If you, or someone you know, is at risk of harm don’t ignore it. Contact your local council by email or phone and share your concerns – you can do so anonymously. The matter will be dealt with sensitively and confidentially, and support given if needed.
How will the council make enquiries?
When a council believes an adult may be at risk of harm it has a duty to investigate. The first thing council staff are likely to do is seek information about the risks the person may face, followed by a visit to the adult if necessary to try to build a picture of what’s going on. This is done sensitively and confidentially.
What happens at a statutory visit?
The reason the council visit an adult is to establish whether an adult is at risk of harm. The visit may prompt them to look into the matter in more detail. For example, if they suspected that someone was taking money from the adult they shouldn’t be, they may ask to have a look at their bank statements.
The council is there to act in the adult’s best interests. This means they must:
- Support a person’s right to live as they wish; provided, of course, they are not breaking the law or risking the safety of themselves or anybody else.
- Take into account the views of other people who have the adult’s best interests at heart – this could be a relative or support worker.
However, even though the council is there to help, the adult has the right to refuse to give any information or seek medical advice.
The involvement of others
Although the council has the ultimate responsibility, it’s important that they work with any other professionals involved in the adult’s care. This may include social workers, health professionals or perhaps even the police, and helps to ensure the best outcome for the adult.