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About this book

Working to safeguard adults is a complex area of practice that requires careful balancing of autonomy, protection and risk. In order to make good, lawful judgements about when and how to intervene, practitioners therefore need to have a comprehensive understanding of how the law applies to safeguarding adults.

In this text book best-selling author Alison Brammer brings together the many strands of adult safeguarding to provide a succinct guide to the legal framework. Designed to equip practitioners with the relevant knowledge for practice, it lays out the current legislation and guidance and applies it to different areas of adult safeguarding, including defining 'abuse', assessing capacity and dealing with cases of criminal law. The book goes on to analyse key examples of serious case reviews, including the cases of Steve Hoskin and Michael Gilbert.

Whether taking a module on Social Work Law or Safeguarding, or a qualified Social Worker, this concise guide to a key aspect of practise is essential reading.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Abstract
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.
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones

2. 1 The Legal and Policy Framework

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This chapter focuses on the key piece of civil legislation that now provides the legal framework for professionals working in adult safeguarding, and its Statutory Guidance. The demands of the legislation are great given the complexity of investigations into adult abuse. Penhale and Parker usefully summarize some of the challenges faced by those investigating adult abuse:
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones

3. 2 Support and Prevention

Abstract
A commitment to the least intrusive intervention in safeguarding entails early consideration of preventive measures and support services (SCIE, 2011). This chapter focuses on the concept of support as a means of preventing initial or further abuse. Support may be provided to the actual or potential victim and to the perpetrator of abuse. In many cases the relationship may include a caring role and an element of mutual dependence and it would be inappropriate to focus solely on the needs of one person. The emphasis on preventing abuse was clearly stated in No Secrets:
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones

4. 3 Criminal Law and Safeguarding

Abstract
It is clear that some forms of abuse may constitute criminal behaviour in terms of meeting the elements of a criminal offence. Such classification inevitably means that the police will have a major role to play, alongside any other appropriate safeguarding measures. Even if an incident is not prosecuted, the police should play their part in joint investigations and can provide support and expertise in investigating cases. A properly led police interview is most likely to gather relevant and usable information in accordance with rules of evidence upon which to mount a possible prosecution. The guidance continues to explain:
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones

5. 4 Capacity and Safeguarding

Abstract
In safeguarding work a key question will be whether the victim of abuse has capacity to make their own decisions. Generally speaking, where an adult has capacity and can be described as free to make autonomous decisions, the law will not interfere in the absence of any criminal behaviour. For safeguarding cases where the adult may lack capacity, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is relevant.
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones

6. 5 Regulation

Abstract
Appropriate regulation of the workforce and of relevant settings is an important aspect of prevention and measure of accountability. The law has developed mechanisms designed to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable adults (and children) and to reinforce good recruitment practices. Nevertheless, there remain some unregulated areas as identified in Chapter 2 regarding PAs. The CQC holds responsibility for the inspection and regulation of adult care services. The work of the regulator and its relationship with safeguarding teams has a vital role in safeguarding practice, although concerns have been expressed about a ‘lack of clarity about responsibilities’ (CSCI, 2008:16). Despite the existence of a regulatory body, it seems that awareness of abuse is often reliant on the actions of whistleblowers. The chapter therefore includes discussion of the scheme of employment protection for whistleblowers together with the campaigning work of Public Concern at Work (PCAW).
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones

7. 6 Other Legal Provision

Abstract
Given the nature of the range and diversity of law which may be relevant to safeguarding adults it is perhaps not surprising to find a chapter which sweeps up provisions that fall beyond the key areas already discussed of prevention, criminal law, capacity and regulation. The relevance of some of the issues discussed in this chapter may not be immediately apparent, yet they offer some important options.
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones

8. 7 Messages From Safeguarding Adults Reviews

Abstract
This chapter considers the role and impact of a number of safeguarding adults reviews (formerly serious case reviews) concerning vulnerable adults. It begins with discussion of Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs), firstly, due to their involvement with safeguarding adults reviews and, secondly, recognizing that a key recommendation of many of the reviews is the need to strengthen multi-agency communication and SABs have a pivotal role to play in that issue:
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones

9. 8 Conclusion: Key Developments Across The UK

Abstract
This chapter offers some concluding thoughts in relation to the law and safeguarding adults, particularly following legislative reform. The chapter closes with a table comparing the law reforms in England and Wales with the legislative framework provided by the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007.
Alison Brammer, Laura Pritchard-Jones
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