National Adult Support and Protection Day

Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership has marked National Adult Support and Protection Day, Sunday 20 February, by asking people to keep an eye out for things that don’t look right, and to report concerns as an adult protection referral.

We can all think of someone we worry about sometimes; a friend, family member or neighbour. During the pandemic, social workers have been going above and beyond to make sure that reports of concerns about adults who are vulnerable have been followed up.

New data published by the Scottish Government on National Adult Support and Protection Day suggests that across Scotland, there were around 750 Adult Support and Protection referrals per week during the pandemic on average. This average increases to around 780 per week when using data from the past six months.

Although monthly figures fluctuate, there has been a general upward trend in Adult Support and Protection referrals since May 2020

For every seven referrals, one went on to an Adult Protection Investigation. For those that did not go on to investigation, other steps were frequently taken to ensure that the adult was supported and protected.

In general, physical harm and financial harm are the most common forms of harm perpetrated against adults at risk, but adult protection covers a wide range of harm. This includes everything from sexual harm to psychological harm; self-harm to  neglect or self-neglect – when people struggle to take care of themselves.

Tricky friends

To celebrate Scotland’s National Adult Support and Protection Awareness Day 2022 we want to make sure that adults in Scotland are as safe as possible, year round, because staying safe matters every day. You can help to keep yourself and others safe by thinking about the friendships you and they may have. Are your friends “good” friends, who make you feel safe and enjoy spending time with you? Or are they “tricky” friends – who leave you feeling unsafe and take more than they give?

John Paterson, Chair of the National Adult Support and Protection Scotland Independent Convenors’ Group said: “Covid-19 has had an impact on many people’s well-being and mental health; some people were more isolated than ever before. As we are emerging from the pandemic, we are mindful of the crucial role our communities play in safeguarding. Just like with the protection of children, Adult Support and Protection is important every day of the year and we want to ensure that the right supports are in place to protect people who are unable to keep themselves, their money, or their belongings safe.”

Making an adult protection referral can be a vital puzzle-piece of the information jigsaw to ensure that someone receives the attention and support they need. An adult protection referral can also be a good sign that someone needs support to stay safe, and can stop things getting worse. We can only act on concerns that are known about, so if something doesn’t seem right, you can help by making an adult protection referral.

Mr Paterson said, “Adult protection is everyone’s business and every member of our community is due our consideration and protection. You might provide the vital piece in the jigsaw that helps keep someone safe. If you see something, say something.”

Further information on adult protection, including how to make a protection referral, can be found on the Act Against Harm website.

Related content

News: Joint inspection of Adult Support and Protection in Falkirk – A recent inspection report has commended the practices and processes in place to ensure adults at risk of harm are safe, protected and supported in Falkirk.