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Policies, procedures and forms

Policies, procedures and forms for use in safeguarding adults and adult protection.

Safeguarding Adults policies and procedures

Professionals need to be familiar with the multi-agency policies and procedures which are regularly updated. This document is currently under review.

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Risk Threshold Tool

The Risk Threshold Tool provides a guide for all professionals concerned about an individual in County Durham and helps decide on the seriousness of abuse, neglect and self-neglect and whether to report it to Social Care Direct in line with your agency's procedures.

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Risk Threshold Tool Icon for pdf Risk Threshold Tool 2016 (PDF, 156.5kb)

Risk Factor recording sheet

The recording sheet complements our Risk Threshold Tool and the two can be used together to inform decision making. 

The tool supports practitioners in their decision making concerning risk associated with abuse and neglect, and aids risk management decisions in respect of service users who may have caused the harm. It can easily be adapted to focus on 'risk potential'.

Alternatively, the eight risk factor areas in the recording sheet can help to support defensible recording when key decisions are being made associated with the management of risk.

Cover of documentDownloadable PDF of document
Risk factors recording sheet Icon for pdf Risk factors recording sheet 2016 (PDF, 55.0kb)

Skin Damage Toolkit

A user friendly guide to help you decide whether to make a Safeguarding referral or not when someone has some form of skin damage.  It is useful to use alongside the Risk Threshold Tool.

Provider forms

The Checklist for Providers Dealing with a Safeguarding Concern is a series of prompts and questions to manage a safeguarding concern.

Safeguarding enquiry actions for providers is a guide to support a S42 enquiry into a safeguarding adults concern.

Referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

If you dismiss or remove a person from Regulated Activity (or you would have done so had they not left) because they have harmed or posed a risk of harm to a child, or to an adult receiving Regulated Activity, then you have a legal duty to refer the person to the DBS.

To make a referral:

Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) Protocol

The SAR protocol sets out the criteria and purpose of SARs as well as the requirements upon agencies to make referrals where appropriate and participate in such reviews. This policy should be utilised as a reference tool to support effective working between statutory and relevant partners of the LSAB, inform local decision-making processes and serve as a basis for best practice. 

Safeguarding Adult Review Referral Form

The duty to undertake a SAR rests with the Local Safeguarding Adults Board. To submit a SAR for consideration, please contact us on the email below to request a SAR referral form.


Advocacy is about speaking for and representing someone who cannot speak for themselves, or supporting someone to speak for themselves.

Care Act Advocacy

Care Act advocacy must be arranged for an independent advocate to represent and support an adult who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR), if the person would have substantial difficulty in being involved, there is no one else who is suitable, and the person consents to the representative or if they lack capacity the local authority is satisfied it is in their best interests (A person would not be suitable as an advocate if they are providing care or treatment, or are suspected of involvement in abuse or neglect, have a conflict of interest, or are unable to do it).

Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy

An IMCA may be arranged by a local authority or NHS organisation to support someone who lacks capacity to make decisions about adult protection, even if there are family and friends who can be consulted.

IMCAs must be appointed and consulted to support someone who lacks capacity and has no one else to support them (other than paid staff) when moving to a care home for more than 8 weeks or hospital for more than 28 days, for a deprivation of liberty, and for serious medical treatment. An IMCA may be instructed to support someone who lacks capacity to make decisions concerning care reviews, where no one else other than paid staff is available to be consulted.

From July 2023 Advocacy in County Durham is provided by Cloverleaf Advocacy Service.

Seriously Vulnerable Individuals

This procedure covers adults who are at risk of serious harm or death, and where the adult at risk does not fall within safeguarding under the Care Act or other existing partner agency processes/ multi-agency processes. This procedure does not replace existing multi-agency processes and is not a substitute for processes such as Safeguarding and Adult Protection Procedures, MAPPA, MARAC, and Channel (prevent multi-agency meeting).

Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Violence (DASH 2009) Risk Model for Co Durham

The SafeLives DASH Model has been adapted by Safe Durham Partnership for multi-agency use within County Durham and is now a standalone document (it is also at the end of the MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) referral form).

When someone is subjected to domestic abuse, it's vital to make an accurate and fast assessment of the danger they're in, so they can get the right help as quickly as possible. The DASH Risk Model is an assessment checklist to identify level of risk and enable appropriate safety planning to manage risk. DASH Risk Model assessment can be completed with all victim-survivors including those in intimate relationships, those at risk from ex-partners, and those at risk from family members and relatives.

The DASH Risk Model assessment also forms part of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) referral process and documentation.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

A Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference, MARAC is a regular local confidential meeting to plan how to help people at high risk of murder or serious harm in domestic abuse situations and address their ongoing safety.

An Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA), the Police, Adult Social Care, Children's Social Care, NHS agencies and other relevant agencies all sit around the same table. This is a forum where agencies can share concerns about high-risk victims of domestic abuse. Any worker who is concerned about a victim of domestic abuse can refer to MARAC. The process also enables effective information sharing, thus identifying risk that may previously have not been readily identified by the initial responding agency.

A DASH Risk Model assessment must be completed and sent with the completed MARAC referral form.

Please note this email address for all MARAC correspondence and referrals:

Safe Lives resources can support good practice at MARAC meetings.

For MARAC training see the Training page.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) are to address and manage violent and sexual offenders living in the community who pose a serious risk of harm.  The Police, Prison Services and Probation work with other agencies to protect the public.

MAPPA arrangements were introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. 

Statutory safeguarding agencies have a duty to act co-operatively to protect life and limb and public interest, and to share information about a particular offender who presents significant risk.

In a safeguarding enquiry the lead officer may need to check if partner MAPPA agencies have information to share.

Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation (Adults) at a Glance

Modern Slavery is a type of abuse recognised in the Care and Support Statutory Guidance. Sometimes sexual exploitation is human trafficking, a form of Modern Slavery. A guide has been developed by the Safeguarding Adults Board which includes referral pathways for Modern Slavery and sexual exploitation.

Child and Adult Victims of Exploitation

The NWG have issued a toolkit which details disruption opportunities when dealing with the exploitation of both child and adult victims. This toolkit aims to provide guidance for relevant agencies, to assist in combatting exploitation. It provides a menu of options to consider in developing disruption and safeguarding plans.  

  • Contact the NWG for more information.