set out in the Mental Capacity Act) for making Lasting Powers of Attorney. It helps people stay in control of their decisions about their health and finance and make important decisions for others who cannot decide for themselves. It is linked to (but separate from) the Court of Protection.

Ordinary residence: broadly means the local authority a person is normally resident in  determines which local authority is responsible for meeting a person’s care and support needs (under the Care Act 2014) The test for ordinary residence, which determines which local authority would be responsible for meeting needs, applies differently in relation to adults with needs for care and support and carers. For adults with care and support needs, the local authority in which the adult is ordinarily resident will be responsible for meeting their eligible needs. For carers, however, the responsible local authority will be the one where the adult for whom they care is ordinarily resident.

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

Personal budget (PB): this is money allocated for social care services, allocated based on the needs of the individual following a needs assessment. They could be managed by councils or another organisation (such as a Clinical Commissioning Group *CCG) on behalf of individuals. They could also be paid as a direct payment, or a mixture of both.

Person in a Position of Trust (PiPoT): someone in a Position of Trust who works with or cares for adults with care and support needs in a paid or voluntary capacity. This includes ‘shared lives’ carers (previously known as adult placement carers).

PREVENT: 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 and aims 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 and work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that need to be addressed. It is the preventative strand of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST.

Prevention: describes how the care and support system (and the organisations forming part of this system) work to actively promote the well-being and independence of people rather than waiting to respond when people reach a crisis point. The purpose of this approach is to prevent, reduce or delay needs escalating.

Principal Social Worker (PSW): A PSW is a qualified and registered social worker whose role was made a statutory requirement under the revised 2016 Care Act.   PSWs are in a position to embed high standards for social work practice within their local authority. There is variation in the seniority and breadth of job descriptions of PSWs between different local authorities. As the professional lead for social work, principal social workers have a broad knowledge base around safeguarding and Making Safeguarding Personal and be assured in its application in their own and others’ work. Principal social workers lead on ensuring the quality and consistency of social work practice, so that local authorities can fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities.

Professional Body: a registering body that has oversight of the practice and standards of a profession or a group of professionals such as the General Medical Council.

Professional curiosity: is the capacity and communication skill to explore and understand what is happening rather than making assumptions or accepting things at face value, to seek reasons and explanations for actions or behaviour.

Protection of property: the duty on the local authority to protect the moveable property of a person with care and support needs who is being cared for away from home in a hospital or in accommodation such as a care home, and who cannot arrange to protect their property themselves. This could include their pets as well as their personal property (e.g. private possessions and furniture).

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.

Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA): protects individuals who make certain disclosures of information in the public interest; to allow such individuals to bring action in respect of victimisation; and for connected purposes.

Radicalisation: involves the exploitation of susceptible people who are drawn into violent extremism by radicalisers often using a persuasive rationale and charismatic individuals to attract people to their cause. The aim is to attract people to their reasoning, inspire new recruits and embed their extreme views and persuade vulnerable individuals of the legitimacy of their cause. The PREVENT Strategy, launched in 2007, seeks to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Rights and obligations: In law and in life, human rights have to be balanced against ‘obligations’. For example, whilst people with capacity have a right to make unwise decisions, this does not mean that they do not have obligations to also respect the law, and not infringe the rights of others.

Safeguarding concern: Any concern raised with the local authority by any person, that an adult with care and support needs is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect. 

Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR): a statutory review commissioned by the Local Safeguarding Adults Board in response to the death or serious injury of an adult with needs of care and support (regardless of whether or not the person was in receipt of services) and it is believed abuse or neglect was a factor. The process aims to identify learning in order to improve future practice and partnership working.

Safeguarding Allegations Management Adviser(SAMA): the nominated senior manager within an organisation responsible for the providing advice and guidance on cases involving allegations against people in a position of trust working in the organisation e.g. an employee, volunteer or student, paid or unpaid. The SAMA will maintain an oversight of individual complex cases and gain assurance that allegations have been responded to appropriately.

Safeguarding enquiries: The local authority has a duty to undertake a safeguarding enquiry, also known as a Section 42(1) if it is satisfied that:

  • an adult has care and support needs (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs);
  • is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing abuse or neglect and
  • as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse and neglect.

The local authority Section 42 duty exists from the point at which a concern is received. If the criteria points of Section 42(1) are met and it is determined that there is “reasonable cause to suspect,” this should be communicated in any decision that identifies a duty to make enquiries:

  • Making (or causing to be made) whatever enquiries are necessary
  • Deciding whether action is necessary and if so what and by whom.

Safeguarding Plan: the overarching plan outlining all the actions  required to safeguard the adult and to promote the adult’s safety and wellbeing including actions to: protect from immediate harm, develop the adult’s awareness and ability to recognise risks empowering them to make choices and to develop their capability to respond to these, build personal resilience,  achieve resolution and recovery from the abuse or neglect experienced.

