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1. Definition of Child and Vulnerable Adult


This section was reviewed and updated in November 2011 when the definition of ‘Vulnerable Adult’ was revised.

The Ashfield District Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures Manual should be read in conjunction with:

Definition of Child

The policy and procedures apply to all children and young people up to the age of 18 years, including unborn babies, who live permanently in the Ashfield District of Nottinghamshire or are temporarily resident here. Within the document the terms “children” or “child” refer to all children and young people up to the age of 18 years.

The fact that a child has become sixteen years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is in the armed forces, in hospital, or in prison or a young offender’s institution, does not change their status or their entitlement to services or their protection under the Children Act 1989.

Definition of Vulnerable Adult

When a young person reaches the age of 18 the responsibility for their well being may transfer to adult service providers. Although they cease to be subject of the Safeguarding Children Procedures, some adults may continue to be vulnerable.

A “vulnerable adult” is defined as any person aged 18 years and over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental health issues, learning or physical disability, sensory impairment, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.

Since the publication of ADSS Best Practice Document: ‘Safeguarding Adults’ (2005), the range of people considered to be vulnerable has been widened to include, people encountering domestic violence, substance misusers and asylum seekers.