Everybody has the right to be safe and well-looked after. The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 (the Act) is there to protect adults vulnerable to harm/abuse.


What is adult protection?

Local councils have a legal duty to step in if they think someone is being harmed or is at risk of harm, as described by the Act.

Who is the Act for?

The Act is there to protect ‘adults at risk’. An adult at risk is defined as someone who: can’t safeguard themselves, their property or their rights; is at risk of harm; and is experiencing:

  • a disability 
  • a mental disorder
  • illness
  • physical or mental infirmity.

A person's rights

The Act respects the rights we have in law.

All adults – even those considered to be at risk – have the same rights. This means they can refuse to discuss anything regarding their private life, refuse to show any documentation and refuse to seek medical advice.

When the council is dealing with someone it is worried about, it must take account of:

  • the wishes and feelings of the adult at risk (past and present)
  • the views of others, such as the adult’s nearest relative or others with an interest in the person’s well-being.

Are you (or someone you know) at risk of being harmed?

Help is available