Safeguarding work: describes all the work multi-agency partners undertake either on a single agency basis (as part of their core business) or on a multi-agency basis within the context of local adult safeguarding arrangements.  Safe Lives: (formerly Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse, CAADA) 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 then Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)[Now the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

SCIE: The Social Care Institute for Excellence is an improvement agency. It provides a range of resources, including training and information on adult safeguarding.

Section 42 Enquiry: the action taken or instigated by the local authority in response to a concern that an adult with needs for care and support may be at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect and due to those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves. An enquiry could range from a conversation with the adult, or if they lack capacity, or have substantial difficulty in understanding the enquiry their representative or advocate, right through to a much more formal multi-agency plan or course of action. This is referred to as a section 42 enquiry.

Section 42 Enquiry Officer: the nominated practitioner within the partner agency who will undertake the S42 enquiry where the local authority has ‘caused this to be undertaken’.

Section 42 Enquiry Plan: the plan which outlines any immediate risks to be addressed, objectives, key actions and the lead for each, how the adult will be involved, timescales, etc.

Section 42 Enquiry Planning Meeting: the multi-agency discussion or meeting to plan out how the S42 will be undertaken which will result in agreement of a S42 Enquiry Plan.

Section 42 Enquiry Review Meeting: the meeting to review progress against the S42 enquiry plan and whether risks identified have been resolved. Any new risks should be discussed and actions agreed to mitigate/resolve these.

Serious Incident Requiring Investigation (SIRI): a process used in the NHS to investigate serious incidents resulting in serious harm or unexpected or avoidable death of one or more patients, staff, visitors or members of the public.

Self-neglect: the inability (intentional or non-intentional) to maintain a socially and culturally accepted standard of self-care with the potential for serious consequences to the health and well-being of adult and perhaps even to their community.

Shared Lives Carer: sometimes known as adult placement schemes – a scheme that supports adults whose needs make it harder for them to live on their own. Shared lives schemes are registered with CQC and employ trained carers who support the adults in sharing a home and community life.

Social Work England (SWE) –The Professional Body that regulates social workers.  It provides professional standards to require all those registered with that body to comply with a professional DUTY to take appropriate action to address and report concerns about safety or wellbeing of people using services, follow up concerns and be open and honest if things go wrong.

Special Measures: Adherence to the guidance on the treatment of vulnerable witnesses in accordance with the guidance set out in Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on interviewing victims and witnesses and using special measures. Examples of special measures include the use of video recorded interviews, involvement of trained intermediaries, giving evidence by video link and adaptations to courtroom processes to accommodate issues of disability and intimidation and improve the quality of evidence given by the witness.

Strength-Based Approach: A strengths-based approach recognises that adults need to be experts and in charge of their own lives.  A strengths-based approach to assessment considers what adults, including the people around them in their relationships and their communities, can do with their skills and their resources to support them to meet their needs.

Transitional safeguarding: Transitional safeguarding is an approach to working with young people as they move from adolescence to adulthood. This can include ‘county lines’, sexual and criminal exploitation where young people can experience coercion and other kinds of control. In 2021, the Chief Social Worker for Adults, in collaboration with organisations, developed and published a knowledge briefing (Bridging the Gap) to support social workers and other professionals in recognising, supporting, and intervening with young people whose needs made them less able to protect themselves from exploitation and harm.

Trauma-informed practice in safeguarding: Trauma-informed practice develops from the understanding of how trauma exposure can affect our neurological, biological, psychological and social development.

User-led organisation: (ULO) an organisation that is run and controlled by people who use support services including disabled people, mental health service users, people with learning difficulties, older people, and their families and carers.

Vital interests: a term used in the Data Protection Act 2018 to permit sharing of information where it is critical to prevent serious harm or distress or in life-threatening situations. Article 6(1)(d) GDPR states “processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person”.

 Well-being: is a broad concept to which the following contribute: personal dignity; physical and mental health; protection from abuse and neglect; control over day to day life; participation in work, education or recreation; social and economic factors; domestic, family and personal life; suitable accommodation and making a contribution to society. The Care Act 2014 sees Wellbeing as a key concept in identifying the success of care and support outcomes.

 Wilful neglect or ill treatment: ‘Wilful’ means that the care worker has acted deliberately or recklessly in relation to the person who they are paid to care for. ‘Ill-treatment’ is also a deliberate act, where the individual knew that they were ill-treating a person or were being reckless as to whether they were. Ill treatment and wilful neglect are not the same. Ill treatment does not have to result in physical harm and can involve emotional and psychological damage – that the actions of a care worker or provider have caused or have the potential to cause damage to the adult and their family (see case law R v Newington1990, 91 Cr App R 254). It can also include a failure to protect the privacy and dignity of a vulnerable adult when the victim is unaware that they are being ill-treated. These offences apply to both organisations and individuals.

Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (YJCEA): an Act to provide for the referral of offenders under 18 to youth offender panels; to make provision in connection with the giving of evidence or information for the purposes of criminal proceedings; to amend section 51 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994; to make pre-consolidation amendments relating to youth justice; and for connected purposes. This includes special measures directions in case of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, defined as: A person suffering from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983 or who otherwise has a significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning. A person who has a physical disability or disorder.