Everyone in society has a responsibility to protect and safeguard children and adults from abuse and neglect.
Launching National Safeguarding Week, the Minister said people who have suffered abuse and neglect are encouraged to come forward and share their experiences with the appropriate authorities, so that society learn and recognise the signs to prevent abuse happening in the future.
Last year, a new law was introduced in Wales – the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act – which strengthens existing safeguarding arrangements for children by placing on relevant partners, such as the NHS, Police, Probation and youth offending teams, a duty to report where they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is at risk.
The Act introduces parallel provisions for relevant partners to report to the local authority someone suspected to be an adult at risk of abuse or neglect. This is supplemented by a new duty for the local authority to make enquires to determine whether any action is required to safeguard adults at risk.
Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies said:
“The abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults is not acceptable, and its prevention is a major priority for the Welsh Government. That’s why we’ve introduced a new law that strengthens the arraignments for safeguarding children and adults in Wales.
“It’s vitally important that we encourage people who have suffered abuse and neglect to come forward and share their experiences with the appropriate authorities, so that everyone can learn and recognise the signs if someone is being abused, and to prevent it happening in the future.
“Each and every one of us in Wales has a responsibility for keeping people safe from harm and neglect.”
Safeguarding Boards in Wales have designated the week commencing 13 November as Safeguarding Week.
The Minister added:
“I welcome Safeguarding Week as an opportunity to recognise the work of frontline staff and to raise awareness of the role everybody has to play in safeguarding both children and adults.”