Supporting Vulnerable Adults: Citizenship, Capacity, Choice

By Ailsa Stewart | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Divergence for Better or Worse? –
Adult Support and Protection in the
UK in the Twenty-First Century

Introduction

The following chapter aims broadly to plot the key elements of the various adult protection systems across the UK. This will include details of the No Secrets policy framework in England (DH, 2000), In Safe Hands in Wales (National Assembly for Wales, 2000), the ASP in Scotland and the vulnerable adults guidance in Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Social Services Board, 2006). Chapter 2 will further consider some of the themes arising from the No Secrets review in England (DH, 2009) and link this to the broader research literature on adults considered to be at risk of harm. These themes include choice and control, links to other policy developments such as personalisation and the concept of criminalising abuse such as financial exploitation as theft and physical abuse as assault. A central consideration in this chapter will be whether or not legislation is actually required to ensure the support and protection of adults, and a discussion is provided on the benefits and challenges of introducing such legislation.

Although policy and legislation surrounding adult protection has evolved significantly over the last ten years, particularly across the UK, the frameworks that have developed appear quite different across the four jurisdictions of the UK, often depending on government priority, ideology and the particular focus of high-profile cases (MacKay, 2011). In addition, the focus of protection systems across

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