Social workers must be able to recognise the risk indicators of different forms of abuse and neglect and their impact on individuals, their families or their support networks and should prioritise the protection of children and adults in vulnerable situations whenever necessary. This includes working with those who self-neglect.
Social workers who work with adults must take an outcomes-focused, person-centred approach to safeguarding practice, recognising that people are experts in their own lives and working alongside them to identify person centred solutions to risk and harm. In situations where there is abuse or neglect or clear risk of those, social workers must work in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as part of improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety. Social workers should take the lead in managing positive interventions that prevent deterioration in health and wellbeing; safeguard people (who may or may not be socially excluded) at risk of abuse or neglect, or who are subject to discrimination, and to take necessary action where someone poses a risk to themselves, their children or other people. Social workers who work with adults must be able to recognise and take appropriate action where they come across situations where a child or young person may be at risk.
Social workers should understand and apply in practice personalised approaches to safeguarding adults that maximise the adult’s opportunity to determine and realise their desired outcomes and to safeguard themselves effectively, with support where necessary.
The full Knowledge and Skills Statement for social workers in adult services can be viewed on the Department of Health and Social Care website.
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