The purpose of a safeguarding enquiry is to decide what action is needed to help and protect the adult.
Its aims are to:
- establish the facts about an incident or allegation;
- ascertain the adult’s views and wishes on what they want as an outcome from the enquiry;
- assess the needs of the adult for protection, support and redress and how they might be met;
- protect the adult from the abuse and neglect, as the adult wishes;
- establish if any other person is at risk of harm;
- make decisions as to what follow-up actions should be taken with regard to the person or organisation responsible for the abuse or neglect
- enable the adult to achieve resolution and recovery.
The enquiry may involve a wide range of activities depending on the circumstances. It will include interviewing people who have witnessed or been involved in the incident. It might also involve reviewing records or policies and procedures.
Sometimes other enquiries will also be needed under other procedures. For example, if a criminal offence is suspected the police may undertake an investigation, and if so, this will take priority. If the person is an employee, then a disciplinary process may be required. There may also be a need for an internal incident investigation.
A safeguarding enquiry is separate from these, but often it is possible for organisations to work together so that people do not need to be interviewed more than once.