Organisations should always promote and prioritise the Adult’s safety and wellbeing in their safeguarding arrangements. People have complex lives and being safe is only one of the things they want for themselves. Individuals should work with the Adult to establish what being safe means to them and how this can be best achieved.

The aims of adult safeguarding are to:

  • Stop abuse or neglect wherever possible
  • Prevent harm and reduce the risk of adult abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs
  • Safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live
  • Promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned
  • Raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
  • Provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or wellbeing of an adult; and
  • Address what has caused the abuse or neglect


The Care Act Statutory Guidance lists six key principles that underpin all adult safeguarding work and apply to all sectors and settings, including (but not limited to); care and support services, further education colleges, commissioning, health and care services, and housing. The principles should inform the ways in which professionals and other staff work with Adults.

  • Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent
  • Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs
  • Proportionality – the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
  • Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need
  • Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse
  • Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding