Safeguarding announcement 'a step in the right direction'.

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Embargo: Immediate

Directors of Adult Social Services are enthusiastic about Care Minister Phil Hopes announcement today placing Adult Safeguarding Boards on a firm, statutory foundation for the first time ever.

According to ADASS President Jenny Owen, the move "is a firm and welcome step in the right direction. We are naturally disappointed that, at this stage in the development of the care of adults, a duty will not be placed on other authorities to cooperate with adult social care agencies. But we do understand the restraints within which the Government is currently working.

"The new Boards, especially with their independent chairs, will have our full support. The decision to make setting them up obligatory will mean that issues of their different structures and roles across the country can at last be systematically addressed. Legislation setting out clear roles and responsibilities for the Board will remove these inconsistencies," she said.

ADASS believes that, currently, Boards struggle to persuade members to prioritise attendance at full meeting, set against other responsibilities and priorities. Neither is the funding for the Boards all that it should be, given their non-statutory nature and the consequence that members and other participating bodies are not required to attend.

Ms Owen added: "The measures announced today will begin to bring adult safeguarding services the same sort of funding, importance and recognition currently enjoyed by other collaborative ventures such as Safeguarding Children Boards and our Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.

ADASS also believes that:

  • Legislation following the Ministers announcement should now set out clearly both the role of the Board and of the organisations that are required to participate within it,
  • Lessons from the review of Local Safeguarding Children Boards should be considered in the process of looking to provide a more effective framework for safeguarding vulnerable adults,
  • Participation in case reviews and the collection of meaningful safeguarding information to take forward this agenda locally ought to be enhanced following the decision to put the Boards on a statutory basis.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Jenny Owen, President ADASS, 01245 434806
Adi Cooper, Joint Chair, ADASS Safeguarding Network, 020 8541 9320
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

Pictures of Ms Owen and Ms Cooper available on request

The Association's response to the Government's No Secrets guidance can be found here