Let’s Learn – Making Safeguarding Personal

If you are reading this, chances are you know about Safeguarding. It is everyone’s business after all! But if you have made your way to this Let’s Learn blog post and don’t know what Safeguarding is, welcome!

The Care Quality Commission (known as the CQC) defines Safeguarding the best:

‘Safeguarding means protecting people’s health, well-being and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect’ – Care Quality Commission 2017

You can read more about Safeguarding in our blog What (the F) is Safeguarding?

Everyone deserves a life free from harm, abuse and neglect. When you work with adults who are at risk of harm, abuse and neglect, Safeguarding will be second nature to you. You will do everything you can to protect your service users, follow all the guidance, policies and training given. And that is amazing, don’t get us wrong! But what about the person at the centre?

This is where ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’ comes in.

To start, you need to understand the six key principles that underpin all adult safeguarding work, as defined in the Care Act 2014:

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

Making Safeguarding Personal works alongside these six key principles, placing the person at risk in the centre of all safeguarding work.  It is a person-led and outcome-focused approach, which is how we should be managing safeguarding.

The making safeguarding personal framework encourages engagement with the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation, in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control, as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.

The following points should be used as a reference to check that the key principles are being considered in the management of safeguarding:

  • safeguarding should be restorative and done with, not to a person; and
  • should focus on achieving meaningful improvement to a person’s circumstances, rather than just an impact during ‘investigation’ and ‘conclusion’.

To tie it back into the six key principles, here is how the service user understand Safeguarding:

  • Empowerment “I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process, and these directly inform what happens”.
  • Prevention “I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help”.
  • Proportionality: “I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest, as I see them, and they will only get involved as much as needed”.
  • Protection: ‘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.’
  • Partnership: “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: “I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they”.

If you work with Adults at Risk, these are great personal checklist questions for you to use as a framework to keep safeguarding personal:  

  • What are the adults’ priorities?
  • What outcomes do they want to achieve?
  • Are they aware of all available options to keep themselves safe now and in the future?
  • Who in the adult’s network would they like to be involved in keeping them safer?
  • What other agencies may be able to contribute to their safety?

We have a variety of Safeguarding courses to suit the needs of your organisation, such as Safeguarding Alerter, Safeguarding Awareness, Safeguarding Responder and more.

We also have our course on how to Support Adults at Risk to Protect Themselves which will help give you confidence when you Make Safeguarding Personal.

All of our courses are tailored to you organisation, delivered by operational experts, engaging and always values-led: our Training 4 Influence methodology. You can find out more about the methodology here.