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Welsh Government to debate new powers to protect most vulnerable adults
Date of article: 19-Oct-12
Article By: Richard Howard, News Editor
Individuals judged to be at risk of abuse or neglect could have their properties entered by force, if the Welsh Government decides to approve new safeguarding legislation to be debated when the Social Services and Well-being Bill is debated in January.
The aim of Assembly members will be to ascertain whether it is possible to implement legislation based on a firm definition of an adult’s wishes and best interests, at the same time as allowing social services to make an informed decision without being influenced by the individual believed to be involved with abuse or neglect of some form.
Deputy minister for social services and children Gwenda Thomas explains:
“The Bill is all about transforming social care services so they best meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society
“The responses to the consultation on the Bill proposals earlier this year demonstrated overwhelming support to introduce powers to ensure that practitioners could access adults suspected of being abused or neglected. It is important that we act on the strength of feeling expressed and we will discuss with partners how we might support front-line practitioners in this way.
“I do not underestimate the complexity of these proposals but I’ve been reassured by the overwhelming support for our plan to develop a legal framework to protect adults at risk. Introducing powers of intervention will ensure the most vulnerable members of our society are protected.
“I am minded to take forward provisions to include the range of features outlined in the consultation, placing key legal duties on local authorities and others, such as the health service and police, to protect adults at risk.”
Measures might also include the establishment of a National Independent Safeguarding Board, as well as Safeguarding Adults Boards to be implement alongside Safeguarding Children Boards that are already operating locally.
Earlier this week, survey results were released by The College of Social Work (TCSW), which found that 80 per cent of social care workers (in England) would be in favour of a ‘power of entry’: www.homecare.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1558185/most-social-workers-in-favour-of-a-new-power-of-entry-to-protect-adults-at-risk-of-abuse-or-neglect