Adult Support and Protection
If you are worried that an adult may be harmed or neglected, you can contact the numbers below:
- Duty Social Worker, Tel: 01259 452498 (Monday - Friday 9.00 am - 5.00 pm)
- Emergency Duty Team, Tel: 0845 277 7000 (Out of Hours)
Since October 2008, a new law has been introduced to ensure the support and protection of adults who may be at risk of harm and abuse. This page provides information about what is meant by harm, what should be done if there are concerns and what services are in place in Clackmannanshire.
The Adult Care service has a statutory responsibility to support and protect adults who may be at risk of harm.
Frequently asked questions
- What is harm or abuse of adults?
Some adults may need protection if they are subject to:
- Physical harm
- Show unusual or unexplained injuries.
- Appear afraid, quiet or withdrawn.
- Sexual harm or 'abuse'
- Have been involved in actions or acts to which they could not, or did not, consent to.
- Material harm
- Unexplained debt.
- Not paying bills for services.
- Sale of possessions.
- Misuse of bank account by another.
- Psychological harm
- Sometimes appear hostile, fearful of another person.
- Neglectful harm
- Found uncared for at home or in a care setting.
- Unexplained deterioration in health or appearance.
- Not enough food or heating.
- Discriminatory harm
- Suffer hurtful actions or remarks based on age, gender, disability, race colour, sexual or religious orientation.
- Institutional harm
- Forced to conform to unacceptable routines or the views of staff and managers in care homes.
- Poor standards of care which only meet the needs of the staff rather than the adults at risk of harm.
- What should I do if I suspect abuse?
If you see, or believe you know about, the harm of an adult, you should report it. You should not ignore signs of harm because the adult could go on to suffer more ill treatment.
All reports of harm will be taken with respect and on a need to know basis. Staff are trained to listen, to note the information and to act on your concerns.
If the adult at risk is in immediate physical danger or there is evidence of physical or sexual abuse please contact the appropriate emergency service.
- Central Scotland Police, Tel: 01786 456000
- Emergency Services - Ambulance, Fire, Police, Tel: 999
- Your Doctor - see link below, or NHS24.com
- Local Health Services and Organisations
- NHS24, Tel: 0845 424 2424
- Adult Care, Social Services
- Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Tel: 01259 452498
- Out of office hours Duty Team, Tel: 0845 277 7000
Be prepared to describe what you saw or heard and what your concerns are. Give us as much information as you can about the person and situation.
- Where can harm happen?
Harm can happen anywhere, but serious harm is more likely to happen secretly, where the harmer(s) or self-harmer has time in private, for example:
- At home within the family.
- Whilst in a hospital or a hospice.
- Whilst staying in a care home or supported accommodation.
- Whilst at a day centre or an educational place.
- At the adult's place of work or training.
- Who can be a harmer?
Harm is often perpetrated by people the adult at risk already knows, where a trusting relationship of unequal power may exist.
The harmer themselves may be an adult at risk or may have experienced harm themselves.
Harm can also be opportunistic and dependent on issues of low self-esteem, low social status and a lack of appropriate formal or informal support.
How harm happens is extremely varied and often socially complicated but the need to reduce harm is clear.
- Will I need to give my name?
Any information you give will be handled with great care. If you do not give your name, enquiries can still be made into the adult's welfare. However, staying anonymous can sometimes make it less easy for those looking into the situation, particularly if there is a need to contact you again.
Any information you give may need to be shared with other professionals to ensure appropriate action is taken in order to protect and support the adult at risk of harm.
Adult Support and Protection Act
A law called the 'Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007' came into effect from October 2008. Our report to Council entitled Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 Implementation - October 2008 can be viewed or downloaded from this page.
This law applies to adults who are aged 16 or over who are unable to safeguard their own well-being, property, rights or other interests and who are at risk of harm or self-harm and who are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity.
In other words, those adults that are more vulnerable to being hurt or harmed by other people mainly because they are less able to protect themselves.
Where a Local Authority believes there is a risk of serious harm to an adult, the case may go to Court under this Act.
A legal Order may be granted to assess and/or remove an adult from a risky situation for up to 7 days or to ban a harmer from seeing an adult at risk for up to 6 months.
Adult Protection Committee
Under the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007, Local Authorities also have a duty to establish and maintain an inter-agency Adult Protection Committee to ensure public agencies have appropriate systems in place so that adults at risk are indeed protected under the law. Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire have a unitary Forth Valley Committee which meets on a quarterly basis and has an independent chair.
The major functions of the Forth Valley Adult Protection Committee are to
- keep multi-agency adult protection procedures and practices under review and to make proposals for good practice,
- improve knowledge and skills among members,
- improve cooperative working across agencies,
- give information and advice to statutory members on the safeguarding and protection of adults at risk.
Members of the committee include representatives from
- Procurator Fiscal
- Care Commission
- Mental Welfare Commission
- Central Scotland Police
- Office of the Public Guardian
- Clackmannanshire, Stirling and Falkirk Councils
For more information, you can refer to InfoScotland's page entitled Act against harm .
More detailed information, mainly for agency staff, can be viewed or downloaded from this page: 'Forth Valley Inter Agency Adult Support and Protection Guidance and Procedures' (July 2011).