The abuse of vulnerable adults is unacceptable. It is never justified.
New legislation was passed in South Australia in 2018 to establish the Adult Safeguarding Unit with a focus on preventing and responding to abuse of vulnerable adults in South Australia.
The Adult Safeguarding Unit complements the role of other government bodies. It provides the community with an approachable, empowered body with responsibility and accountability for receiving and responding to reports of actual or suspected abuse of adults at risk of harm.
Anyone who suspects that an adult is at risk of abuse will be able to report their concerns to the Adult Safeguarding Unit once it is operational later in 2019.
Where a call meets the remit of the Adult Safeguarding Unit, the Unit will have responsibility and accountability for assessing and responding to reports of current actual or suspected abuse of people aged 65 and over, or 50 and over for people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Responses could include an investigation (information gathering), a referral to more appropriate organisations, or no further action (if appropriate).
The Code of Practice will guide how the Adult Safeguarding Unit responds to those who are the subject of a report, the person making a report or an organisation to which the Unit will send a referral.
This consultation follows a previous engagement on YourSAy where the community was invited to provide input into the Adult Safeguarding Unit Regulations.