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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A different kind of practice? Meanings attached by practitioners to the category of "adult protection"
Author(s): Sherwood-Johnson, Fiona
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Keywords: abuse
adult protection
conceptual issues
practice knowledge
adult safeguarding
social constructionism
Issue Date: Sep-2014
Date Deposited: 8-Jan-2013
Citation: Sherwood-Johnson F (2014) A different kind of practice? Meanings attached by practitioners to the category of "adult protection". Journal of Social Work, 14 (5), pp. 473-490.
Abstract: Summary: This paper began with an observation made during re-analysis of the dataset from a study of Scottish adult support and protection practice. Namely, different practitioners could mean different things when they said they had been doing "adult protection" work. For this paper, therefore, practitioners' conceptualisations of adult protection work were hypothesised inductively from the dataset, and refined into categories through a process of constant comparison, open and axial coding. The dataset comprised material from case files and practitioner interviews relating to 23 "adults at risk". Findings: When practitioners said they had been doing "adult protection" work, they could mean that: a)they perceived themselves to have been responding to abuse, harm or high risk; and/or b)they were adopting a certain formal, even coercive tone of work; and/or c)they had formally flagged the work as adult protection, including through the use of procedures. Practitioners drew on and combined these meanings in different ways. They also varied in the extent to which they saw adult protection as a distinctive type of practice and/or as different from what had gone before. Applications: Support and protection work involves nuanced judgements about the nature and intentions of policy, about how these relate to particular situations and about how best to translate them into practice. Time and support is required for this complex work. Further research is needed to deepen understandings of the practice context, particularly with respect to risk. Policy-makers should engage with such research as they continue to develop adult protection/safeguarding policies.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1468017313479857
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of Social Work September 2014 vol. 14 no. 5 473-490 by SAGE.

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