Safeguarding development

The LGA and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have worked with key partners to bring together a consolidated list of key safeguarding resources for council, care provider and wider partners' staff.

You can find more recent resources on our safeguarding resources page.

Safeguarding and the Care Act

Briefing: Care Act implications for safeguarding adults

The Care Act 2014 puts adult safeguarding on a legal footing, putting good practice into law. This briefing, co-authored by Skills for Care and the ADASS safeguarding network, sets out:

  • key messages
  • the role of local authorities and partners
  • the impact of the legislation relating to local SABs
  • considerations for care providers and other organisations.

At-a-glance on types and indicators of abuse

A brief look at all the key principles, duties and changes in Care Act safeguarding. Aimed at care staff in private, voluntary and statutory sectors; social workers and managers in LAs.

Safeguarding adults practice questions

This set of questions from SCIE provide guidance for frontline practitioners and managers who work with adults who have care and support needs and who may be at risk of abuse or neglect. It identifies a number of challenging safeguarding dilemmas, and aims to make clear how these should be handled within the new legal framework.

Adult safeguarding: sharing information

This SCIE resource for strategic and practitioner level staff involved in multi- agency safeguarding includes advice and guidance on:

  • what should agencies be sharing?
  • how do practitioners share information?
  • resolving lack of clarity about what to share and with whom.

Checklist and resources for Safeguarding Adults Boards

This SCIE guide aims to inform Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) of what is required of them under the Care Act and to help them improve their effectiveness. It describes:

  • what boards should do – role and duties
  • who should do what – membership and tasks
  • how boards should operate – structure and substructures.

Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs): implementation support

SCIE resource supplements policy development work underway or completed by SABs. Topics include:

  • how to keep a focus on learning not blaming
  • the skill requirements of reviewers
  • the quality assurance functions of the SAB for SARs
  • how to identify non-death or injury reviews that are of value
  • the available approaches or models to choose from
  • core elements of a review report.
Linked resources

Safeguarding should be a 'golden thread' running through social care across care and support reforms. Key linked areas include:

Making safeguarding personal

Making safeguarding personal (MSP) is a sector led initiative which aims to develop an outcomes focus to safeguarding work, and a range of responses to support people to improve or resolve their circumstances.

Improving adult safeguarding

Improvement resources

Building local leadership

Informing policy and practice

More information and resources can also be found on the Knowledge Hub group: Adult Safeguarding Community of Practice

Safeguarding Adults Boards

A rough guide for Safeguarding Adult Board chairs
The Care Act 2014 made the establishment of Safeguarding Adult Boards (SABs) a requirement, however in the intervening years how each Board carries out their statutory functions has been a matter for local decision making. This paper has been developed by SAB Chairs for SAB Chairs as a ‘rough guide’ for induction and to help and support each other.

The role of the Safeguarding Adults Board chair
This guide produced in October 2018 explains the role of the Safeguarding Adults Board chair, including the functions of the role, the knowledge and skills needed and how chairs can develop their knowledge and skills. It supports adult social care employers and other agencies which are represented on Safeguarding Adults Boards, to develop a chair’s role (including writing a job description), recruit a chair and support their continuing professional development and learning requirements. It’s been developed by Skills for Care in partnership with the Local Government Association and the National Network for Chairs of Safeguarding Adults Boards. It brings together information and documents from local Safeguarding Adults Boards and other relevant bodies.

Resources to support Making Safeguarding Personal
A suite of resources aimed at supporting partners in developing and promoting Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP). The guide for Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) seeks to support Boards both in their assurance role and in actively supporting and leading a culture change towards MSP.

Survey of Safeguarding Adults Boards in England, April 2019 
This report outlines the findings of a survey sent to all Chairs of Safeguarding Adults Boards in England in Autumn 2018. It also provides an update since the first survey of Safeguarding Adults Board Chairs undertaken in 2017 - see below. 

Safeguarding Adults Boards - auditing the impact of becoming Statutory
A summary of findings and recommendations from a survey of Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) about the impact of the implementation of the Care Act 2014. Undertaken by the National Network for Chairs of SABs, this offers support for further development of SABs.

Checklist and resources for Safeguarding Adults Boards
This SCIE guide aims to inform SABs of what is required of them under the Care Act and to help them improve their effectiveness. It looks at role and duties, membership and tasks and structure and substructures.

Resources for Safeguarding Adult Boards
A range of publications aimed at to independent chairs and other members of SABs.

Note for adult safeguarding boards on the Mental Health Crisis Concordat and checklist for SABS
The boards provide the opportunity for all partners to be able to share information about the ways in which people in mental health crisis are provided with the appropriate support and treatment. They are also able to benchmark local services against the standards published in the Concordat and this report includes checklist which safeguarding adults boards can use to assess their progress with the local implementation of the Concordat.

Development of practice and strategy

Further resources to inform the development of practice in the context of these resources can be found below.

Service user involvement with SABs

More information and resources to support SABs including the results of surveys can be found on Safeguarding Resources and via the Knowledge Hub group: Adult Safeguarding Community of Practice.

