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Particular individuals such as Mrs. P and groups may be vulnerable to abuse or harm to self or others

Discuss and Describe about the fact for legislation it can be said that implementation of few act, legislation or policies are not enough to protect the wellbeing and the rights of the vulnerable group in the society.

Safeguarding in the context of vulnerable people is a very important question. According to Sheldon (2011), vulnerable people are those who are weak and have to depend on the others, which in turn provide an opportunity to others to abuse them. There are different types of abuse could be found. Types of abuses may include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial and any other type of emotional abuse. According to Currie and Lockett (2011), not only the adults or the youth but also, the children are abused. The research study of Glasby and Dickinson (2014) reflects that the elderly people and the children are the most vulnerable people towards abuse as they have to depend on their care givers solely for their survival. It is found that the elderly people especially those who are suffering from mental disorder are more vulnerable than that of the healthy one. Therefore, the government and the local communities need to take steps to provide safeguard the vulnerable group in the society.

According to the case study, the elder people especially those who depend on the others are common by abusers. Mrs. P could not do anything when she was abused by her son because of her dependency and powerlessness. However, according to the research study of Glasby (2012), not only the dependent people but also healthy people aged over 18 years could be abused.

According to McKeeargue (2010), in most of the cases, people learn to abuse other people who are bound to depend on them from their close friends and families. They may be gone through the abusive treatment in their childhood or may be observed that their parents are prone to abuse someone else. Hence, abuse becomes common nature for such people.

According to Rigby et al. (2011), “adults vulnerable to abuse” could be defined as the people who are aged 18 years old or more and seek the help of community care services because of their physical and mental disability or illness. People who are unable to defend themselves against the abusive incidents can also be considered as vulnerable to abuse. Lymbery (2010) opines that vulnerable adults include those people who are the victims of domestic violence, drug addicts, homeless people and prostitute. People who undergone traumatic pressure is also considered as vulnerable towards various abuses. The groups and individuals are vulnerable towards the abuses due to different factors that may include physical disability, learning disability, severe illness, old age and mental health problems. Individuals and the groups who are considerably weak are mostly are victimized by the abusers. 

Review of the risk factors that may lead to the incidence of abuse and harm to Mrs. P and others

People who are abused physically, sexually or verbally or may be in another way could react differently to situations. In this scenario, Mrs. P was harmed and abused by her care giver, her son who took the advantage of her dementia and exploited her savings. In this situation, her security and ethical values were thoroughly compromised. The mental and physical torture on the victim makes her feel blamed and afraid. The harmful effects of abusive incidents also include guilty feeling, unworthy, anxious, inadequate, incompetent and undeserving.

There are different types of abuses, which make the victim feel afraid and guilty. According to Moss (2012), the types of abuses may include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial and any other type of emotional abuse. The violence may include neglect, using privilege, using emotional abuse and threats of physical abuse.

According to the case study, an elderly lady was targeted by her son (the abuser). The victim became distressed due to dementia and fully dependent on her care giver. Although the case study does not reflect any reasons, which can lead to the self-harm and abuse it can be said that there are many factors that can place a person at "high risk of abuse." According to Stevens et al. (2011), these factors could be designated as “risk factors.” Humphries and Curry (2011), defined risk factors as the characteristics of a group or individuals which have the potentiality to induce the chances of worse results in future. The researchers showed that when these factors are coupled with protective factors, it can increase the potentiality of chances to experiencing abuse by the weak people. However, the main risk factors of abuse may include family conflict, dependency, different psychological problems and career stress. In the provided case study, the risk factors, which are associated with the abusing of the elderly lady, were her mental disease (dementia) and dependency.

According to Tew et al. (2011), the risk factors, associated with the events of self-harm and abuse could be classified into three major categories. These categories are family factors, person factors, and environmental or social factors. The person factors may include different types of disabilities such as cognitive, physical or mental; any mental or physical disorder, temperaments, aggressive behavior and attention deficits. On the other hand, the family factors may include the abusive incidences experienced within the family, family violence, history of neglect, regular conflicts, poor interaction with friends and families, low self-esteem, involvement in criminal behavior, use of corporal punishment, family stress and divorce (or any separation). The environmental or social risk factors may include unemployment, social isolation, socio-economic disadvantage, homelessness, inadequate housing, racism or discrimination, stressful life events or less availability of social support. It is observed that the elderly people are considered as the easy target for abuse because of their disorders and dependency. In this case study scenario, the victim feels trapped and helpless as they became very depressed and afraid.

Understanding of the factors that contributes to the incidences of abuse and harm to self and others

After studying the case study, it is important to identify different factors that directly involved into the abuse incidences of elderly people. There are different types of abuses, which make the victim feel afraid and guilty. According to Lymbery and Postle (2010), the types of abuses may include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial and any other type of emotional abuse. The violence may include neglect, using privilege, using emotional abuse and threats of physical abuse. It is found that the types of abuse vary depending on different culture. In this case study the victim (Mrs. P) is an 80 years old lady who is suffering from abuse. Mr. P is a muslim by culture. The previous research showed that the rates of abuse incidences are increasing in the Muslim culture. Therefore, it can be said that despite of her age and mental disorder her culture is another reason of her vulnerability towards abuse.

