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Adult Safeguarding Conference

16th June 2022

The Southern Local Adult Safeguarding Partnership (LASP) have come together for its fourth Safeguarding Conference.

The Partnership is a group of statutory, independent, community and voluntary sector organisations who work together to raise awareness and support all adults who have experienced abuse, exploitation or neglect.

112 representatives from the statutory, independent and community and faith sectors attended the event themed around Trauma Informed Practice in Adult Safeguarding.

Partner organisations were represented from Housing, PSNI, Women’s Aid, local councils, independent sector providers of nursing and social care, and Southern Trust nursing, social work and AHP services. Attendee’s participation and contribution throughout the day demonstrated a passion for working with adults who need support or protection.

Opening the event, Deborah Hanlon, Southern LASP Chair and Head of Adult Safeguarding for the Southern Trust said, In order to give of our best to those who have experienced traumatic events, it is really important to recognise that this also impacts on us as volunteers, employees, and colleagues. Having space for reflection and self-care is critical for all of us involved in the spectrum of adult safeguarding and adult protection. In many cases, the experiences that impact us the most will shape our practice going forward. As managers and employers, supporting our staff and volunteers being trauma sensitive means making sure we take the time, despite other pressures, to listen properly and allow the processing of feelings and thoughts.”

Keynote speakers at the event included, Sinead O’Neill from the International Crisis Incident Stress Foundation, who spoke about her work in supporting respondersto crisis. The Southern Trust Adult Protection Gateway Team shared a project exploring how adult protection can be improved to achieve better outcomes for the service user, families and staff.

Denise Bradley, Programme Manager for Marginalisation, Corrymeela, shared her work on the development of trauma informed practice as a key peacebuilding mechanism and highlighted the responsibility of agencies to respond with humanity to needs of asylum seekers and refugees within our community.

Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Pat McMahon, shared his wealth of knowledge about supporting adults who have experienced trauma in their lives. He encouraged us to make a difference by addressing trauma in childhood in order to prevent trauma in later life.

Geraldine Patterson, Deputy Head of Service Social Work Training shared her research on Vicarious Trauma on the Workforce and how responding to adult safeguarding can impact staff.

A number of workshops took place in the afternoon showcasing excellent work with adults with learning disabilities who shared their experience of what makes them feel safe; organisational responses to trauma resulting from significant events; finding ways forward in supporting people who assist adults at risk of harm; and understanding the impact of trauma on victims within the criminal justice system.

Brenda Horgan, Chair of the LASP Training workstream closed the conference by extending thanks to those who planned and coordinated the day and for the significant contribution made by presenters and attendees.

If you are worried that someone is at risk or suffering harm or abuse contact the Southern Trust Adult Protection Team:

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm Tel: 028 3756 4423

Evenings, Weekends and Bank Holidays Tel: 028 95049999