Challenging times ahead for agencies

The increasing number of older people in the Borders will be a ‘challenge’ for the adult protection agencies, councillors have been told.

Jim Wilson, independent chair of the child protection committee, said: “The increase in the ageing population, placing greater stress on carers and an increase in the number of people with complex needs will present challenges.”

But he added: “There is a clear commitment across all agencies to working in partnership to protect adults at risk of harm.”

Mr Wilson was speaking after the presentation of the annual reports on adult and child protection work. They revealed that during 2012/13, 1,058 referrals were made where an adult was suspected of being at risk of harm. This resulted in 189 investigations, lower than the previous year, but still higher than the four-year average.

Most concerns related to people with learning disabilities and older people, with financial and physical abuse the most frequent forms of harm reported.

A total of 88 children were on the child protection register between August 2012 and July 2013, from almost 500 referrals.Most cases related to concerns about emotional abuse and neglect.