The Wales Safeguarding Procedures launched 14 November 2019.
If your organisation is based in Wales or on the Welsh border, or if you commission or provide services or events in Wales, then you need to know:
- Wales has its own Safeguarding Procedures. They are published as guidance for organisations to meet the requirements of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014. The procedures apply to all areas of Wales.
- They cover safeguarding children AND safeguarding adults at risk. However, they currently have separate sections for children and adults.
- An adult at risk is an adult (over 18) who:
– is at risk from abuse or neglect;
– has needs for care and support to maintain their well-being;
– and because of those needs is unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect.
If you are used to the old Protection of Vulnerable Adults Procedures in Wales, some key changes are:
- Safety from abuse and neglect is taken to be integral to our well-being.
- We no longer use the term ‘vulnerable adult’. We now use the term ‘adult at risk’.
- The adult at risk is central and involved, to the extent that they are able, in all decisions about how they are supported to address any safeguarding concerns.
- There is an active offer of advocacy and the use of Cymraig.
Wales Safeguarding Procedures & The Care Act
There are a lot of similarities between the SS&WB Act and the Care Act (2014) but there are also some differences.
- There is a legal duty on key statutory agencies (Police, Health, Social Services, Probation) and those funded by them to REPORT any situation where they have reason to believe there is an adult at risk.
- There is an expectation that ALL organisations will consider it their duty to report all safeguarding concerns.
- Concerns about harm caused by a person in the course of the work with children or adults with care and support needs MUST be reported to the Local Authority. This includes a duty to report concerns arising outside work. For example, about neighbours, friends, family who may be causing harm at work.
- There is an expectation that Social Services will ask the organisation best placed to carry out an enquiry or investigation to find out how to protect the adult do so. For example, a National Governing Body. Also, that those people who already have established supportive relationships will play a key role in safeguarding the adult at risk. This will involve attendance at the strategy meetings and case conferences that coordinate the safeguarding of an individual.
If you would like support to understand the implications of the Wales Safeguarding Procedures for your organisation, please get in touch. Contact Ruth Ingram, who is working for the Ann Craft Trust, based at Sports Wales, on 029 2033 4975.