Making Safeguarding Personal

Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is a sector led initiative which aims to develop an outcomes focus to safeguarding work, and a range of responses to support people to improve or resolve their circumstances.


It is about engaging with people about the outcomes they want at the beginning and middle of working with them, and then ascertaining the extent to which those outcomes were realised at the end.

The work is supported by LGA with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care and other national partners. 

MSP seeks to achieve:

  • A personalised approach that enables safeguarding to be done with, not to, people
  • Practice that focuses on achieving meaningful improvement to people's circumstances rather than just on ‘investigation' and ‘conclusion'
  • An approach that utilises social work skills rather than just ‘putting people through a process'
  • An approach that enables practitioners, families, teams and SABs to know what difference has been made

Making Safeguarding Personal 2017 – 2019

As part of our 2017-19 support programme we have published details of a range of audio visual resources following the recommendations of the MSP Temperature Check.


Making Safeguarding Personal 2015 – 2017

ADASS commissioned a ‘temperature check’ to assess the progress of MSP in local areas, as well as to help and encourage people to embed it within their authorities and with their boards and partners. When compared to previous MSP evaluations, the results revealed a positive picture of dedication and innovation. The vast majority of those interviewed had built MSP into their mainstream services and were achieving better outcomes for people needing care and support who had experienced abuse or neglect. However some areas are still struggling to make headway with MSP, some have stalled and the approach itself has only gained limited traction within partner agencies such as the police and NHS.

The check itself was very wide-ranging, achieving coverage of 76 per cent of English local authorities through in depth interviews with their safeguarding leads. The comprehensive recommendations offer a practical way forward and many examples of good practice are given.


Making Safeguarding Personal 2014/15

Linking into the implementation of the Care Act and other sector led priorities for safeguarding adults, many councils are now exploring how to mainstream the MSP approach to safeguarding practice and policy. This evaluation of MSP activity in 2014/15 was commissioned from Research in Practice for Adults and funded by the Department of Health through the LGA. The evaluation contains some key recommendation service planning and delivery:

  • explore how to enable good outcomes for people by working with them through the safeguarding process in a timely way rather than one constrained by timescales
  • look at how to improve practice by supporting a range of methods for staff learning and development, particularly in relation to social work and legal options to enable people to reach resolution and recovery
  • learn through sharing good practice
  • develop recording systems can evaluate impact of Making Safeguarding Personal in order to understand what works well
  • use the Care Act to lever broader culture change and ensure partners' commitment to that change through the Safeguarding Adults Board.

The evaluation provides a further set of 27 specific recommendations that focus on work with people, practice and partners.

Making Safeguarding Personal 2014/15 - Evaluation report
Making Safeguarding Personal 2014/15 - Evaluation report - executive summary


Making Safeguarding Personal 2013-14

Making Safeguarding Personal worked with 53 councils in 2013-14. Most participating councils have said that introducing person-centred, outcome-based practice to safeguarding is a cultural change that needs wide ownership. It feeds into a much broader context and strategies for safeguarding, risk enablement and social work practice as a whole. Forty-three councils state that they have begun to see real benefits to people who needed the support of safeguarding services as well as better social work practice. A summary report of the findings and possible implication for safeguarding practice has been published alongside a range of tools and case studies and these are available below.

Making Safeguarding Personal - Guide 2014
Making Safeguarding Personal 2013-14 Executive Summary
Making Safeguarding Personal 2013-14 full report
Making Safeguarding Personal 2013-2014 - Case Studies
Making Safeguarding Personal 2013-2014 - Selection of tools used by participating councils


Making Safeguarding Personal 2012-13

The Making Safeguarding Personal development project is run by the LGA and key partners to draws together the findings from four test bed sites and other councils that are using or developing person-centred, outcome focused responses to safeguarding adults. The project has provided valuable information on what councils are already doing. It starts to explore and identify what works in individual council areas and some of the challenges experienced and outlines some key messages for the sector in their work locally. Perhaps more importantly, it starts to raise questions about whether a person-centred, outcome focused, approach could be more cost effective, than a professionally led, process driven one.

Making Safeguarding Personal 2012-13 Executive Summary (4 pages, 344KB)
Making Safeguarding Personal 2012-13 full report (PDF, 24 pages, 561KB)


A toolkit of responses

The making safeguarding personal toolkit, aimed at councils and their partners, is designed to support and empower people to make difficult decisions. It was prompted by feedback from peer reviews and other sources that people involved in adult safeguarding processes can sometimes feel that they have little control, are not involved in discussions about them and have little say over outcomes.

A range of options will be required to develop a more creative, and personal response. The toolkit covers twelve key areas, some of which are tried and tested and others that have yet to be adapted to an adult safeguarding context, for example restorative justice. As well as providing practical advice the toolkit is intended to be the basis of dialogue with councils, voluntary organisations and academics about developing and evaluating new responses.

If you would like to comment on the toolkit or discuss the development of the responses please join the discussion on the Adult Safeguarding community of practice (CoP). You will need to register for the communities of practice website. This only takes a few minutes.

Making safeguarding personal - a toolkit for responses

Adult Safeguarding Hub