In the City of Dundee, as elsewhere, there are many individuals who require support in order to protect themselves from harm. Their difficulty in doing so may arise because of a disability, infirmity, or an illness, and as a result they may be at risk of physical, sexual, financial or emotional harm or neglect from those who provide services for them, members of the community, or even their own family members.
In response to this situation the Scottish Government passed legislation aimed at improving the quality of support and protection given to individuals at risk of harm. The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 gives Social Work Departments new powers to respond to allegations of harm and to provide effective protection. The Act also aims to ensure that the many different agencies involved in adult support and protection – social work department, the police, the NHS, among others, cooperate fully in adult protection cases.
Among the provisions of the Act was the setting up of Adult Protection Committees throughout Scotland. These committees, including that in Dundee, are responsible for ensuring that the local authority, the police, the NHS and other key agencies such as the Care Commission, work together in an effective and co-ordinated manner to protect at-risk people from harm. The Independent Convenor of the Dundee Committee is myself, Colin McCashey and I can be contacted via Katrina Finnon, Lead Officer to the Adult Support and Protection Committee on 01382 433805 or katrina.fonnondundeecity.gov.uk.
The main message for everyone is that if you see behaviour that is of concern, or you know of an adult who is "at risk of harm", you must pass your concerns on to someone. This could be a police officer, social worker, health visitor, doctor or another person in a responsible role. Alternatively telephone the Social Work First Contact Team on 01382 434019.