Consultation on Draft Adult Safeguarding Policy

6 November 2014

Health Minister Jim Wells and Justice Minister David Ford today published a draft Adult Safeguarding Policy for consultation.

The draft Adult Safeguarding Policy seeks to improve outcomes for adults considered to be at risk of harm, by promoting preventive practice and robust protection responses where they are required. The draft policy is underpinned by a set of principles that recognise an adult's fundamental right to make informed, supported choices about how they want to live their life.

Health Minister Jim Wells said: 'Harm to any adult resulting from abuse, exploitation or neglect is simply unacceptable. This is particularly so when that harm is happening to someone who is unable to protect themselves, or who may need additional support to keep themselves safe. While the responsibility for that harm lies squarely with the perpetrator, each of us as individuals must play our part in ensuring all in society can live safe, fulfilling lives.

The publication of this draft policy reflects my commitment to ensure that any adult who may be at risk of harm is offered the best protection possible. Its success in implementation will depend on the alertness of, and require input from, a wide range of agencies, in support of social services and the police. The draft policy has been developed jointly with the Department of Justice.

The Minister of Justice David Ford said:'We are committed to improving safeguards for adults who are potentially at risk of harm. While we cannot eradicate the potential for harm, what we can do is ensure steps are taken to protect those at risk and ensure that there is increased access to justice when harm does occur. Through this policy, we are putting a greater focus on early intervention, protection and enabling those who suffer harm to have a greater voice within the justice process. We also want to ensure that we get the views of as wide a range of interested parties as possible.

The Consultation will run from 5 November 2014 until 31 January 2015 and all relevant documents are available online.

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