Independence & Safeguarding People with learning disabilities want to be part of their communities and to have friends. People with learning disabilities may not identify risky situations or relationships. Some people may use this to exploit people with learning disabilities. Everyone has a right to make bad choices and to refuse help. Independence is not the only measure of quality of life – people must be safe. Yet, services must avoid paternalism.
Independence & Safeguarding When and how should agencies intervene? People with learning disabilities need the support of others to make choices and maintain an optimum level of independence. Empower people with learning disabilities by giving them the skills and knowledge to make informed choices. Tackle abusers promptly (e.g. act on anti-social behaviour and low level exploitation). It is not Independence vs. Safeguarding
Safeguarding & independence Independence & safeguarding should be considered together Proactive, not reactive, measures are needed True empowerment requires vulnerability to be acknowledged
Empowerment, risk and vulnerability When did independence become the new moral virtue? Independence & choice have little value if they come at the cost of being neglected or abused Protection from abuse has little value if it comes at the cost of losing all choice & independence
Ann Craft Trust – ACTing against abuse Ann Craft Trust Centre for Social Work University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD Telephone: 0115 951 5400 Fax:0115 951 5232 Ann-Craft-Trust@nottingham.ac.uk www.anncrafttrust.org