Safeguarding: Local Government and Vulnerable Adults

Topics: Criminal Records Bureau, Wales, Local government Pages: 6 (1924 words) Published: July 5, 2013
The safeguarding of vulnerable adults is high priority. All citizens and organisations have a role to play in protecting vulnerable adults from abuse, wherever and whenever it occurs. The approach is to maintain an appropriate balance between the promotion of independence and the safeguarding of vulnerable adults. In the CSSIW Protection of Vulnerable Adults Monitoring Report for 2008 – 2009, there were 4,451 alleged cases of abuse of vulnerable adults, reported across Wales. These figures represented a 5% increase on cases reported in the previous year. With the common victims of alleged abuse being older women, the next largest category of abuse was individuals with learning disabilities. For many vulnerable adults their abusers are closer to home and may be loved ones, or individuals into whose care they have been entrusted. As in relation to safeguarding, those working in the care sector have a key role to play in the safeguarding/protection of vulnerable adults. However the understanding of who may be a vulnerable adult and what constitutes a safeguarding issue can be less clear. In 2002, strategic guidance was issued to authorities in Wales, called ‘In Safe Hands’. This established the national framework for the development of local policies/procedures and guidance for the protection of vulnerable adults. In Wales the guidance was issued under section 7 of the Local Social Services Act 1970, establishing the framework for these local policies and procedures. Therefore providing the basis for social services departments in Wales, to co-ordinate a process of local policy development, to prevent, identify, respond to and ameliorate action against perpetrators of abuse. Four regional forums were formed in Wales, following the publication of ‘In Safe Hands’. Each region developed its own regional adult protection policy and procedures in line with the national guidance. The four regions have played the key role in the developing, agreeing and implementing the policies and procedures. The four fora areas in Wales are:-

* North Wales forum
* Dyfed Powys forum
* South Wales forum
* Gwent region
The functions of the fora are to:-
* Co-ordinate Adult Protection policies within the region * Promote shared understanding and practice for all agencies within the region * Contribute to all Wales understanding of POVA practice

* Promote a joined up approach to training
Within the fora there are representations from statutory organisations such as local authorities, health boards and the police service. The foras may also include representation from the fire service, Wales Ambulance Service, NHS Trusts and the independent sector, such as a care provider organisation and the (voluntary) sector. The regulatory and national minimum standards regimes, regarding POVA, that were introduced in Wales under the Care Standard Act 2000, must be implemented effectively. From the 26th July 2004, providers of care and employment, agencies and businesses, will be able to request checks against the POVA list, as part of an application for a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) Disclosure. In respect of individuals, being considered for care positions. Checks against a POVA list can only be made via the CRB as part of a disclosure under the Police Act 1997. If the disclosure check reveals that the individual is on the POVA list, or is provisionally on the POVA list, the CRB will advise the employer that the person may not be employed in a position of care. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Group Act 2006 was introduced following the findings of the Bichard inquiry into the Soham murders. The act introduced a ‘vetting and barring’ scheme for people working with children, whereby a new Independent Safeguarding Authority must maintain lists of people who are barred from certain kinds of work with children and adults. That list includes those who are convicted of or admit to, certain specified criminal offences,...
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