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Protection of vulnerable adults

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We want a culture that challenges abusive behaviour – everyone has the right to live fear free.

Our approach is to maintain an appropriate balance between the promotion of independence and the safeguarding of vulnerable adults.

Tackling adult abuse is not just a matter for ourselves, service providers, statutory authorities, regulatory bodies or the police to deal with.

All citizens and organisations have a role in protecting vulnerable adults from abuse wherever and whenever it occurs. There is no room for complacency and we will continue to give the protection of vulnerable adults high priority.

In 2000 strategic guidance was issued to authorities in Wales called ‘In Safe Hands’. It established the national framework for the development of local policies, procedures and guidance for the protection of vulnerable adults.

'In Safe Hands’ provides for Social Services Departments to co-ordinate and lead with a range of partners including the NHS and the police.

Their duties are to develop and implement local arrangements to:

  • prevent
  • identify
  • respond to
  • prevent abuse of vulnerable adults in all settings and to take appropriate action against perpetrators of abuse.

Among other initiatives to help prevent and tackle abuse:

  • The regulatory and national minimum standards regimes, introduced in Wales under the Care Standards Act 2000. Care homes, domiciliary care and adult placements are covered under this legislation. New staff have to undergo pre-employment checks that help protect vulnerable adults.
  • Publication of guidance on the protection of vulnerable adults from financial abuse in settings from their own homes to care homes. This guidance was issued as a supplement to ‘In Safe Hands’.

We commissioned an independent review of ‘In Safe Hands’. Researchers were asked to look specifically at adult protection with a view to recommending the need for new legislation.

An Adult Protection Project Board was established to review our adult protection policies and guidance and to make recommendations to Welsh Ministers.