If you think an adult is at risk or being neglected

Please contact:

  • Emergency Social Care Service - 0800 731 6969 (free phone) at any time outside normal office hours
  • the police by calling 101 or in an emergency 999
  • any Health Professional including your GP
  • a carer and/or support worker.

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 was introduced in October 2008. It provides duties, powers and measures for the support and protection of adults who may be at risk of harm.

In the case of adults, they may be being abused because they cannot safeguard their own wellbeing, property, rights or interests, putting them at risk of harm. Alternatively, they may be affected by a physical or mental disability, illness or infirmity making them more vulnerable to being harmed.

Under this Act an 'adult at risk' means a person aged sixteen or over who:

  • is unable to safeguard their own wellbeing, property rights or other interests

  • because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical and mental infirmity, is more vulnerable to being harmed then those not so affected.

Both of the above criteria need to apply to identify an individual as an 'adult at risk of harm'.

An adult is at risk of harm if:

  • another person's conduct is causing or is likely to cause the adult to be harmed, or
  • the adult is engaging or is likely to engage in conduct which is likely to cause self-harm.

Harm includes all harmful conduct:

  • conduct which causes physical harm
  • conduct which causes psychological harm (e.g. by causing fear, alarm and distress)
  • unlawful conduct which appropriates or adversely affects property, rights or interests (e.g. theft, fraud, embezzlement or extortion)
  • conduct which causes 'self-harm'.

We all have a responsibility to report whether we 'know or believe' an adult to be at risk of harm.

Adult support and protection guidelines / procedures