Safeguarding Adults: Listening and Learning Seminar

Tuesday 19 June 2012, 1.00PM to 15:30

Speaker(s): Jill Manthorpe, Professor of Social Work, Kings College London and Caroline White, University of Hull

Presenting recent research and related findings and exploring their potential implementation in policy and practice. This seminar is aimed at staff with policy, operational or training responsibilities for the development and delivery in adult's social work and social care services, as well as those working in health, housing and other related support services.

Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) in respect of vulnerable adults, inquiries conducted by English adult protection or safeguarding boards at local level when harm or death has occurred, have been little scrutinised. There has been little exploration of their content, process, analysis or recommendations. This research included an analysis of 22 SCR reports exploring a range of factors . Reflections on SCRs were provided in the context of the current review of adult safeguarding policy in England.

The aim of the study was to analyse the commissioning and conduct of a sample of SCRs, many of which had not been made available to professional audiences or discussed in the public domain, and to consider the degree of transparency surrounding the conduct of each review. Recommendations in the reports were analysed to identify any points in common. Previous research and consultation revealed support for a national collation of SCR recommendations to facilitate learning and to avoid repetition of errors. From examining a small sample of reports, the evidence from this study is that, although the purpose of such reviews is well understood, the reports themselves often lack transparency about their purpose and activities.

Serious case reviews may be commissioned where serious abuse or neglect have occurred and provide opportunities to learn lessons and improve future practice. In addition to learning from past failings, an important challenge in adult safeguarding is to explore how abuse and neglect can be prevented from occurring at all. No Secrets highlighted the importance of prevention, noting that agencies’ primary aim should be to prevent abuse wherever possible. Research studies will be presented which aimed to contribute to the protection of adults in residential services through contributing to our understanding of the kinds of service environments and cultures in which abuse is likely to flourish. The studies identified a range of early indicators of concern in services for people with learning disabilities and older adults. Such indicators can help practitioners and families who visit services to identify individuals who are at serious risk of abuse and harm, and to take action to reduce risks and prevent the onset of abuse.

Location: University of York

Admission: FREE to subscribing agencies. See flyer


Telephone: 01904 321237

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