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The purpose of this paper is to explore professionals’ perceptions of the barriers to help-seeking for victim-survivors of domestic abuse aged 60 years and over…
The purpose of this paper is to explore professionals’ perceptions of the barriers to help-seeking for victim-survivors of domestic abuse aged 60 years and over. Help-seeking as defined by Anderson and Saunders (2003) is not a single act or decision, but a complex and continuous process, victims engage in when seeking support.
A total of 50 qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with statutory practitioners and managers from 21 out of 22 local authorities in Wales. The research team worked collaboratively to produce a coding scheme which was subjected to a systematic coding exercise using the software package NVivo.
Professionals believed that older people’s “interconnectedness” with family, social embeddedness in the community and “meanings of the home” influenced help-seeking. The research suggests that for older victim-survivors of domestic abuse, age discrimination by practitioners, compounds older people’s experiences of help-seeking, restricting the range, quality and type of support provided. The paper demonstrates that a significant shift is required in practice to ensure that older people are in a position to make informed choices and their wishes are central in the decision-making process.
Further qualitative research is needed to explore what older people themselves believe are the factors that impact on statutory service engagement.
This study is the first in the UK to conduct Pan-Wales research on professionals’ views on help-seeking behaviours of older people. One of the key findings from the study is that professionals from the statutory sector feel that connections to the home and social networks strongly influence help-seeking for older victim-survivors of domestic abuse.
Bridget Penhale and Margaret Flynn
Laura Doyle, Lorna Montgomery, Sarah Donnelly, Kathryn Mackay and Bridget Penhale
Across the UK and Ireland, there are a range of processes and interventions offered to adults who, because of personal characteristics or life circumstances, require help…
Across the UK and Ireland, there are a range of processes and interventions offered to adults who, because of personal characteristics or life circumstances, require help to keep themselves safe from potential harm or abuse. The ways in which the statutory and voluntary sectors have chosen to safeguard these adults varies. Different models of intervention and the utilisation of a range of assessment tools, frameworks and approaches have evolved, often in response to policy and practice wisdom. Empirical research in this area is limited. The primary research purpose of the project on which this paper is based is to gather information on the range of tools and frameworks that are used in adult safeguarding practice across the UK and Ireland. In so doing, this paper seeks to contribute and inform the future development of an evidence based adult safeguarding assessment framework.
A team of academics from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland wanted to explore the possibility of adapting a pre-existing assessment framework currently in use in family and childcare social work to consider its utility in assessing carers involved in adult safeguarding referrals. This paper reports on a small pilot study which sought to inform the adaptation of this framework for use in adult safeguarding. This paper is based on a qualitative study involving 11 semi-structured telephone interviews with adult safeguarding social work managers and experienced practitioners. Two to four professionals from each region of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland were interviewed to elicit their perceptions and experiences of engaging in adult safeguarding assessment processes and their views about models of assessment.
This study identified considerable variation in and between the nations under review, in terms of the assessment frameworks and tools used in adult safeguarding practice. To a large extent, the assessment frameworks and tools in use were not evidence based or accredited. Participants acknowledged the value of using assessment frameworks and tools whilst also identifying barriers in undertaking effective assessments.
There is limited evidence available in the literature regarding the utility of assessment frameworks and tools in adult safeguarding practice. This primary research identifies four themes derived from professional’s experiences of using such frameworks and identifies broader recommendations for policy and practice in this area.