Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the importance and nature of relationships of trust in care settings. The paper addresses the central question of what is it about these kinds of relationships that is associated with harm and abuse? Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes a discursive approach, based, implicitly, on an ecological framework of analysis. Findings – The conclusion is that the relationships between staff and service users in residential care settings are characterised by non‐mutual dependency, isolation and unequal decision‐making powers. Therefore such relationships deserve special focus and attention in order to safeguard and protect the people concerned. Practical implications – The paper implies that practitioners and policy makers should find ways to ensure that they listen more closely to people living in residential settings. Practitioners should ask more about the quality of relationships that people enjoy with the staff that support them. Originality/value – The paper suggests that in order to safeguard people more effectively, practitioners and policy makers should reconsider the central focus of their energies and revisit issues such as isolation, in the lives of disabled and older people living in residential care.
The Journal of Adult Protection – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 8, 2014
Keywords: Relationships; Older people; Safeguarding; Learning/intellectual disabilities; Residential care
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