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Sociology Assignment: Protection of Children & Vulnerable Persons



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As per the study of Watt, Venturelli and Daly (2019) reviewed in this sociology assignment; a vulnerable adult is an adult at risk. The person who is vulnerablehere has crossed the age of 18 years. However, he/she is not capable of taking care of himself/herself. This inability is the reason behind the adult’s vulnerability. This term vulnerable adults could also be applicable to cases, where the adults are unable to protect themselves against some exploitation or harm. The vulnerable adults may not be incompetent to protect themselves. The circumstances in which the adults are might be preventing them from helping themselves out of the misery. The problem with the vulnerable adults is that they are unable to change the circumstances or improve it through their own actions (Jenkins et al, 2020). Therefore, the vulnerable adults require direct assistance. In this paper, the vulnerable adults of Ireland will be dealt with. The legislation of Ireland tries to safeguard the rights of the vulnerable adults, which will be discussed in the paper. The social care practitioners have an important role to play in caregiving to the adults who are vulnerable. Their management role, partnership approach towards vulnerable adults and provision of evidence-based care will be highlighted in the paper. For the adult vulnerable population, the significance of partnership and collaboration with the inter-agency and multi-agency groups will also be analysed.

Vulnerable Adults in Ireland
According to Horrocks and Ireland (2020), the identification and response to adult vulnerability is a challenge due to the lack of understanding and awareness among the people. There are societies which do not even recognise that the issue of adult vulnerability and adult abuse exists. In the year 2006, June 15 was marked as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA). Ireland like many other nations, since then has not only been observing the day but also taking necessary care and actions to respond to elder abuse and vulnerability.

The UN has recognised the adult vulnerability as a human rights and public health concern. The government of Ireland through its legislative powers has been encouraging actions at individual level, community level and organisational level to increase awareness about adult vulnerability. Through thelegislation, the government feels that the negligence and exploitation of the older people could be reduced. As stated by Vernon III et al (2019), the vulnerable adults are prone to abuse. The elder abuse refers to the action/s which cause harm to the older person. This could lead to violation of civil and human rights. Usually, the abuser is a close and trusted person, a family member or caregiver who exploits and causes distress.

To address the issue of adult vulnerability, the legislation of Ireland has realised that the attention should focus on social issues, social needs and societal problems. However, the problem of adult vulnerability cannot be resolved by the efforts of an individual professional or single agency. The social care towards the vulnerable adults needs to be collaboration between different disciplines and professions (Gearhart-Serna et al, 2018).

Management of Adult Vulnerability
The social care practitioners refer to the professionals who work in partnership with the agencies andother professionals with the purpose of promoting person-centred outcomes for those individuals who are in need of support and care (Willis et al, 2019). The social care practitioners aim at providing required services to the vulnerable group. The role of the social care practitioner in adult vulnerability management is significant. The professionals help the vulnerable adults to get the necessary information, help them to access care services, assess their situation, plan and deliver to cater to their needs. The social care practitioners while managing the vulnerable adults not only focus on health care but also addressing their social needs. The social care practitioners try to build a close and trusted relationship with the vulnerable adults so that they can reach out to them. They aim at meeting the holistic care requirements of the vulnerable population by supporting the person in need, collaborating with their family and community (Jenkins et al, 2020). The role of the social care practitioners in management of adult vulnerability includes measures like raising the understanding and awareness among the public about the issue. The practitioners aim at conveying to the families and community the significance of supporting and protecting the rights of the vulnerable population. The social care practitioners also try to influence the policies of the government and legislation so that they can provide better care to the vulnerable group and safeguard their interests. As per Muirhead et al (2019), the social care practitioners cannot individually bring a change and help the vulnerable group. They need to collaborate and enter into partnerships so that they can expand the capability and capacity to deal with adult vulnerability.

