Citation Mackay K (2018) The UK policy context for safeguarding adults: rights-based v public protection?. In: MacIntyre G, Stewart A & McCusker P (eds.) Safeguarding Adults: Key Themes and Issues. London: Palgrave, pp. 35-52. https://www.macmillanihe.com/page/detail/Safeguarding-Adults/?K=9781137381002
Abstract First paragraph: Adult safeguarding policy is an acknowledgment by governments that they have responsibilities towards a range of adults who may be at risk of harm and who may be unable to safeguard themselves due to poor mental health, cognitive impairment, disability or physical infirmity1. It is multi-agency in nature as it requires engagement by social care, police, health, housing and regulatory agencies. It also overlaps with other policy streams such as domestic violence. However this chapter narrows down its exploration of the context to the core functions of the identification, investigation and possible intervention into the individual lives of adults at risk of harm. This means looking at its situation within general social care and health provision and of its interaction with mental capacity and mental health legislation for adults who may require compulsory legal orders to support and protect them. Underlying this complex area of law and policy are questions around if, when, why and how governments choose to intervene in the lives of adults (Mackay, 2008; Stewart, 2012). For example what responsibility does a government have towards its adult citizens with care and support needs? How do governments balance individual human rights with protection of that adult or of others? Such questions lead us to look not only at political views but also the views of society at large and the attention the media gives to adult safeguarding.