Safeguarding adults has been identified as a key area of social work practice. In terms of recognition and development of practice it is in its infancy compared with, for example, child protection, youth justice or mental health. The aim of this text is to provide a clear and accessible guide to a subject that is not considered in all of the established texts (or in any great detail), and also does not feature as prominently as other areas of practice, notably child protection, on qualifying courses. It is, however, an area which is attracting greater media attention with high-profile cases, such as: the death of Margaret Panting (which resulted in an extension of the crime of causing or allowing the death of a child, to also include vulnerable adults); the death of Steven Hoskin in Cornwall (a man with learning disabilities killed by those who had befriended him), published in a serious case review; and the events at Winterbourne View Hospital, as highlighted in the BBC Panorama documentary.
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