Evidence-based Care
As opined by Oliver (2017), evidence-based practice refers to the process where the practitioners combine their experiences, client preferences, ethics and culture to inform and guide regarding the treatments and service delivery with the interventions that are well-researched. The evidence-based care is different from the usual routine care. The provision for evidence-based care by the social care practitioners could prevent the harmful interventions and use of pseudoscientific interventions. Based on the evidence, the vulnerable population is provided the required treatment and care. The interventions of the social care practitioners are based on the evidence-supported treatment. The evidence-based care is an integral part of the social work code of ethics. The reason why evidence-based care is required for the adult vulnerable population is that the care plans that are evidence-supported ensure the customisation of care (Head et al, 2019). The research-based practices are integrated into care. The care plan is thus customised as per the requirement of the patient. The care should be provided so that the individual needs of the vulnerable adult is met. Through evidence-based care the social care practitioners aim at preventing the abuse and harm of the adult vulnerable group through high-quality health and social care. The social care practitioners try to assure their target group of effective responses against the harm and abuse caused to them. The practitioners also aim at collaborating with multi-agencies to provide better responses to the group. Evidence-based care is a constant learning process which enhances the care services provided to the patients (Melnyk et al, 2017).

Partnership Approach
As suggested byConnors et al (2021), providing health and social care to vulnerable adults is not an easy job. The person who is vulnerable has grown into an adult but needs to be safeguarded due to physical, mental or situational limitations. In this situation, the social care practitioners have a very important role to play. The focus of the social care practitioners should be on safeguarding the adults who are vulnerable. This can be made possible through a partnership approach. The social care practitioner has to build a strong, close and trusted relationship with the adults whom they want to help. The relationship will foster better care. The adult will be more comfortable to approach the care giver and share their problems or express their needs. There are certain principles which can promote safeguarding of rights and interests of the vulnerable adults. These principles can be put into effect through partnership between the social care practitioner and the adult who is vulnerable (Yuen-Tsang and Wang, 2020).

The most important principle of partnership approach to care is empowerment of the adult. By empowering the vulnerable adult, there could be scope for consent and person led decisions regarding the care. The next responsibility of the social care practitioner is providing protection to the adult. They should also promote prevention of abuse and negligence of harm. The care practitioners need to consider the proportionality. This would ensure the responses to be least intrusive and appropriate for the vulnerability or risk. One of the most effective solutions to the problem of adult vulnerability is partnerships (Beesley and Devonald, 2020). The social care practitioners can collaborate with the communities for providing better care to the adults who are vulnerable and in need. Through the partnerships between the care practitioner and patient, as well as the care practitioner and community or agencies, the accountability of the care giving process increases. This facilitates better efficiency and transparency. The vulnerable adults would be better protected and safeguarded through the partnership approach as the care practitioner knows exactly what the patient or the person in need requires from the care plan (Flaherty, 2018).

Significance of Multi-agency and Inter-agency
The collaboration of the social care practitioners in addressing the issue of adult vulnerability with the multi-agency and inter-agency would prevent the occurrence of the problem in the very first place (Goodman-Delahunty et al, 2019). These agencies would extend better care and improve the outcome of the care plans. The multi-agencies and inter-agencies help in dealing with the cross-cutting risk factors, early intervention and prevention services. Multi-agency makes joint plans for delivering the coordinated services which would be addressing the needs of the vulnerable group. Inter-agencies refer to more than one agency which works in a formal and planned way for catering to the needs of a particular target population. These agencies work towardsproviding services related to the multiple needs of the vulnerable population. The collaborative work between the social care practitioners, multi-agency and inter-agencies would ensure timely and adequate support to the adults in need. This collaboration would offer seamless response to the complex needs of the vulnerable adults. The agencies foster transparency, accountability, share responsibility and trust (Davies, 2018). Above all, the agencies focus on building better relationships between professionals and the individual in needs and their families.

Social care is beyond a state promoted policy. Therefore, it requires understanding, awareness and compassion towards the vulnerable group, here adults. It can be concluded that the vulnerable adults exist and proper care needs to be extended towards them. Their needs have to be recognised and responded. The government along with the social care organisations and individuals should aim at protecting the vulnerable adults, safeguarding their dignity and promoting respect. The collaborative actions of the state body, organisations, individuals and communities, could bring a difference in the condition of the vulnerable adults in Ireland and across the world. The partnerships between the individuals, communities and social care practitioners could be effective for addressing the social needs, societal problems and individual needs of the vulnerable adults.

