What can and cannot be learned from serious case reviews of the care and treatment of adults with learning disabilities in England? Messages for social workers

Jill Manthorpe*, Stephen Martineau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) for adults are commissioned to examine the ways in which local professionals and agencies worked together to safeguard a vulnerable adult or take place following harm or death of a vulnerable adult where there are concerns about agencies' actions or engagement. There is no national system in England for their collation or analysis. This paper presents the results of a study investigating SCRs for vulnerable adults where the person who was at risk of harm, harmed or died had a learning disability. Eighteen SCRs were identified and a further three where there are grounds for considering that the victim may have had such a disability. Three themes are presented: staff relationships; family and carers; and biography and chronology to draw out material relevant to social work policy and practice. At a time when the English government has announced plans for SCRs for adults to move to a statutory basis, this paper draws attention to their potential as learning materials, but also the risks of seeing them as presenting a full picture of practice. The case for local flexibility is argued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-348
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • adult safeguarding
  • learning disability
  • Serious case reviews
  • social work

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