Protection of vulnerable adults has received increasing attention in recent years. This study set out to identify the views of support staff about what vulnerability means and how this might impact on their practice. The author used data from a previous study in which support staff views had been explored.
The author used semi-structured interviews to explore the views of respondents.
The findings suggested that most informants felt that people with learning disabilities were all vulnerable. This definition of vulnerability allowed staff authority to take protective measures therefore to ensure safety.
The author concludes that this “desire to introduce protective measures however may result in people with learning disabilities being denied the right to self-determination, thereby limiting their enjoyment of some life experiences and lessening the excitement of life that others take for granted.”
What does vulnerability mean? , Parley F., in British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39: 266–276