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Study of staff who have been alleged perpetrators in adult protection cases

Mel Walford (Independent Trainer and Consultant, based at Wye Training Ltd., Neath, UK)
Andy Kaye (Adult Protection Coordinator, based at Social Services Department, Powys County Council, Powys, UK)
Mick Collins (Senior Manager, based at Adult Services Department, Powys County Council, Powys, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 8 April 2014




The protection of vulnerable adults from abuse is paramount for those working in adult protection. However, staff supporting vulnerable adults who are alleged to have abused them can feel very vulnerable and their needs must also be taken into account. The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact of adult protection investigations from the experiences of people who have been identified as alleged perpetrators in adult protection cases in order to identify improvements in practice.


This limited study used qualitative semi-structured interviews to collect data that reflected views of the issues and experiences of participants.


This study shows that expectations set out in the Wales Interim Policy and Procedures document under “support for alleged perpetrators” do not match with the experience of those who took part in this study. The experience of some alleged perpetrators is that the investigation process can be protracted, they may be left isolated with little or no information and feel very vulnerable.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study was the small number of participants who were interviewed and the selection and bias. Participation was on a voluntary basis and the participants were self-selecting. The participants were all paid staff. Vulnerable adults who had been identified as alleged abusers were excluded from the study on the premise that their experiences were likely to be quite different.

Practical implications

It is vital that alleged perpetrators are not themselves abused by the process. The findings from this study should be used to develop recommendations to improve practice.


The effects on staff who have been investigated as alleged abusers under adult protection policy and procedures has been under-researched. This study will make a contribution to addressing this.



Walford, M., Kaye, A. and Collins, M. (2014), "Study of staff who have been alleged perpetrators in adult protection cases", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 120-128.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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