The protection of vulnerable adults from abuse as a responsibility of the state is a relatively recent concept and most commentators agree that European policy and practice is some way behind that of Canada and North America (Pritchard, 1999; Juklestad, 2004). In the United Kingdom, the policy framework for practice is only a few years old (DH, 2000) and, despite recent guidance from Directors of Social Services (DH, 2005), best practice in Adult Protection remains a contested and as yet under-researched area.
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