Multi-agency examples

Multi-agency policy and procedures for the protection of adults with care and support needs in the West Midlands

The policy from ADASS West Midlands Region sets out the approach taken to adult safeguarding in the West Midlands. The Procedures then explain how agencies and individuals should work together to put the West Midlands Adult Safeguarding Policy into practice. Because the legislation and guidance from government on adult safeguarding is new, the policy and the procedures should be seen as draft documents that will be tested out and developed extensively during 2015-2016.

London multi-agency adult safeguarding policy and procedures

Each local partnership in London has been asked to adopt this policy and procedures so that there is consistency across London in how adults at risk are safeguarded from abuse. Organisations are encouraged to adopt these procedures as their main guidance, but to add an appendix outlining internal arrangements such as contact details of the Designated Safeguarding Adults Manager and other key professionals and teams. The procedures from ADASS London Region should be used with partnerships' and individual organisations' procedures on related issues such as fraud, disciplinary procedures and health and safety.

Roles and responsibilities in adult safeguarding


NHS Assurance Framework (15 July 2017 update)

Safeguarding vulnerable people in the NHS: accountability and assurance framework

The purpose of this document is to set out clearly the safeguarding roles, duties and responsibilities of all organisations commissioning NHS health and social care. It has been refreshed in partnership with colleagues from across the health and social care system, the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Education (DfE), particularly recognising that the new responsibilities set out in the Care Act 2014 that came into force on 1 April 2015.


Making Safeguarding Personal: what might 'good' look like for the police?

The police play a critical part in safeguarding adults both on the frontline and at a strategic level as statutory partners on safeguarding adults boards. This resource is part of a suite of resources to support local partners to develop and promote Making Safeguarding Personal.

Find out about the workstreams.

Major investigation and public protection includes modules on vulnerable adults and domestic abuse, although some require updates.

Wilful neglect: In the wake of the Francis report into the events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Don Berwick was asked by the Government to chair an independent review on improving the safety of patients in England. New offences arising from that review are listed within the Wilful Neglect (Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015).

Police senior investigating officer guide – Investigating Deaths and Serious Harm in Healthcare Settings (2015) has now been updated to include further detail to support investigations in residential care and nursing homes. It also provides information in relation to adult safeguarding procedures which will form part of any investigation concerning an adult at risk.


Guide: adult safeguarding for housing staff

This guide aims to raise awareness about safeguarding in the housing sector, at management and frontline levels, for all housing staff, not just those in sheltered or supported housing.

Briefing: Housing engagement with Safeguarding Adults Boards

The intended readership of this paper includes all those involved in the work of SABs and senior staff of housing organisations. it also links to the SCIE Care Act implementation resource: Adults Safeguarding. The paper outlines:

  • the case for housing engagement in adult safeguarding
  • barriers to housing engagement with SABs
  • the benefits of housing representation on SABs
  • housing related work by SAB chairs and members
  • options for addressing issues of representation by housing on SABs.

Adult safeguarding self-assessment checklist against the Care Act statutory guidance for housing and housing support providers

A tool intended to help housing providers address the safeguarding aspects of the Care Act 2014 and final statutory guidance.

Supporting presentation

The safeguarding aspects of the Care Act 2014 and related statutory guidance - implications for housing and housing providersl

Housing and Safeguarding Alliance

The Housing and Safeguarding Adults Alliance brings together leading-edge housing providers to work alongside professional and trade body representatives, and our partners in adult social care and health, to encourage, assist, promote and recognise the role and contribution of the housing sector in safeguarding adults.

Key issues

Gaining access to an adult suspected to be at risk of neglect or abuse: a guide for social workers and their managers in England

This is a guide from SCIE to the legal options that are available to social workers and others to access someone who may be being abused, given the Care Act did not include a right of access. Primarily for local authority staff – front-line staff, social workers, managers and upwards to DASSes and elected members.

SCIE report: Self- neglect policy and practice: building an evidence base for adult social care (2014)

This research, commissioned by the Department of Health (DH), set out to identify what could be learned about current policy and practice in self-neglect, experienced as a highly challenging aspect of contemporary adult social care. There are also three shorter summaries of this report available, one for practitioners, one for manager and one general.

Skills for Care self-neglect pages

The main focus of these pages is safeguarding and care providers (in particular registered managers). Resources include:

  • the definition of adult safeguarding
  • evidence review
  • recommendations for CQC Providers Guide - induction related training
  • top tips for registered managers
  • guide to how other resources on the Skills for Care website and other websites help registered managers with their decision making on safeguarding issues.

Leaders' Briefing: Safeguarding in light of the Care Act

This resource, written by Professor Michael Preston Shoot for Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA), looks at the key changes and implications for strategy and practice, and shares the experiences of local authorities who are leading the way in forging effective multi-agency partnerships. It identifies key actions to take to support Making Safeguarding Personal and to incorporate new areas of practice into safeguarding – including self-neglect, domestic abuse and modern slavery.

The resource is aimed at senior leaders responsible for safeguarding services, practitioners who want to understand the broader picture and elected members (councillors) responsible for Adult Services.


Safeguarding learning and development e-learning

Skills for Care safeguarding pages

Fostering a positive workplace culture

Leadership and management

Positive risk management

Safe recruitment

Skills for Care topics page

More information and resources can be found on the Knowledge Hub group: Adult Safeguarding Community of Practice.