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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Models of Organising Adult Safeguarding

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JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Feb 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jun 2017
Issue number4
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)1205-1223
Early online date7/05/16
Original languageEnglish


Professionals express divergent views about whether adults at risk are best served by safeguarding work being incorporated into social workers’ casework or being undertaken by specialist workers within local area or centralised teams. This paper draws on findings from the final two phases of a three-phase study which aimed to identify a typology of different models of organising adult safeguarding and compare the advantages and disadvantages of these. We used mixed-methods to investigate four different models of organising adult safeguarding which we termed: A) Dispersed-Generic, B) Dispersed-Specialist, C) Partly-Centralised-Specialist and D) Fully-Centralised-Specialist. In each model, we analysed staff interviews (n = 38), staff survey responses (n = 206), feedback interviews (with care home managers, solicitors and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates) (n = 28), Abuse of Vulnerable Adults (AVA) Returns, Adult Social Care User Survey Returns (ASCS) and service costs. This paper focuses on qualitative data from staff and feedback interviews and the staff survey. Our findings focus on safeguarding as a specialism, safeguarding practice (including multi-agency working, prioritisation, tensions, handover, staff confidence and deskilling) and managing safeguarding. Local authority (LA) participants described and commented on the advantages and disadvantages of their organisational model. Feedback interviews offered different perspectives on safeguarding services and implications of different models.

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© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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