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Models of safeguarding: Identify the characteristics of safeguarding practice

2016 Conference Presentation

Safeguarding EnglandUnited Kingdom

Models of safeguarding: Identify the characteristics of safeguarding practice

Katie Graham, University of York, United Kingdom


Objectives: This paper will explore the organisation of adult safeguarding services in England. It will identify the characteristics of safeguarding practice, which may be important for local authorities to consider when choosing between models of organisation, about which there has been little evidence or policy prescription.

Methods and data: The paper presents findings of a narrative synthesis of literature published between January 2000 and September 2013. After development of search terms, five databases were searched and the team undertook hand searching of two journals and accessed a number of reports that were not identified in the electronic searches. In all, the search produced 1,753 items, of which 162 were included in the analysis, after screening for relevance.

Findings: Many local authorities have developed specialist safeguarding roles, although the implications of specialisation in safeguarding have not been extensively explored. Other variables of importance in developing local safeguarding procedures and practice were identified in the review, including; decision-making and thresholds for safeguarding response; and multi-agency working.

Policy implications: There appears to be limited evidence about the outcomes of different ways of organising adult safeguarding, which suggests that further empirical research is needed. However, the review identified important features of safeguarding, which contributed to the development of a typology of different ‘models’ of safeguarding organisation.