The Scottish Government has introduced a new law called “The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007”, which came into force on 28 October 2008.
The Act provides new measures to support and protect adults who are thought to be at risk of harm.
Under the Act, Moray Council has lead responsibility to make inquiries about a person’s well-being, property or financial affairs if it is known or believed:
(a) that the person is an adult at risk, and
(b) that intervention may be required in order to protect the person’s well-being, property or financial affairs.
How does Moray Council do this?
Moray Council has set up an Adult Protection Unit. The unit is responsible, on behalf of the Council, for overseeing inquiries and investigations of any adult protection concerns.
Helping you to understand Adult Support and Protection – Referral and Investigation
This information is for people who may be at risk of harm. It tries to answer some of the questions you might have. If there is anything you are not sure about, you can speak to the social worker who visited you, or an Advocate.
Why has someone referred me to Adult Support and Protection?
Adult Support and Protection have received a referral from a professional or someone in your community who is worried about you. They think that you may be at risk of harm.
What do they want?
The Social Worker and other professional visiting may ask you questions. You do not need to answer these questions, however, it is helpful if you do. The questions will help them to tell if you may be at risk of harm. This means someone may be hurting you or treating you badly. No one should be hurting you and if they are, you need to tell the Social Worker. They will find ways of keeping you safe.
What kind of Harm?
This may be harm you are experiencing because of your situation. Harm may be a lot of different things. If someone is hurting you please tell someone and we can support you to make it stop.
- Physical Harm can be hitting or punching or someone hurting your body in some other way.
- Financial Harm someone taking your money or belongings when you don’t want them to.
- Sexual harm someone touching or kissing you or when you don’t like it or forcing you to do something with your body that you don’t want.
- Neglect Someone not helping you with things like washing, dressing, eating, drinking or not caring for you properly. This may also be you not caring for yourself properly.
- Psychological or emotional harm – someone saying or doing things that make you feel bad about yourself.
- Self- Harm Hurting yourself because you feel bad, this may be cutting , burning , scratching or swallowing dangerous liquids like bleach
Harm may be from someone you know or someone you don’t know
Can I have someone with me?
Yes, you might want to have a friend, carer or relative with you when asked questions. You can also have an Advocate with you. The Social Worker will talk to you about Advocacy and how they may be able to support you.
What is an Advocate?
An Advocate is someone who will help you say what you want to say. They will not tell you what to do but may give useful information to you. In Moray, Circles Advocacy provide support to have your voice heard – you can contact them on 01343 559546 or text 07785 381500. More information about Circles Advocacy can be found online www.circlesnetwork.org.uk
What happens next?
The Social Worker may have other professionals or people they want to ask questions to. They do not need to ask your permission to speak to the other people, however, they will tell you who they will be speak to so that you know who they are speaking to. The Social Worker will then update you once they have completed their investigation. They will let you know what happens next. It may be that they recommend further supports and help for you. The Social Worker will also let you know if an Adult Protection Case Conference is required. This is a meeting to discuss the harm you may be experiencing, and to agree a plan to support you. Your Social Worker will talk to you about what a Case Conference is. Remember, if you are finding it difficult to keep yourself safe, it is important to tell someone.
Moray Community Care Access Team
Tel. 01343 563999
The out of hours social work emergency number is 03457 565656.
Tel. 101 or 999 if it is an emergency
Helping you to understand Adult Support and Protection case conferences
This information is for people who have been invited to a case conference.
It tries to answer some of the questions you might have. If there is anything you are not sure about, you should speak to your social worker or another professional.
What is a case conference?
An Adult Support and Protection case conference is a meeting we have if people are worried you are not safe or that someone is causing you harm.
It is a meeting to talk about:
- whether you are at risk of harm
- what the harm might be
- how to help you stay safe in the future.
It is often held at a social work office or a GP practice or as a virtual meeting using MS Teams.
Can I go to the case conference?
Yes - you will be invited to the meeting.
It is very important you feel able to have your say and be heard. It can be hard to speak up in a room full of people and it is normal to feel nervous. When you are invited to the case conference, your social worker will talk to you about who will be there and what will happen so you know what to expect.
You might want to think about:
- Writing down your views before the meeting
- Asking for a supportive person to go with you
- Asking for an independent advocate to go with you. This is a person who is specially trained to help people put across their feelings, views and wishes.
If you cannot go to the meeting or choose not to go, your social worker or another worker who knows you well will speak to you to find out what you think. They can tell the people at the meeting for you.
Who will be there?
The other people invited to the case conference will all be people who want you to be safe.
The meeting will be led by a chairperson. This is usually a manager from the Social Work service. They will make sure everyone has a chance to speak and be listened to.
The following people may be invited to the meeting:
- Your family and those people in your life who want to protect you from harm
- Your support worker and anyone else involved with your care
- Doctors, nurses, police officers or other professionals.
