Adult Safeguarding Unit

The Adult Safeguarding Unit (ASU) became operational on 1 October 2019. It is located in the Office for Ageing Well and has a strong focus on safeguarding the rights of adults at risk of abuse.

The ASU responds to concerns of abuse in relation to adults vulnerable to abuse aged 65 years and over, and 50 years and over for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people and adults living with a disability. From October 2022, the ASU will work with all adults who may be vulnerable to abuse.

Key functions of the ASU include:

  • providing confidential information and advice to callers concerned about themselves or someone who may be vulnerable to abuse

  • responding to reports of suspected or actual abuse of adults who may be vulnerable to abuse

  • raising community awareness of strategies to safeguard the rights of adults who may be at risk of abuse

  • providing support to safeguard the rights of adults experiencing abuse, tailored to their needs, wishes and circumstances.

Anyone with questions or concerns about a situation can contact the ASU for free confidential advice, information and support.

Reporting suspected or actual abuse to the ASU is voluntary. Once a report has been made, the ASU will assess the report to determine the most appropriate action.

Actions may include:

  • referring the matter to another more relevant service,

  • gathering more information about the situation

  • work with the person to develop a safeguarding plan.

In providing a safeguarding response, the ASU complements the role of other organisations and government bodies, rather than duplicates services.

The ASU works positively with and for the adult at risk of abuse, to preserve relationships that are important to them. At all times, the ASU balances the need to intervene, with the adult’s right to autonomy and self-determination. In most cases, consent of the adult at risk is sought before any safeguarding action is taken.