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The importance of small steps: making safeguarding personal in North Somerset

Kathryn Needham (Safeguarding Adults Team, North Somerset Council, Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom.)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 8 June 2015




The purpose of this paper was to establish the extent to which safeguarding procedures in North Somerset identified and reviewed outcomes for the alleged adult at risk. The project aimed to address whether outcomes could be achieved and what steps need to be taken to make the experience of safeguarding personal.


Three social care teams with a responsibility for following up safeguarding referrals were asked to participate in the work and provide feedback on cases completed within the project timeframe. Data were gathered centrally on specific forms and through focus group discussions with social workers.


The findings confirmed the need for a change in practice to ensure safeguarding procedures are personal.

Research limitations/implications

The number of completed cases in the timeframe of the project was small and this limits the conclusions.

Practical implications

The paper identifies change needed to training and recording systems and recognises that further work is needed to embed the learning from this work and explore the implementation of alternative approaches.


The paper establishes the extent to which existing safeguarding practice is outcome focused.



Needham, K. (2015), "The importance of small steps: making safeguarding personal in North Somerset", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 166-172.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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