Tell your social worker if there is anyone you think should be invited.
If any person is not able to be there, they may send a written report which will be read out at the meeting.
Someone from social work will be there to write down what everyone has said. This is the record of the meeting called a ‘minute’.
What happens at the case conference?
Everyone will say who they are so people know each other.
The chairperson will remind everyone that the meeting is confidential and why it is being held.
You will be asked whether you feel you are being harmed and what would help you to be safe. The other people will also be asked what they know about the situation.
If you do not understand anything during the meeting you should ask the chairperson to explain it or slow down.
Everyone will have an equal say in the discussion. People will be asked to listen respectfully to each other, even when someone says something they don’t agree with.
A case conference can be quite tiring and some things may make you feel angry or upset. If you feel you need a break, you or your supporter can tell the chairperson.
The meeting will decide if you are at risk of harm and whether a protection plan is needed.
If it is decided you are not at risk of harm, the people at the meeting will talk to you about any support that would help you in your situation.
You will be given a copy of the decisions taken at the meeting.
What is a protection plan?
A protection plan is a plan to support and protect you from harm.
You will be involved in making the plan along with other people, like staff from social work, health, housing, Police and care services.
The plan will say what people will do to keep you safe.
If required, the Council can use its legal powers to apply for a protection order. A protection order can:
- Stop someone having contact with you
- Move you to a safer place
- Make sure you are getting the support you need
What happens after the case conference?
Your supporter will meet with you after the meeting to talk about how it went and to go through the protection plan with you.
Your plan will be reviewed regularly. If it is not working, or your situation changes, another case conference will be held.
Remember, if you are finding it difficult to keep yourself safe, it is important to tell someone.
Moray Community Care Access Team
Tel. 01343 563999
The out of hours emergency number is 03457 565656.
Tel. 101 or 999 in an emergency
People and Services that can Help You
Support from Hourglass
Hourglass provides the UK’s only dedicated Helpline for those experiencing (or concerned about) the harm, abuse or exploitation of older people. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. It’s entirely confidential and free to call from a landline or mobile and will not appear on your phone bill.
The helpline number is 0808 808 8141
Follow the link to a list of additional support organisations from Hourglass resource
"Tell Someone" campaign
Tell Someone is a campaign created to raise awareness about Adult Support and Protection Act 2007. Find out more with the Tell Someone video and more information.
Silent calls can be made to Police using 999. Call handlers will prompt callers to press 5.
Moray Woman’s Aid
Call: 01343 54 85 49 Facebook - Moray Women's Aid
Male Victims & LGBT Support
Men can seek advice by calling Mankind 01823 33 42 44 or Men’s Advice Line Call: 0808 801 0327- Mon –Fri 9-5
LGBT Support is available through www.lgbtmoray.co.uk/contact.html
Safer Scotland Help Line
Domestic Abuse & Forced marriage Help Line – 24hrs, 365 days, with confidential translator service
Call: 0800 027 12 34 (Freephone) firstname.lastname@example.org. On the web – safer.scot to chat online, and advice on safety planning, deleting browsing history.
Scottish women’s Right’s centre
If you are affected by abuse and need an urgent legal appointment, where you can received tailored advice from a Solicitor Call: 0808 801 0789
This might involve any of the following:
- Feeling under pressure to hand over money or possessions;
- Exploitation of property or welfare benefits or stopping someone getting their money or possessions, stealing, cheating or fraud; or
- Being under pressure to re-write a will.
Find out more at the Act Against Harm Financial Harm webpage.
If you’re facing immediate homelessness Call: 0300 123 45 66 (During Office Hours 8.45am-5pm) or Out-of-Hours (between 5pm-8.35am, weekends) Call: 0345 56 56 56.
Missing People with Dementia
The Herbert Protocol has been used many times to help police and other agencies quickly and safely locate missing people who have dementia. Find out more on the Police Scotland website.
Offers a service to those experiencing mental health difficulties. Call: 0800 234 2490 (Freephone) if you are feeling overwhelmed and finding it hard to cope. Penumbra.org.uk
Feeling down or depressed. Breathing Space can help if you need someone to talk to, experienced advisors will listen and provide confidential information and advice. Call: 0800 83 85 87 (Freephone) www.breathingspace.scot
Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts. Also if you need support with helping someone you are worried about. Call: 116 123 (Freephone, any time, any phone) SMS: Text SHOUT to 85258 www.samaritains.org
If you're feeling low – you don't have to hurt yourself or suffer in silence. If you're in crisis or struggling to cope, follow the link to find out more about services which can help: Suicide | NHS inform
Drug & alcohol Services
If you’re struggling with Drug or Alcohol Issues, Arrows offers assessment and referral to services that meet your needs, as well as information, support and guidance.
Call: 01343 55 23 82 www.quarriers.org.uk
Moray Community Care Access Team