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Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable adults is defined as:
· protecting them from maltreatment
· preventing impairment of service users health or development
· Ensuring that vulnerable adults are living in environments consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
Adult protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific service users who are suffering, or are likely to suffer significant harm. Effective protection is essential as part of wider work to safeguard and promote the welfare of clients. However, all agencies and individuals should aim to proactively safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable adults so that the need for action to protect them from harm is reduced.
Some of the most common prevention interventions for vulnerable adults include training and education of vulnerable adults and staff on abuse in order to help them to recognise and respond to abuse. Other approaches include: identifying people at risk of abuse; awareness training; information, advice and advocacy; policies and procedures; community links; legislation and regulation.
The publication of No secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multiagency
Policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse (DH) in 2000 was a landmark in setting up a framework for adult safeguarding. It emphasised the importance of inter-agency working and established that local authorities should lead on adult safeguarding. Its agenda was set largely by the incidents of serious abuse revealed over the previous decade, resulting in a focus on ensuring that agencies be alert to the signs of abuse taking place and respond appropriately.

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