Making the link to safeguarding
Safeguarding concerns are only raised when an individual has care and support needs, whether these needs are met or unmet.
A significant number of adults who need safeguarding are often experiencing domestic abuse in some form. Despite the overlap between supporting abuse victims and safeguarding adults the two have developed separate professional practices.
If domestic abuse is an isolated issue and there are no safeguarding concerns then support can be sought via forums such as MARAC (the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference). If there is more than one safeguarding issue present, such domestic abuse in addition to physical or mental health disabilities then a referral should be made to Safeguarding Adults so that services can be coordinated to deal with the potentially complex issues.
However, we will always encourage staff to make a Safeguarding Adults referral even if it is just for information so that agencies can be mindful of our concerns, as there may be other issues we are not aware of.
There are also strong, evidence-based links between domestic abuse and child abuse. Exposure to domestic abuse is always detrimental to children, although impacts may vary. Children exposed to abuse at home may be affected by physical and/or emotional abuse, neglect and ongoing psychological damage.
This means that in domestic abuse cases where children are present practitioners have a duty to involve Children’s Services to ensure any children are adequately safeguarded.