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Seminar series: How to help when being hindered?

Join us for the first seminar in our Social Work Seminar Series with Dr. Martin Stevens from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London.

How to help when being hindered? Professional responses when faced with third parties preventing access to adults at risk at home. 

Statutory guidance makes it clear that social workers need to be able to talk with the adult at risk as a key part of safeguarding enquiries. However, in some situations social workers may find it hard or impossible to gain access to the adult at risk, perhaps because third parties either refuse access to the home or do not make it possible to talk to the adult at risk in private. We term these as ‘hinder situations’. This presentation will present findings from recently published research by the Social Care Workforce Research Unit: Helping or Hindering in Adult Safeguarding.

This research aimed to identify evidence about the extent to which social workers in England are being obstructed in their attempts to gain access to an adult at risk during safeguarding enquiries and to explore the policy and practice response in such situations. Legal contexts, including powers of entry will be described and debates and perspectives from participants on the need for more legal powers explored. The presentation will also cover the kinds of practice responses identified, related to governance and guidance contexts. Practitioners discussed approaches to relationship building and negotiation; using creative routes to access, such as identifying other professionals or workers who might have access to the home; and working with social work and professionals from other agencies to gain access and manage risk.

The seminar will finish with a discussion based on summary case stories.