Making safeguarding personal and social work practice with older adults: Findings from local authority survey data in England

Adi Cooper (Lead Author), Christine Cocker, Mike Briggs

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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This article presents the results of a survey of English Local Authorities undertaken in 2016 about the implementation of Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) in adult social care services. MSP is an approach to adult safeguarding practice that prioritises the needs and outcomes identified by the person being supported. The key findings from a survey of Local Authorities are described, emphasising issues for safeguarding older adults, who are the largest group of people who experience adult safeguarding enquiries. The survey showed that social workers are enthusiastic about MSP and suggests that this approach results in a more efficient use of resources. However, implementation and culture change are affected by different factors, including: austerity; local authority systems and structures; the support of leaders, managers and partners in implementing MSP; service capacity; and input to develop skills and knowledge in local authorities and partner organisations. There are specific challenges for social workers in using MSP with older adults, particularly regarding mental capacity issues for service users, communication skills with older people, family and carers, and the need to combat ageism in service delivery. Organisational blocks affecting local authorities developing this ‘risk enabling’ approach to adult safeguarding are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014–1032
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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