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Elder Abuse, Ethical Dilemmas & Multi-Agency Work - What are the Influences and Constraints on Professional Decision-making in Adult Protection?        

On Wednesday 19th October 2011 Dr. Ash spoke about findings of research she carried out in Wales to identify the constraints and dilemmas social workers grappled with when using multi-agency adult protection procedures to deal with potential abuse of an older person. She outlined how multi-agency adult protection arrangements are organised in Wales, and in particular how the police, health services and social services in Wales are expected to work together. She described the constraints social workers identified in their work to protect elders from mistreatment, and also in their work with the police and health colleagues. None of these dilemmas was described as a matter of ethics. Dr. Ash outlined how an ethic of care can be used to understand and respond to dilemmas inherent in multi-agency adult protection work. She concluded by suggesting how these findings can be used to inform practice in multi-agency adult protection work, and by policy-makers.

Dr. Ash divides her time between her role as Economic and Social Research Council Research Fellow in the Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University, Wales, and running her research consultancy Angela Ash Associates. She has been involved in the development of policy, procedures and practice in adult protection since 2000, and has drafted regional adult protection policies and procedures for adult protection forums in Wales. She has conducted numerous adult protection case reviews for regional adult protection committees and local authorities. She works with adult safeguarding boards to develop internal scrutiny of multi-agency arrangements to protect adults at risk from abuse.

Dr. Ash's earlier career spanned social work and management in the statutory and third sectors in England and Wales, and research at the University of Bristol and Bangor University, Wales. She is a peer reviewer with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, the healthcare regulator in Wales.

Dr. Ash completed her doctoral research at the University of Bristol  on the implementation of safeguarding policy to protect older people from abuse. She was the 2009 winner of the Jo Campling Memorial prize presented by the journal Ethics and Social Welfare, for her article on ethics and safeguarding policy.

Please click here to download the Presentation PowerPoint Slides