Legislation, guidance and toolkits

This section provides information and website links to key areas of national policy and guidance in relation to relevant legislation and good practice in adult safeguarding.


ADASS Inter-Authority Safeguarding Arrangements (PDF) (ADASS, 2016)
This guidance sets out the policy for responding to safeguarding concerns which involve cross-boundary considerations. The guidance clarifies actions to be taken when the funding / commissioning responsibility for an adult lies with an authority in one area and where concerns about potential abuse or neglect arise in another area.

Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness
Three webinars are being offered on best practice in adult safeguarding and homelessness. The webinars will be presented by the editors and chapter authors of a 2022 book on the same theme.

 Webinar topics include:

  • learning about best practice from people with lived experience of homelessness
  • working with people experiencing homelessness
  • commissioning, governance and organisational support for practitioners working with people experiencing homelessness


  • Care and Support Statutory Guidance (Department of Health and Social Care, 2018)
    The legal framework for the Care Act 2014 is supported by the Care and Support Statutory Guidance, and provides information about how the Care Act works in practice. There is a legal duty to follow the guidance when working with adults with needs for care and support, and carers.

  • Care - Paying for care in your own home
    Care in your own home is also known as community-based care.
  • Child Sexual Exploitation (PDF)
    This non-statutory advice has been produced to help practitioners who work with children and families to identify child sexual exploitation (CSE) and take appropriate action in response.  This advice replaces the 2009 guidance 'Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation'.
  • Coroner’s Services and Investigations (Ministry of Justice, 2014)
    This short guide provides a summary of the role of the coroner and offers guidance to anyone who may be involved in a coroner’s investigation or attends a coroner’s inquest. 
  • Corporate Manslaughter (Crown Prosecution Service)
    Companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. The Crown Prosecution Service has produced this guidance which sets out the general principles which apply in respect of this legislation.
  • Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015
    Under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 it is an offence for an individual or a care provider who has the care of another individual to ill-treat or wilfully to neglect that individual.  The offence focuses on the conduct of the individual, not the outcome. It is to do with what the worker actually did (or failed to do) to the individual, rather than any harm that resulted. For organisations the offence focuses on the way their activities are managed and organised, and whether an incident amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed to the patient.


  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Code of Practice (Ministry of Justice, 2008) 
    The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Code of Practice helps explain how to identify when a person is, or is at risk of, being deprived of their liberty and how a deprivation of liberty may be avoided. It also explains the safeguards that have been put in place to ensure that deprivation of liberty, where it does occur, has a lawful basis.
    This advice note offers guidance in response to the Supreme Court judgement in relation to the case of Cheshire and clarifies the acid test in determining what constitutes a deprivation of liberty.
    Department of Health Guidance: Response to Supreme Court Judgement/Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (PDF) (Department of Health, 2015)
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (Home Office, 2018)
    The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Further information including guidance on how to make referrals can be found in the link above.
    • Guidance for Local Authorities and regulatory bodies about the duty and power to refer a person to DBS

  • Domestic Abuse Act 2021
  • Domestic Abuse Statutory Guidance
    This statutory guidance is issued under section 84 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and is intended to increase awareness and infomr the response to domestic abuse.

  • Domestic Homicide Review (PDF)
    The Home Office ‘Multi-agency Statutory Guidance for the Conduct of Domestic Homicide Reviews’ is issued as statutory guidance under section 9(3) of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (the 2004 Act)

    The Act states: (1) In this section “domestic homicide review” means a review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by— (a) a person to whom he was related or with whom he was or had been in an intimate personal relationship, or (b) a member of the same household as himself, held with a view to identifying the lessons to be learnt from the death. 

    The purpose of a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is to establish what lessons are to be learned from the domestic homicide regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims and identify clearly what those lessons are both within and between agencies, how and within what timescales they will be acted on, and what is expected to change as a result.

  • Domestic Violence and Abuse - A Guide to Support Practitioners and Managers (PDF) (Local Government Association and ADASS, 2015)
    The Guide sets out the overlap between safeguarding and domestic abuse and the approaches and legal frameworks for domestic abuse that can be used in the safeguarding context.
  • The Government published the Domestic Abuse Bill to help tackle domestic abuse. The bill will introduce the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse - this will enable everyone, including victims themselves, to understand what constitutes abuse and will encourage more victims to come forward.

    • Coercive Control (Research in Practice for Adults)
      The website is aimed at social workers and other health and social care practitioners to help develop their knowledge and skills in working in situations of coercive control.
    • SafeLives
      SafeLives is a National Charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, and contains information about the UK’s response to domestic abuse. The site includes information for professionals on resources including MARAC and the IDVA service.

  • Domestic violence disclosure - victim booklet (PDF 2MB)
  • Duty to Refer 
    Public authorities have a duty to refer people engaged in their services who may be homeless or at risk of homelessness to housing teams in the appropriate local authority area, where they have consent to do so. Public authorities include prisons and young offender institutions, youth offending teams and probation services, jobcentres in England, social service authorities, emergency departments and hospital inpatient care and the Secretary of State for defence. 
    Make a referral to North Northants Housing or West Northants Housing as appropriate. 


