Adult abuse can occur in many different settings and situations. It is usually a very complex area of work. Therefore employees need to be aware of situations which may put a vulnerable adult at risk. This has highlighted the need for guidelines and procedures for Social Work Services, Police, Health Services, and independent providers.
This multi-disciplinary approach is designed to address the abuse of vulnerable adults in community, hospital and institutional settings, with the focus on both informal and formal carers. These procedures require any responsible person to act with regard to any information which comes to their attention giving reasonable grounds to suspect that a vulnerable adult has been abused. In all instances these procedures and key steps will be followed by all agencies, units and establishments.
These procedures and practice guidelines refer to cases where abuse has occurred and specific action is required to ensure the protection of the vulnerable person. However, it is recognised that the protection of vulnerable people is best ensured by an active monitoring and support network across the whole range of services and agencies. Clearer assessment of need, appropriate care planning and vigorous monitoring and reviewing processes will contribute greatly to the prevention of abusive situations arising. Such an approach is essential, when recognising that health and social care improvements, and the political drive to provide more care in peoples homes, have led to a situation where larger numbers than ever before of very dependent people are now cared for in community settings, rather than as was historically the case, in large residential units. It is therefore essential that agencies and services respond to the increasing needs of vulnerable people and their carers in order to address and alleviate the stress factors which can lead, sadly in a number of cases, to direct abuse being experienced by vulnerable people.