Social workers’ perceptions of restorative approaches with families in cases of elder abuse: a qualitative study

Carole Anne Kirk, Campbell Killick, Anne Mcallister, Brian Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to explore professional perspectives on restorative approaches with families in elder abuse cases.

Design/methodology/approach
Data were gathered from 37 social workers in statutory and voluntary organisations through nine focus group sessions in one region of Northern Ireland. A thematic analysis was undertaken and themes were derived from the data using NVivo software.

Findings
This paper reports main findings under the themes of engaging families and service users; managing risk in working with families in adult safeguarding; and challenges for professionals in practice. A key finding was that professionals felt challenged personally and professionally in managing the risks and working with families in these highly complex cases.

Originality/value
Investigative approaches have their limitations in relation to adult abuse situations. This study adds to the existing knowledge base, identifies potential practice developments and discusses the challenges in adopting restorative approaches with families in elder abuse cases. The study highlights the need for further specialist training. Managers should consider the creation of specialist teams with a focus on alternative or restorative approaches with families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-200
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adult Protection
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019

Keywords

  • Adult protection
  • Adult safeguarding
  • Elder abuse
  • Family care conference
  • Family group conference
  • Focus groups
  • Mediation
  • Social work

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