  • 39 Essex Chambers 
    39 Essex Chambers provides useful information for frontline practitioners on their Information Hub page, including resources in respect of Mental Capacity Act 

  • 39 Essex Chambers - Learning from Safeguarding Adults Boards Podcast.
    Independent Chair of Safeguarding Adults Board Fran Pearson features of this podcast to discuss learning from Safeguarding Adult Boards, the work of Safeguarding Adults Board and the impact theyhave on protecting adults at risk




  • Health and Social Care Act 2008
    The Health and Social Care Act 2008 seeks to enhance professional regulation by creating an integrated regulator for health and social care, the Care Quality Commission, with a focus on providing assurance about the safety and quality of care for patients and service users.
  • Homelessness: duty to refer
    The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 places duties on local housing authorities to intervene at earlier stages to prevent homelessness in their areas, and to provide homelessness services to all those who are eligible. Additionally, the Act introduced a duty on specified public authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to local authority homelessness/housing options teams (see paragraph 7 of the Homelessness code of guidance)

  • Human Rights Act 1998 
    The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates most of the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law enabling claims by individual victims to be brought in UK courts against any public bodies for breach of those convention rights. The Act makes it unlawful for a public body to act (by commission or omission) in a way that is incompatible with their Convention Rights. Examples of convention rights are, right to a private and family life, right to marry, right to a fair trial, right to liberty and security etc.


  • LeDeR Programme
    The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme is a project and is the first comprehensive, national review set up in order to understand why people with learning disabilities typically die much earlier than average, and to inform a strategy to reduce this inequality. The LeDeR programme has been established to support local areas to review deaths of people with learning disabilities, and to use the lessons learned to make improvements to service provision.

    All deaths of people with a learning disability, aged 4 years and over, will need to have an initial review, regardless of whether the death was expected or not, the cause of death or the place of death.  For further information, contact your Clinical Commissioning Group Safeguarding Team and/or Local Area Contact for LeDeR.


  • Making Safeguarding Personal - Making Safeguarding Personal Guide (PDF) (Local Government Association, 2014)
    The Guide is intended to support councils and their partners to develop outcomes-focused, person-centred safeguarding practice. It provides guidance about how to embark upon and take forward a Making Safeguarding Personal approach.
  • Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) - MAPPA Guidance (Ministry of Justice, National Offenders Management Service, HM Prison Service, 2012)
    Multi-agency protection arrangements are in place to ensure the successful management of violent and sexual offenders. This guidance sets out the responsibilities of the police, probation trusts and prison service.  It also covers how other agencies may become involved, for example in the care of young offenders.
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2009 - Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice (PDF) (Department of Constitutional Affairs, 2007)
    The legal framework provided by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is supported by this Code of Practice, which provides guidance and information about how the Act works in practice. The Code of Practice has a statutory force, which means that certain categories of people have a legal duty to have regard to it when working with or caring for adults who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005 Section 44 
    Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 created the criminal offences of ill-treatment and wilful neglect, and these offences can be committed by anyone responsible for that adult’s care and support, including paid staff, family carers and people who have the legal authority to act on that adult’s behalf (i.e. persons with power of attorney or court-appointed deputies).

  • Modern Slavery
    • Modern Slavery Act 2015
      The Modern Slavery Act categorises offences of Slavery, Servitude and Forced or Compulsory Labour and Human Trafficking. It is estimated that there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013 (Modern Slavery Strategy, HM Government, 2014).

      Practice guidance relating to the national strategy to respond to Modern Slavery and human trafficking includes details of the Duty to Notify and how to refer victims into the National Referral Mechanism. Further information can be found here on the Government’s National Referral Mechanism and the duty to refer including information in different languages.

    • Duty to notify the Home Office of suspected victims of modern slavery
      Specified public authorities, which includes the police and local authorities, are required to notify the Home Office about any potential victims of modern slavery they encounter in England and Wales. If the potential victim does not want to be referred to the National Referral Mechanism, then an MS1 form should be completed and sent to dutytonotify@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. The MS1 form can be anonymous. The MS1 form and guidance is available.
    • UK Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre
      The Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre brings us closer to the eradication of modern slavery. It provides victims, the public, statutory agencies and businesses access to information and support on a 24/7 basis.

    • Unseen
      Unseen are working towards a world without slavery. Unseen offer specialist care in the fight against slavery. Through supporting survivors, the provision gives them a safe place to recover from trauma and rebuild their lives. Practices are researched thoroughly, enabling identification of the key issues surrounding slavery and exploitation, and equipping ourselves and others with effective, targeted solutions. Unseen also recognise the importance of influencing the systems that keep slavery hidden. Tackling issues such as supply and demand are vital if we are going to eradicate slavery.



  • Office of the Public Guardian Safeguarding Policy: Protecting Vulnerable Adults (2015)
    The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) can investigate concerns about an attorney acting under a registered Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), or a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection. This policy outlines the role and powers of the OPG in relation to safeguarding adults.


  • Pressure Ulcers Safeguarding Adults Protocol (Department of Health and Social Care, 2018)
    This guidance aims to assist practitioners and managers across health and social care services to provide appropriate responses to individuals who are at risk of developing pressure ulcers. Where pressure ulcers do occur the guidance offers a clear process for the clinical management of reducing the risk of harm whilst considering if a safeguarding response under Section 42 of the Care Act is necessary.
  • Prevent - Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (HM Government, 2016)
    The Prevent Strategy is part of the government’s response to counter-terrorism, CONTEST. Its aim is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent offers guidance to authorities on the duty in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
  • Prevention in Adult Safeguarding (PDF) (Social Care Institute of Excellence, 2011)
    This report shares findings from research, policy and practice on prevention in adult safeguarding and presents a wide range of approaches that can help prevent abuse and neglect.


  • Roles and Responsibilities in Health and Care Services (PDF) (Department of Health, Local Government   Association, ADASS, Association of Chief Police Officers, 2013)
    This guidance provides clarity around the roles and responsibilities of the key agencies involved in adult safeguarding. The aim is to ensure that the right things are done by the right people at the right time, working within the own agency and with partners.