Traumatic brain injury and potential safeguarding concerns

Andy Mantell (University of Chichester, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Publication date: 12 November 2010


Safeguarding people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) requires not only knowledge of safeguarding practice and procedures, but also the implications of a brain injury. This paper provides an introduction to the nature and impact of TBI upon individuals and their families. Drawing on anonymised case material and practice experience, it explores how the sequelae of TBI, in particular cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes can produce potential safeguarding issues. The person with TBI's potential vulnerability to different forms of abuse is then considered and the relevance of the legislative framework explored. The paper then summarises key points for safeguarding practice in this complex field. It concludes by emphasising that gaining knowledge of how TBI impacts on individuals and their families is essential to understand their risk of abuse. In doing so, it also highlights that simplistic dichotomies between victim and perpetrator can ignore the complexity of the interactions in which safeguarding occurs.



Mantell, A. (2010), "Traumatic brain injury and potential safeguarding concerns", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 31-42.

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