Safeguarding Ireland was established to promote safeguarding of adults who may be vulnerable, protect them from all forms of abuse by persons, organisations and institutions and develop a national plan for promoting their welfare. This will be achieved by promoting inter-sectoral collaboration, developing public and professional awareness and education, and undertaking research to inform policy, practice and legislation in the Republic of Ireland.
Adult safeguarding issues in Ireland
Sadly, examples of adult safeguarding issues occur in Ireland on a daily basis. Some are the subject of close media scrutiny, others occur in the privacy of a person’s own home or within one of Ireland’s health and social care services. Abuse against those who are vulnerable can be perpetrated by a range of people, from strangers to a family member.
In a Red C Poll commissioned by Safeguarding Ireland, half of the respondents reported that a vulnerable adult close to them had experienced abuse. This should not be acceptable in any society and certainly not in a developed democracy such as Ireland.
Our vision and strategic plan
In December 2017, Safeguarding Ireland published its first Strategic Plan which spans a five‐year period until the end of 2021. The Strategic Plan sets out our core objectives which are:
- to raise public understanding of attitudes, behaviours, circumstances and systems that create vulnerability that may result in abuse, and that may require a safeguarding response
- to promote the protection and rights of people who may be vulnerable, by encouraging organisations and services to recognise, prevent and deal with exploitation and abuse effectively
- to inform and influence Government policy and legislation to safeguard the rights of people who may be vulnerable to optimise its collective capacity and available external resources to achieve its aims and objectives.
Patricia Rickard Clarke, 2019
Safeguarding Ireland Independent Chairperson
Safeguarding Ireland has now been established (through a company limited by guarantee – National Safeguarding Ireland), with the support of its main funder the HSE, to provide a strong governance base and oversight structure for all future inter-sectoral work relating to safeguarding of vulnerable adults pending the envisaged introduction of adult safeguarding legislation by 2025. It also has responsibility for developing a new Strategic Plan to build on the Strategic Plan first developed through the loosely based National Safeguarding Committee (2015-2019).
Safeguarding Ireland does not deal with specific cases of abuse, or alleged abuse.
The HSE has a social work service that you can contact if you have a concern about a vulnerable adult who may be at risk of abuse. There are nine teams located throughout the country. You can find information on how to get in touch with them on the Contact page.