Adult safeguarding guide produced to support family carers of people with learning disabilities


As you know, we at Elf towers are committed to making research evidence available in a way that helps people who support people with learning disabilities to be evidence based. However, as well as knowledge based practice, we also recognise that practice based knowledge – what we all learn from our experiences of being supported or supporting people, may well be ahead of the researchers as research can take a long time to plan, carry out and then get published.

We also like to bring to our readers’ attention from time to time, information that is relevant to supporting people with learning disabilities that comes from reputable sources, but may not necessarily be ‘research’ in the strictest terms. To that end, we thought you might like to know about a recent set of publications from Hft’s Family Carer Support Service.

They were launched during Carers’ Week and Learning Disability Week at the end of June, so sorry for being a bit delayed in mentioning them…

They focus on providing information, advice and guidance to families supporting relatives with a learning disability around the issue of safeguarding.

The first of these is ‘Top Tips’ a briefing that sets out a number of things that carers and friends can do to ensure that safeguarding works for their relative with a learning disability to prevent harm from happening in the first place and some things that can be done if things do go wrong.

Then there is ‘The Essential Guide’ which is a longer and more detailed document which sets out  what adult safeguarding means, how to report concerns and dealing with the outcomes. There are also links to a number of resources.

Later in the year, HfT plan to publish a resource pack which will include examples and film clips featuring people’s stories.

Making sure your relative is safe: “Top tips for family carers about ‘safeguarding’ adults with learning disabilities” and
“Family carers’ essential guide to ‘safeguarding’ adults with learning disabilities, Hft and National Family Carer Network

Download both documents here.

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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