The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have today published the Adult Safeguarding Policy for Northern Ireland ‘Adult Safeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership’.
The intention of the policy is to improve safeguarding outcomes for all adults who are at risk of harm through abuse, exploitation or neglect.
Health Minister Simon Hamilton said: "The policy provides the framework within which social workers, social care providers, health care providers, PSNI officers and those involved in the community, can work to prevent harm to adults at risk, recognise it and respond to it when it happens, and help those affected obtain the justice they deserve."
The policy was jointly developed by the Justice Minister David Ford, who highlighted the importance of facilitating access to justice for those adults at risk who have suffered harm through abuse, exploitation or neglect.
Minister Ford said: "All too often we hear of cases where a person has been abused, exploited or neglected. The collective responsibility of the criminal justice system is to work in partnership, to prevent individuals being harmed and improve the safeguards that are in place to protect them where harm has occurred, or is likely to occur without intervention.
"Where a crime does occur, various special measures are in place to ensure that victims of crime can give best evidence. Support services are also available, tailored according to a victim’s needs."
The Adult Safeguarding policy ‘Adult Safeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership’ is a key component of an Executive Programme for Government commitment to improve safeguards for adults at risk.
The policy is relevant to organisations across the statutory, voluntary, community, independent and faith sectors, which provide services to or work with adults at risk.
Notes to editors:
- The development and publication of the Adult Safeguarding Policy for Northern Ireland fulfils a key element of Programme for Government Commitment 61, which committed the Department to the introduction of a package of measures aimed at improving safeguarding outcomes for children and adults at risk across Northern Ireland. It has been jointly developed with the Department of Justice.
- The Adult Safeguarding Policy identifies the need for safer communities and safer organisations across all sectors, and sets out clear and proportionate safeguarding expectations across the full range of relevant organisations.
- A public consultation on a draft policy closed on 31 January 2015.
- Adult Safeguarding Policy for Northern Ireland ‘Adult Safeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership’
- In the 2014/15 year Health and Social Care Trusts received 9056 adult protection referrals. Some referrals may not be appropriate.
- Media queries to DHSSPS Information Office on 028 9052 0567, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be immediately returned.