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A joined up approach to safeguarding and personalisation: a framework for practice in multi‐agency decision‐making

Diane Galpin (Based at the Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Dorena Hughes (Based at Bournemouth Borough Council, Bournemouth, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 17 June 2011




This paper aims to provide a framework from which practitioners can develop a partnership approach to multi‐agency decision‐making.


The authors have drawn on the direct experiences of social work practitioners currently involved in safeguarding activity and qualified social workers undertaking post qualifying social work education. Those seeking safeguarding guidance from a safeguarding adult co‐ordinator/manager indicate multi‐agency decision‐making can be professionally, intellectually and emotionally challenging. In response to these concerns, the authors have worked together to develop a simple framework designed to support practitioners in facilitating effective multi‐agency decision‐making.


There is a need for effective practice in multi‐agency decision‐making to be central to delivering a system of personalised care that both empowers and protects. The Harvard Business model identifies five key stages as being crucial to decision‐making; first, establishing context; second, framing the issue; followed by generating alternatives and evaluating alternatives and finally choosing the best option. The model stops here, but for most decisions a sixth step is required to identify actions and those responsible for implementing them.


Policy and legislation alone cannot protect adults at risk and in vulnerable circumstances from abuse, there also needs to be commitment at an organisational and practitioner level to develop decision‐making processes that ensure safeguarding and personalisation is interwoven as efficiently and effectively as possible.



Galpin, D. and Hughes, D. (2011), "A joined up approach to safeguarding and personalisation: a framework for practice in multi‐agency decision‐making", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 150-159.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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