Key Legislation

Please find below a list of key legislation relevant for safeguarding adults and/or children.  There is a very brief overview of each act and a link to the full Act.  There is no requirement for staff to read the legislation unless specifically interested.  This section is so staff are aware of the legal framework underpinning safeguarding requirements.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)

Legislation developed to solve the failures identified by the 2004 Bichard Inquiry (Section 19) arising from the Soham murders.  The purpose of the Act is to restrict contact between children and vulnerable adults from those who might do them harm.

Mental Capacity Act (2005)

Its primary purpose is to provide a legal framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of adults who lack the capacity to make particular decisions for themselves. That people’s ability to make decisions for themselves is maximised and that people participate as much as possible with decision making.

Equality Act (2010)

The Equality Act simplifies and consolidates existing discrimination legislation into a single act.

It aims to strengthen protection from discrimination (extending who is covered (protected characteristics) and types of discrimination, such as discrimination by association to a more diverse range of people)

Human Rights Act (1998) 

The Human Rights Act means that convention rights and responsibilities form a common set of binding values for public authorities right across the UK

One of the main aims of the Human Rights Act is that, over time, a shared understanding of what is fundamentally right and wrong will lead to people having more confidence in key state bodies. 

Mental Health Act (2007)

The 2007 Mental Health Act made several key changes to the 1983 Mental Health Act.  The 2007 MHA is largely focused on public protection and risk management making provision for the compulsory detention and treatment of people with mental health problems in England and Wales.

Children’s Act (2004)  

The Children Act 2004 amended the 1989 Children Act and provides the legal basis for how social services and other agencies work together to deal with issues relating to children. The 2004 Act is now the basis for most official administration relevant to children, notably the establishment in local authorities of a Director of children’s services to be accountable for all local government functions of children's welfare and education.

Children and Young Persons Act (2008)

The main purpose of The Children and Young Person Act 2008 is to extend the existing framework of children in care in England and Wales and to make sure the care they receive is well supported, of high quality and tailored to their needs.

The act also aims to improve the stability of placements for children and young people in care whilst also improving their educational experience and achievements'.

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