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Based on a chapter from Jeremy Dixon's new book: 'Adult Safeguarding Observed: How Social Workers Assess and Manage Risk and Uncertainty'

This presentation describes social workers’ accounts of doing adult safeguarding work with service users, family carers and paid carers. It highlights social workers’ understanding and use of risk assessment tools and shows how these were used to document who should take responsibility for measuring and monitoring risks. Social workers indicated the need to ensure service users’ immediate safety when doing adult safeguarding work. They also highlighted difficulties with engaging service users in safeguarding work and conducting this work in the time available. Key aspects of working with service users are highlighted including explaining adult safeguarding, enabling risk taking, assessing what is important to the person and educating the person about abuse and neglect. Approaches to family carers are described, with social workers emphasising supportive or assertive approaches. Finally, the presentation focuses on how social workers engaged with paid carers in the community or care homes, showing that safeguarding approaches were predominantly enforced through compliance with paperwork.

Dr Jeremy Dixon is Senior Lecturer, Department of Social & Policy Sciences, University of Bath.

This event is part of Contemporary issues and debates in social work education, research and practice.

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