National Safeguarding Adults Week 2021
By Gemma Raw
'Creating Safer Cultures' is the theme of National Safeguarding Adults Week 2021, which takes place from 15-21 November. Run by leading charity the Ann Craft Trust (ACT), Safeguarding Adults Week brings together social workers and other professionals to raise awareness of important safeguarding issues, encourage information sharing and promote best practice.
Everyone working in frontline social care will already be aware of the importance of safeguarding, not just for children and young people, but also for vulnerable adults, such as the elderly or people with learning disabilities. One of the key aims of Safeguarding Adults Week is to enable more organisations and individuals to feel confident in recognising, recording and reporting safeguarding concerns, such as signs of abuse and neglect.
Creating Safer Cultures
This year's theme of 'Creating Safer Cultures' is about focusing on how safeguarding can be embedded into the culture of organisations, including care providers and charities, as well as practitioners such as a social workers, learning disability nurses and care workers. It's about minimising the risk of harm occurring in the first place, as well as ensuring correct policies and procedures are in place to ensure concerns are listened to and acted upon.
Each day, ACT will be focusing on a specific topic, ranging from emotional abuse and digital safeguarding to how to create safer organisational cultures and how to consider your own attitudes and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding, both in your professional social work role and in your personal life.
A significant issue
According to the findings of the Safeguarding Adults Collection (SAC), published by NHS Digital and drawn from data supplied by local council social care teams, there were an estimated 498,260 concerns of abuse raised in England in 2020-21, an increase of 5% on the previous year.
In its Policy Position Paper, Age UK points out that the abuse and neglect of older people is largely a hidden issue, which leaves hundreds of thousands of older people experiencing, or at risk of, avoidable harm. The charity goes on to say that one in every 42 adults aged 85+ in England have required safeguarding enquiries.
"We are excited to see so many organisations and individuals coming together to raise awareness of important safeguarding issues," commented ACT Marketing Officer Charlotte Brooks. "We hope the week will facilitate conversations and raise awareness of safeguarding best practice."
The Social Care Institute for Excellence has published a range of resources to help social workers meet their safeguarding duties under the Care Act 2014. Access them here.
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