Making safeguarding personal
Making Safeguarding Personal is a key practice principle that has been enshrined in the statutory guidance that must inform how local authorities and their partner agencies implement their adult safeguarding powers and duties introduced by the Care Act 2014. In summary the practice principle requires that the adult at risk of abuse or harm be as fully involved as possible in the discussions, assessment, planning and intervention following an alert or referral. It requires that adult safeguarding should be person-led and outcome-focused, with the aim that any response to an alert or referral enhances their sense of choice and control as well as improves their quality of life, well-being and safety.
Making Safeguarding Personal is also the theme around which this e-book of the Journal of Adult Protection is built. The editorial offers a brief history of the development of this approach to adult safeguarding, from the early days when a few local authorities pioneered and piloted the ideas, through to the present position where all councils with responsibilities for adult social services in England have engaged with the Making Safeguarding Personal programme. This is followed by a contribution from Claire Crawley, who offers a perspective as the civil servant with lead responsibility for safeguarding policy and the development of the statutory guidance, which includes Making Safeguarding Personal. Adi Cooper and colleagues describe the development of the Making Safeguarding Programme and the key messages and learning from the Councils who participated in the 2013/14 programme.
There follow several chapters which describe how the approach was implemented in four Local Authorities, their experiences, reflections and evaluations. These papers offer perspectives from practitioners, managers and service users. They offer a rich source of learning for all those within adult safeguarding who are intent on giving meaning to other key statutory principles underpinning their work, namely empowerment of individuals to make their own decisions and partnership working with local communities, all in the name of prevention and protection. The papers are not complacent or uncritical, conveying the attitudinal and cultural shifts, both individual and organisational, that proved necessary, and the challenges involved in both placing the service user centre-stage and in evaluating outcomes. Kathryn Needham describes a small scale pilot in North Somerset. The Rochdale experience, described by Jane Timson and colleagues, shows how those piloting this approach became champions of it. Patrick Hopkinson and colleagues describe their analysis of cases, feedback from focus groups, supported by creative therapists, and from staff, which add a rich variety of information about the impact of MSP in Sutton. Marcus Redley and colleagues report on their interviews with staff, advocates and service users in Cambridgeshire.
The e-book concludes with a reflection by Lynn Romeo, who offers a perspective, as the Chief Social Worker for Adults, on the knowledge, skills and values that underpin effective safeguarding, illustrating how MSP fits into the broader social work agenda. Finally, Emily White and Sarah Mitchell provide an end note on how MSP was mainstreamed across the whole of England in 2014/15 as both a means of ongoing service improvement, and as a key element of preparation for implementing the Care Act.
For individual practitioners and managers, whose work embraces adult safeguarding, and for those Local Safeguarding Adults Boards and senior executives whose local authorities are now engaging with Making Safeguarding Personal, this themed issue offers something of a map, with a compass and signposts, with which to navigate the legal, ethical and organisational challenges involved.
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