Making safeguarding personal

Adult safeguarding means protecting adults from abuse or neglect. Safeguarding is for adults who are aged 18 or over and appear to have care and support needs – when they are unable to protect themselves.

Adult safeguarding enquiries

When we think an adult is at risk of being harmed, we may need to start an enquiry. Enquiries are where we ask the person questions and get information from any professionals or people involved to help reduce harm or the risk of harm.

Read the Care Act 2014 to find out more about enquiries.

‘No decision about me, without me’

Throughout an enquiry, we keep the person central to decision making. This approach is called Making Safeguarding Personal. It means we speak to the person to find out:

  • how they feel
  • what they want to happen next (also called desired outcomes)
  • the best way to keep them safe and make their life better.

For the person at risk of abuse, an enquiry helps to:

  • reduce harm or risk of harm
  • keep the person at the heart of the enquiry
  • make sure the person is involved in every decision.

Sometimes the person being assessed lacks the ability to make a decision for themselves about the harm they may have been experiencing.

When this is the case, we may need to consider acting in that person’s best interests. We will do this by working with them or their representatives to decide what should happen next.

Together, we will look for the best way to promote their safety.

How we gather information for safeguarding enquiries

As part of an adult social care safeguarding enquiry, we may need to gather information from other people and professionals. This helps us to best support the individual.

Adult social care always tries to respect the person’s wishes. But, sometimes, we need to share information with other agencies. You can find out the reasons why we may need to do this on our adult safeguarding privacy notice page.

We will update the individual or their representative about the enquiry. And, if needed, we talk about the enquiry with people close to the situation. This helps make sure everyone understands any decisions made.

Other helpful safeguarding resources

If you're a practitioner, download this webpage (PDF, 176.7 KB) and our feedback questionnaire as a printable PDF.

Concerns about a specific person or enquiries

Concerned about an enquiry? Contact the named Adult Social Care Community Team or:


At the end of the safeguarding enquiry, we would love feedback about your experience of the enquiry process.

You can give feedback verbally or in writing to the person carrying out the safeguarding investigation or you can now give feedback easily and quickly using our online feedback form.

Give feedback

Feedback on working with adults at risk of harm helps us understand the impact our work has on people living a life in a safer environment and helps us make changes to how Kent residents experience adult social care.