“Your advice and clarity were invaluable in what was a very complex matter. The result has given both my mother and myself peace of mind.”
‘Emily’, Safeguarding Client
How to protect a family member or friend from exploitation
Safeguarding will normally – but not always – involve an adult who is considered to lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves about property and finances or health and welfare. In these instances, Social Services will become involved to ensure that such decisions are taken appropriately. However, adults with capacity or fluctuating mental capacity may also need the protection of safeguarding. It may be necessary to apply pressure to Social Services to play a more proactive and/or more timely role where an adult is potentially being exploited or manipulated, where there may be questions about whether they lack mental capacity and where Social Services may perceive this as a family dispute.
The current terminology now being used by Health and Social Services is safeguarding adults at risk (SAR), rather than referring to vulnerable adults.
Best interest decision making is a method for making decisions which aims to be more objective than that of substituted judgement, which was the previous test. It requires the decision maker (an independent party, often a Social Worker) to think what the “best course of action” is for the person; this should not reflect the personal views of the decision maker.
If you need help with a safeguarding investigation or need assistance with taking steps to protect a potentially vulnerable adult, contact our Community Care Law team. Cate Searle and the community care law team have a wealth of experience in protecting vulnerable adults from exploitation and can provide specialist advice on a range of matters.