Models of adult safeguarding in England: A review of the literature

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Summary: This article presents the findings of a narrative synthesis of literature published between January 2000 and September 2013 exploring the organisation of adult safeguarding services in England. The review sought to identify the characteristics of safeguarding practice, which may be important for local authorities to consider when choosing between models of organisation.

Findings: The findings suggest that the development of adult safeguarding policy and practice has prompted local authorities to develop specialist safeguarding roles. The implications of specialism have not been extensively explored. However, several important characteristics of safeguarding practice are identifiable from the literature including specialism within the organisation of adult safeguarding; decision-making and thresholds for safeguarding response; and multi-agency working.

Applications: The review found limited evidence relating to the organisation of adult safeguarding, which suggests that further empirical research is needed. The critical features of safeguarding practice identified here comprise a useful starting point from which to explore the implications of different ‘models’ of safeguarding organisation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)22-46
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number1
Early online date7 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


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