Whether social workers should have a power of entry in cases where individuals seem to be hindering safeguarding enquiries for community-dwelling adults at risk is a topical question in England. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a re-examination of relevant sections of the 2012 Government Safeguarding Power of Entry Consultation.
Re-analysis of responses to question three of the 2012 Government’s Safeguarding Power of Entry Consultation was undertaken in late 2015-early 2016. The consultation submissions were located and searched for information on views of the prevalence of the situations where access to an adult at risk (with decision-making capacity) is being hindered by a third party and the nature of examples where a new power of entry might be considered appropriate by consultation respondents.
The majority of respondents to the consultation generally reported that situations when a new power of entry would be required were not encountered regularly; however a minority of respondents stated these situations occurred more frequently. Examples of situations where third parties appeared to be hindering access were given across the different categories of adults at risk and types of abuse and current practices were described. Respondents observed that the risks of excessive or inappropriate use of any new powers needed to be considered carefully.
This re-analysis sheds light on the prevalence and circumstances of the problems encountered about access to adults at risk. The legal framework of adult safeguarding continues to be of interest to policy makers, researchers and practitioners.
The authors acknowledge funding from the Department of Health Policy Research Programme. The views expressed here are those of the authors and not the Department of Health. The authors are grateful to members of the Unit’s User and Carer Group who assisted with development of this study and bring their experiences to inform and influence the work of the Unit.
Norrie, C., Manthorpe, J., Martineau, S. and Stevens, M. (2016), "The potential uses and abuses of a power of entry for social workers in England: a re-analysis of responses to a government consultation", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 256-265. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-04-2016-0009Download as .RIS
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