The need to enhance safeguarding provisions has dominated discussions around the provision of care and support for vulnerable adults in recent years. It is with this in mind that the important role housing has to play in the safeguarding of ‘adults at risk’ is recognised and it is imperative that as a sector, we understand the contribution staff and organisations can make in keeping people of all ages safe.
Last week Sitra ran a consultation event looking at the implementation of the Care Act 2014 and how housing is both represented in the guidance, and where it should be involved. There is much work to be done across the broad spectrum of implementation, but it is clear that one of the most significant areas of practice where there is wholehearted agreement is about housing’s engagement in Safeguarding.
Of course, for many years, providers of housing and housing support services have taken a very proactive approach to safeguarding – providing training and guidance to staff, contractors and, in many cases, to tenants and service users. However, it is important to understand that the Care Act ties together a whole raft of recent legislation connected with safeguarding. The guidance and legislation rolled together are outlined in the Department of Health factsheet. The overarching impact of this is to strengthen the focus on housing as a key source of both identifying and addressing safeguarding concerns. Reinforces the contribution housing can make to serious case reviews/Adult Safeguarding Boards and emphasises the importance of multi agency working and partnership.
One of the hotly debated elements of the Care Act 2014 pertains to the changes in eligibility threshold. However, it is critical for housing providers to understand that the safeguarding responsibility extends beyond those who meet the eligibility threshold to qualify for care services, and in addition includes those who pay for their own care and support. This means that it is just as important for those supporting tenants in general needs housing to understand the implications of the Care Act on their role and procedures as it is for those in specialist and supported housing.
Sitra recognise this is an area of critical importance for the sector to take forward, and to support this we are doing a number of things:-
- Sitra have joined the Safeguarding Alliance and will be actively identifying opportunities to share resources and information about safeguarding with members, and to showcase excellent practice.
- Sitra are hosting a session with Imogen Parry, UK expert on housing and safeguarding. This is running on the 10th July – BOOK NOW!
- Updating all our training materials to comply with SCIE guidance and best practice on Adult safeguarding for housing staff
Are there other ways in which we can support you in this crucial area? Get in touch.