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Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41

Safeguarding enquiry

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Definition or reference in primary legislation
Care Act 2014, S.42

(1) This section applies where a local authority has reasonable cause to suspect that an adult in its area (whether or not ordinarily resident there)--
(a) has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs),
(b) is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
(c) as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

(2) The local authority must make (or cause to be made) whatever enquiries it thinks necessary to enable it to decide whether any action should be taken in the adult's case (whether under this Part or otherwise) and, if so, what and by whom.

Data descriptor
ASC Collections Data Dictionary (Beta v1.3)

The action taken or instigated by the local authority in response to a concern that abuse or neglect may be taking place. An enquiry could range from a conversation with the adult to a more formal multi-agency plan or course of action. Safeguarding enquiries can include cases of domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, modern slavery and self-neglect. There are two types of safeguarding enquiry: 1. Section 42 Safeguarding Enquiries 2. Other Safeguarding Enquiries Safeguarding Enquiries are a subset of Safeguarding Concerns. If a Concern is raised and it then leads to an Enquiry, the case should be recorded as a Concern and then as an Enquiry.

NICE Guideline NG189 - Safeguarding adults in care homes

If the local authority agrees that the safeguarding referral falls within the duty set out within section 42 of the Care Act 2014 and related statutory guidance, they must undertake an enquiry into the suspected abuse or neglect. Note that this definition relates to enquiries about abuse and neglect in care homes. For a more general definition, see the Local Government Association and ADASS definition in their report on understanding what constitutes a safeguarding concern.

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