Meaning of “Adult Protection”
Adult Protection is an umbrella term used to describe a field of practice that involves preventing, reporting, investigating and intervening in situations of suspected abuse, neglect, and self-neglect of vulnerable adults.
In British Columbia, the Adult Guardianship Act designates agencies to receive reports of abuse, neglect or self-neglect and have an obligation to determine if vulnerable adults are able to seek support and assistance. Staff of a Designated Agency can intervene and protect a vulnerable adult if there are concerns that the adult is unable to seek support and assistance.
When protecting vulnerable adults, the Designated Agency has an obligation to find balance between adults’ rights to autonomy and safety. Adult protection is the process of considering the “whole person” and their individual context. The guiding principles and presumptions in the Adult Guardianship Act are to be followed in all reports despite which legislative tool is being considered to provide support to the adult.