Back to The duty to report an adult at risk of abuse and/or neglect

Seeking agency advice and initial discussions with social services

The need to seek advice should never delay any emergency action needed to protect an adult.

  1. If unsure whether there is a risk. Any practitioner who is hesitant or is unsure as to whether an adult is at risk should seek advice, as outlined below, rather than wait for further evidence to confirm or refute these concerns.

  2. Always try and seek advice from within own agency unless this would mean undue delay and places the adult in danger

The designated safeguarding person (DSP) is the identified person within the organisation who:

All practitioners should know who to contact in their agency for advice and they should not hesitate to discuss their concerns no matter how insignificant they may appear.

Whilst every effort should be made to seek advice from the designated safeguarding person, a practitioner may need to contact social services directly, particularly where:

Contacting social services for guidance

If, after seeking advice in one’s own agency, there is uncertainty as to whether to report concerns, these can always be discussed with social services who will provide guidance as to what to do next.

When seeking guidance from social services, it is important to recognise:

The need to seek advice should never delay any emergency action needed to protect an adult believed to be at risk.

Outcomes of agency and social services initial discussions

The outcome of any initial discussion may be:

Recording initial discussions

Any discussion about an adult at risk - both those that occurred within the agency and those with social services - should be recorded in writing. The recording should include:

Any practitioner with concerns about an individual should document their concerns, whether or not further action is taken.