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Kent and Medway SAB

Adult safeguarding explained

Adult safeguarding is about keeping people safe and protecting them from abuse and neglect wherever possible.

Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 states that safeguarding enquiries should be made where:

  • a person is 18 years or over;
  • a person has needs for care and support;
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • as a result of their care and support needs, is unable to protect him or herself against abuse or neglect, or the risk of it.

The Care Act 2014 sets out the six following principles that should underpin the safeguarding of adults.


People are supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent. "I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and this directly informs what happens."


It is better to take action before harm occurs. "I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is. I know how to recognise the signs, and I know what I can do to seek help."


The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented. "I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest and they will only get involved as much as necessary."


Support and representation for those in greatest need. "I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want".


Services offer local solutions through working closely with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse. "I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me."


Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding. "I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they."

Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board have produced a short video explaining how to recognise abuse and what you can do if you have a concern.

Health and Social Care have developed a video in British Sign Language which also explains the purpose of adult safeguarding.