Beesley, P. and Devonald, J., 2020. Partnership working in the face of a pandemic crisis impacting on social work placement provision in England. Social Work Education, 39(8), pp.1146-1153.

Connors, M.C., Pacchiano, D.M., Stein, A.G. and Swartz, M.I., 2021. Building Capacity for Research and Practice: A Partnership Approach. The Future of Children, 31(1), pp.119-135.

Davies, P., 2018. Tackling domestic abuse locally: paradigms, ideologies and the political tensions of multi-agency working. Journal of gender-based violence, 2(3), pp.429-446.

Flaherty, M., 2018. SOCIAL WORK AND PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES: PARTNERSHIP WITH PROMISE. Bulletin of the Cherkasy Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University. Series" Pedagogical Sciences", (1).

Gearhart-Serna, L.M., Jayasundara, N., Tacam, M., Di Giulio, R. and Devi, G.R., 2018. Assessing cancer risk associated with aquatic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollution reveals dietary routes of exposure and vulnerable populations. Journal of environmental and public health, 2018.

Goodman-Delahunty, J., Martschuk, N., Powell, M. and Westera, N., 2019. Special measures for children in court: Law in action in a multi-agency committee. Australian Social Work, 72(4), pp.503-516.

Head, B., Peters, B., Middleton, A., Friedman, C. and Guman, N., 2019. Results of a nationwide hospice and palliative care social work job analysis. Journal of social work in end-of-life & palliative care, 15(1), pp.16-33.

Horrocks, L. and Ireland, J.L., 2020. Conducting remote psychological assessments for vulnerable adult clients in family proceedings: Evidence-based practice considerations for complex presentations. Abuse: An International Impact Journal, 1(2), pp.1-18.

Jenkins, C., Webster, N., Smythe, A. and Cowdell, F., 2020. What is the nature of Mental Capacity Act training and how do health and social care practitioners change their practice post?training? A narrative review. Journal of clinical nursing, 29(13-14), pp.2093-2106.

Melnyk, B.M., Fineout?Overholt, E., Giggleman, M. and Choy, K., 2017. A test of the ARCC© model improves implementation of evidence?based practice, healthcare culture, and patient outcomes. Worldviews on Evidence?Based Nursing, 14(1), pp.5-9.

Muirhead, K., Macaden, L., Clarke, C., Smyth, K., Polson, R. and O’Malley, C., 2019. The characteristics of effective technology-enabled dementia education for health and social care practitioners: protocol for a mixed studies systematic review. Sociology assignment Systematic reviews, 8(1), pp.1-9.

Oliver, D., 2017. Peaceful, Pain Free and Dignified: Palliative and End of Life Care for People on the Autism Spectrum. A Guide for Social Care Practitioners. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 22(1), p.51.

Vernon III, T.L., Rice, A.N., Titch, J.F., Hill, B.F. and Muckler, V.C., 2019. Implementation of Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 frailty tool to identify at-risk geriatric surgical patients. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, 34(5), pp.911-918.

Watt, R.G., Venturelli, R. and Daly, B., 2019. Understanding and tackling oral health inequalities in vulnerable adult populations: from the margins to the mainstream. British dental journal, 227(1), pp.49-54.

Willis, R., Channon, A.A., Viana, J., LaValle, M.H. and Hutchinson, A., 2019. Resurrecting the interval of need concept to improve dialogue between researchers, policymakers, and social care practitioners. Health & social care in the community, 27(5), pp.1271-1282.

Yuen-Tsang, A.W.K. and Wang, S., 2020. Reconstruction of social work education in China through transformative partnership: Case study of the 30 years’ partnership between The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Peking University. China Journal of Social Work, 13(1), pp.19-39.


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