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Adult Support and Protection

What is adult protection?

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 (The Act) seeks to protect and benefit adults at risk of being harmed. The Act requires councils and a range of public bodies to work together to support and protect adults who are unable to safeguard themselves, their property and their rights:

It provides a range of measures which they can use. The public bodies are required to work together to take steps to decide whether someone is an adult at risk of harm, balancing the need to intervene with an adult's right to live as independently as possible.

Scottish Government role

The Adult Support and Protection Policy Team aims to enable and support those with responsibilities under the Act to carry out their duties effectively. The role is a strategic role for adult support and protection policy development on behalf of Scottish Ministers working in conjunction with related policy areas.

The Scottish Government also supports the role of the National Adult Protection Coordinator – this role involves making connections to build stronger local networks and to improve the co-ordination, development and dissemination of best practice, as well as promoting joint working between Adult Protection Committees.

Are you worried about someone who may be at risk of harm?

The Act against Harm website is a public site with details of who to contact when someone, or someone you know, is at risk of harm. The website has lots of information, including how to recognise when an adult may be at risk of harm and examples of the type of support that can be provided once a concern has been reported:

Adult support and protection practitioners

Adult Protection Committees

Adult Protection Committees set the strategic direction for multi-agency working at the local level in accordance with the Act. Each Local Authority area across Scotland has a committee in place and elects a Convener. More information, including biennial reports on the exercising of each committee's functions in the preceding two years:

Adult Protection Policy Forum

The Adult Protection Policy Forum was a national multi-agency Forum which looked at the overall strategic direction at national level and brought together key interests for the benefit of the adults at risk of harm and those with responsibility to provide support and protection to those adults. The Adult Protection Policy Forum acted as the Programme Board for the national projects such as those described below. Full membership details and notes of meetings:

National Priorities

The Scottish Government agreed to lead work on the five National Priority projects:

These are:

  1. Adults at risk of Financial Harm
  2. Adult Support and Protection in Care Home settings
  3. Adult Support and Protection in A&E settings
  4. Services Users and Carers Involvement in Adult Support and Protection
  5. National Data Collection