Implementing safeguarding and personalisation in social work

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Summary

This paper reports on part of a research study carried out in three local authority adult social care departments in England, which explored links between adult safeguarding and personalisation. The study included statistical analysis of data on safeguarding referrals and the take up of personal budgets and qualitative interviews with managers, social workers, other staff working on safeguarding and with service users. The paper reports the findings from 16 interviews with managers and social workers, highlighting their perspectives and experiences.

Findings

Five main themes emerged from our analysis: contexts and risk factors; views about risks associated with Direct Payments, approaches to minimising risk; balancing risk and choice; and weaving safeguarding and personalisation practice. Social workers identified similar ranges and kinds of risks to those identified in the national evaluation of Individual Budgets. They described a tension between policy objectives and their exercise of discretion to assess and manage risks. For example, some described how they would discourage certain people from taking their personal budget as a Direct Payment or suggest they take only part of a personal budget as a Direct Payment.

Application

This exploratory study supports the continued need for skilled social workers to deliver outcomes related to both safeguarding and personalisation policies. Implementing these policies may entail a new form of ‘care and control’, which may require specific approaches in supervision in order to ensure good practice is fostered and positive outcomes attained.

Stevens, M., Woolham, J., Manthorpe, J., Aspinal, F., Hussein, S., Baxter, K., Samsi, K., Ismail, M. (2018) ‘Implementing safeguarding and personalisation in social work: findings from practice’, Journal of Social Work. 18(1): 3-22.

Image credit: Neil Thomas, unsplash.com

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.

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Director of Analytical Research Ltd, and Affiliate Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Mohamed is trained in engineering (MEng – Cairo University), computer science (MSc – Cairo University) and mathematical finance (MSc – CASS Business School, University of London). Mohamed started his career in in the City of London in 1990s, working as a quantitative analyst for leading global financial organisations, such as Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Mizuho and Credit Suisse, before he began to shift his focus onto quantitative social research. Since 2009, he has worked as an independent researcher in the field of social sciences with a particular drive to make use of different statistical and mathematical modelling techniques for the analysis of large and multi-dispersed data sets.

He has worked with universities in the UK, Europe, Australia and the Middle East; publishing a number of peer-reviewed articles. He has also been invited to give talks and presentations at several leading universities and organisations. His current research interests focus on exploring the potential role of mathematical dynamical systems in the field of population ageing across health and social care. Mohamed is the Director of Analytical Research ltd and an affiliate at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford.