Adult Protection​


All community groups working with vulnerable adults need to be aware of vulnerable adult protection issues and have a duty to ensure staff and volunteers are equipped with the necessary information and knowledge to be able to deal with potential situations and/or to offer guidance and support.

Legislation relating to Adult Protection

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 includes measures in relation to adults who are at risk from harm. This legislation is in place to help identify and support 'adults at risk' and to achieve an appropriate balance between the rights of individuals to live their lives as they wish, to provide support to them when they need it, and to provide the means to reduce the risk of harm to adults.


The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 defines adults at risk as individuals, aged 16 years or over, who:


  • are unable to safeguard themselves, their property, rights or other interests
    and

  • are at risk of harm
    and

  • are more vulnerable to being harmed, because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity


Vulnerable adults are also protected under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act where the definition of a ‘protected’ adult covers:


  • any individual aged 16 or over who is in receipt of one or more type of care, health or welfare service

What is Adult Abuse?

Adult abuse can be physical or psychological harm, neglect, sexual abuse or financial exploitation.

Your Group’s Responsibilities and Legal Obligations

  • your community group/organisation has a responsibility to promote the welfare of adults and to ensure that vulnerable adults are effectively safeguarded from abuse. You also have a statutory obligation to report suspected abuse

  • all community groups working with vulnerable adults need to be aware of vulnerable adult protection issues and have a duty to ensure staff and volunteers are equipped with the necessary information and knowledge to be able to deal with potential situations and/or to offer guidance and support


You should appoint one person on your committee to monitor these issues. They should be responsible for ensuring your policies are up to date, clearly displayed, read and understood by your staff and volunteers. They should also know who the social work contact is in your area and have the phone numbers handy for both social work and police.


By adopting an adult protection policy within your organisation you will provide those guidelines, and it will help your group to review its training needs.