Preventing abuse in the social care system SCIE report

prevention in adult safeguarding

A new report published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence shares findings from research, policy and practice on prevention in adult safeguarding and presents a wide range of approaches that can help prevent abuse.

The key messages are:

• Prevention of abuse has not always been high on the adult safeguarding agenda, but there is growing consensus about the importance of everyone with an interest in adult care services making efforts to prevent abuse of adult at risk

• Relatively little research exists on the prevention of abuse of adult at risk. What research has been done focuses on people with learning disabilities and older adults, and on institutional settings. Studies tend to be small-scale with little evidence of generalisability

• Effective prevention in safeguarding needs to be broadly defined and should include all social care user groups and service configurations. It does not mean being over-protective or risk-averse

• Some of the most common prevention interventions for adult at risk include training and education of adult at risk and staff on abuse in order to help them to recognise and respond to abuse

• Other approaches include identifying people at risk of abuse, awareness raising, information, advice and advocacy, policies and procedures, community links, legislation and regulation, interagency collaboration and a general emphasis on promoting empowerment and choice

• Prevention needs to take place in the context of person-centred support and personalisation, with individuals empowered to make choices and supported to manage risks.

Prevention in adult safeguarding: SCIE report 41. Social Care Institute for Excellence, May 2011.
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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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