The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 provides new measures to identify and protect individuals who fall into the category of ‘adults at risk’.
An ‘adult at risk’ of harm is defined as a person aged over 16 who may be unable to protect themselves from someone harming them, or from exploitation or neglect, because of a disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity.
The main measures introduced by the Act are:
- placing a duty on councils to make the necessary inquiries and investigations to establish whether or not further action is required to stop or prevent harm occurring
- a requirement for specified public bodies, including the health service, to co-operate with local councils and each other about adult protection investigations
- a range of protection orders including assessment orders, removal orders and banning orders
- a duty for councils to provide appropriate services, including independent advocacy, to support adults where an intervention under the Act is considered to be necessary.
- the establishment of multi-disciplinary Adult Protection Committees. These committees are responsible for overseeing local adult protection polices in their area and will each produce a biennial report on the exercise of the Committee’s functions. They will also provide advice and information to those involved in adult protection work.
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