The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have published the Adult Safeguarding Policy for Northern Ireland ‘Adult Safeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership’.
The intention of the policy is to improve safeguarding outcomes for all adults who are at risk of harm through abuse, exploitation or neglect.
Health Minister Simon Hamilton said: "The policy provides the framework within which social workers, social care providers, health care providers, PSNI officers and those involved in the community, can work to prevent harm to adults at risk, recognise it and respond to it when it happens, and help those affected obtain the justice they deserve."
The policy was jointly developed by the Justice Minister David Ford, who highlighted the importance of facilitating access to justice for those adults at risk who have suffered harm through abuse, exploitation or neglect.
Minister Ford said: "All too often we hear of cases where a person has been abused, exploited or neglected. The collective responsibility of the criminal justice system is to work in partnership, to prevent individuals being harmed and improve the safeguards that are in place to protect them where harm has occurred, or is likely to occur without intervention.
"Where a crime does occur, various special measures are in place to ensure that victims of crime can give best evidence. Support services are also available, tailored according to a victim’s needs."
The Adult Safeguarding policy ‘Adult Safeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership’ is a key component of an Executive Programme for Government commitment to improve safeguards for adults at risk.
The policy is relevant to organisations across the statutory, voluntary, community, independent and faith sectors, which provide services to or work with adults at risk.
The policy is available on the DHSSPS website.