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Could curiosity save lives? An exploration into the value of employing professional curiosity and partnership work in safeguarding adults under the Care Act 2014

Helen Thacker (Adult Social Services, Norfolk County Council, Norwich, UK)
Ann Anka (School of Social Work, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Bridget Penhale (School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 26 September 2019

Issue publication date: 15 October 2019

5099

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the importance of professional curiosity and partnership work in safeguarding adults from serious harm, abuse and neglect.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a range of materials including: review of published materials in relation to professional curiosity, reports from adult serious case reviews (SCRs) and safeguarding adult reviews (SARs); relevant materials drawn from the SAR Library, thematic reviews of SARs and Google searches; observations from practice and experience. It also refers to the relevant academic literature.

Findings

Lessons from SCRs and SARs show that a lack of professional curiosity and poor coordination of support can lead to poor assessments and intervention measures that can fail to support those at risk of harm and abuse. There are a number of barriers to professionals practicing with curiosity. Working in partnership enhances the likelihood that professional curiosity will flourish.

Practical implications

There are clear implications for improving practice by increasing professional curiosity amongst professionals. The authors argue that there is a scope to improve professional curiosity by utilising and developing existing partnerships, and ultimately to help reduce the number of deaths and incidents of serious harm.

Originality/value

The paper considers the importance of employing professional curiosity and partnership work in safeguarding adults’ practice, so enabling practitioners to better safeguard adults at risk of abuse and neglect.

Keywords

Citation

Thacker, H., Anka, A. and Penhale, B. (2019), "Could curiosity save lives? An exploration into the value of employing professional curiosity and partnership work in safeguarding adults under the Care Act 2014", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 252-267. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-04-2019-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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