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Kent and Medway SAB

What is Making Safeguarding Personal?

"No decision about me without me" 

Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is about professionals working with adults at risk to ensure that they are making a difference to their lives. Considering, with them, what matters to them so that the interventions are personal and meaningful. It should empower, engage and inform individuals so that they can prevent and resolve abuse and neglect in their own lives and build their personal resilience. It must enhance their involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.

It is not “just another process”, it underpins all your interactions and involvement with the adult at risk. Processes should fit around the person to ensure that the persons views remain central in the safeguarding journey.

What does MSP look like in practice?

MSP applies to the whole safeguarding process, which starts at the point where someone thinks there is potential abuse.

  • Speak to the adult at risk.
  • Ask for their opinion, record their views as they have expressed them and work with them to help them achieve the outcomes that are best for them.
  • Focus on individuals' strengths (including personal strengths and social and community networks).
  • Make sure you find out who else they would like to be involved or spoken to as part of the process.
  • Consider if the adult at risk requires a representative or advocate and, if so, ensure that representative/advocate is involved as well.
  • Make sure the adult at risk understands any options open to them and that they understand why some options may not be available or are unachievable.
  • Develop plans with the adult at risk to reduce or remove risks, including any immediate risks of harm.
  • Should a person decide to remain living with the risk, make sure the person understands this and any actions they can take to maximise their safety.

Professional Curiosity and MSP

  • Professional curiosity should be used to ensure that someone isn’t pushing professionals away because they are influenced, coerced or controlled by someone else.
  • Professionals should use their own intuition about the circumstances in which a concern has been raised about the possibility of abuse or neglect.
  • Someone may say they don’t want support to protect themselves for a range of reasons, for example they don’t trust agencies or have no confidence in them.
  • Professionals should persevere and establish trust with people to support them to minimise any impact of unwise decisions on their health and well-being.

MSP is not …

  • An excuse to close our involvement with someone if they say they don’t want anything to happen. Professional curiosity should be used to ensure that someone isn’t pushing professionals away.
  • A tick box exercise or a separate process; it underpins all contact and work with adults at risk.
  • Just chatting with an Adult at Risk – conversations should be focused on establishing the adult’s wishes and reasoning behind those wishes. It is about using good communications skills to engage with people who may find the process difficult and distressing. 
  • Unsuitable for those that lack Mental Capacity – conversations should still be had with the adult at risk or their representative.
  • Your interpretation of what you think they want or just what you think is best for them.


 Always remember the 6 Principles of the Care Act 2014