The principles in Section 2 of the Act require that regard, if relevant, be given to the views of others who have an interest in the wellbeing or property of the individual at risk of harm.
This would include the views of the adult's nearest relative, primary carer, a guardian or attorney, and any other person who has an interest in the adult's well-being or property. Cognisance, when weighing the merits of such views, must be taken of any possibility of undue pressure, or increase of risk, if the views of others are sought. It is important that the adult has the option to maintain existing family and social contacts, should they wish to do so.
The Act seeks to provide support additional to that of existent networks. Thus, a person, who may be an adult at risk, might have neighbours, friends or other contacts who have an interest in their wellbeing and are willing to give support (noting the caveat that consideration should be given to whether undue pressure from those contacts is a suspected or known risk factor). Every effort should be made to ensure that action taken under the Act does not have an adverse effect on the adult's relationships.
Are there indicators that the adult is being influenced by someone else they have trust in or depend upon? Is there someone who is either intentionally or unintentionally preventing them from protecting themselves effectively? Or someone who is suspected of harming the adult, of threatening them, or is there someone the adult is afraid of?
Undue pressure may be applied to prevent the person seeking help or to influence the decisions they make which leave them at risk of harm. The outcome may or may not be a direct benefit to the person applying the pressure.
If you know or believe that an adult is at risk of harm you should make a referral. Any subsequent ASP activity undertaken by the council will consider if undue pressure is having an impact on the adult. Any information you can provide about the external influences on the adult will contribute to inquiries and any further action.
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