There are different types of risk screening tools such as HCR-20 Violence Risk Assessment Scheme. This tool is helpful to identify 20 factors; each scored 0 (absent), 1(possibly absent), or 2 (definitely present). The scores vary 0-40 that reflects the severity of the risks among the common person. The risk screening tool is also proved as beneficial to promote the reliability and validity with room for flexibility. Risk Screening Tool is able to inform risk reduction as well as management. Although most of the researchers focused on the youth or adults who are being abused or mistreated by the outsiders or the strangers, Ward, Pugh and Price (2010), contradicts in their research that most of the abuse are perpetrated by the care giver or a caretaker. Sedlak et al. (2010) showed in their research work that there is much evidence of child abuse, where the parents become hyper, angry and intoxicated who physically or emotionally abuse the children. However, in most of the cases, it is observed that the youth is actually neglected by their parents, which lead them towards depression. Unfortunately, there are no specific indicators found, which can cause abuse and neglect. However, the researchers managed to identify several risk factors that have a direct impact on the families and induce the probability of neglect and abuse. Risk factors were identified in different domains that may include community, family, parent and youth level. On the other hand, it is also important to state that absence of the risk factors in a scenario does not indicate that there are no chances of occurring abusive incidences.

In the society not only the children or youth but also the adults could be a victim of abuse by their care givers or strangers. According to Radford et al. (2011), there are three major types of risk factors such as static factors, dynamic factors, and the future risk factors. The static risk factors include the male persons and their age of committing first violence, childhood maladjustment or personality disorder, family history of drug and alcohol abuse and last but not the least is a psychiatric disorder. On the other hand, the dynamic risk factors may include current substance abuse, unstable accommodation, unemployment, current stressors, poor therapeutic alliance and available access to weapons. The predictors of static risk factors are mainly historical and factors, which cannot be changed. On the other hand, the predictors of the dynamic risk factors may include only those factors, which cannot be changed. The prediction of dynamic risk factors is critical since the factors get changed over time. According to Kimbrough et al. (2010), the risk factors, associated with the events of self-harm and abuse could be classified into three major categories such as family or relationship factors, person or individual factors and environmental or social factors and community risk factors. The social Risk Factors may include lack of awareness of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation and sexualization of children. According to the research study of Fraser et al. (2010), the community risk factors may include peer sources, social norms, and social isolation, under-resourced schools as well as gang involvement. On the other hand, the relationship risk factors may include family conflict and family history with a mental disorder. However, it is observed that the impact of the individual risk factors plays a key role in the occurrence of abusive incidences. The individual risk factors may include the history of child abuse or neglect, homeless, LGBT, stigma and discrimination. The other risk factors include a family conflict, which is considered as one of the major risk factors that induces abuse of elderly people. Reder and Duncan (2013) showed in their research that if the victim is socially isolated or has a limited access towards the social care increases the chances of abuse. On the other hand, psychological conditions include the mental health condition of the victim as well as the abuser. The risk factors are described in the following diagram-

Figure: Risk factors

Figure: Risk factors

According to the case study scenario, it is found that the parents are getting more hyper and aggressive that is affecting the well-being of their children. In the case of Daniel Pelka and Keanu Williams, both of these two children were abused by their parents and tortured to their death. These scenarios not only reflect the inhumanity but also the incapability of the legislation and policies that are implemented in the country.

According to Oates (2013), Child abuse is strictly banned by the rules and regulations implemented by the government of the United Kingdom. Safeguarding the rights of the children are extremely important. Young children are identified as the vulnerable groups who are obligate to trust and depend on their parents and their care givers for in the context of their welfare.  Some of the main legislation in the context of safeguarding of children includes Children Act (1989). The Children Act (1989) was further updated with the Children Act (2004). This updated version also includes the principle of "integrated children's services". This Act also inserted five important principles of "Every Child Matters (2003)." These five principles may include be healthy. Stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a position contribution and achieve economic wellbeing. Implementation of this act in certain limit is helpful to protect the wellbeing of the children. However, Slep, Heyman and Snarr (2011) showed in their research that the parents are becoming more aggressive and prone to violet Children Act. On the other hand, Safeguarding Vulnerable Act 2006 is considered as “a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.” The department for education published the updated version of this act in 2015. This guideline sets the power of the individuals as well as the organization that has the responsibility to take care of the welfare of the children. According to this act, the “notifiable incidents” regarding children wellbeing are- (1) if a child dies because of the neglect or abuse, (2) a child is suspected to be harmed or neglected, (3) a child in a service setting has died. On the other hand, Protection of Freedom Act 2012 also ensures the safeguarding of the children. In addition, Children and Families Act 2014 ensures the power of the parents or the care givers who have the responsibility for the welfare of the children. Violating these rules and regulations are considered as punishable law.

After studying the case study scenario, it can be said that implementation of few act, legislation or policies are not enough to protect the wellbeing and the rights of the children. It is found that it is also important to follow the duties and the laws. Therefore, it is noticed that different professionals, as well as organizations, are taking active steps to reduce abuse of the children. According to Howe (2010), “safeguarding the welfare of the children is a complex procedure.” The accomplishment of this complex procedure is hugely dependent on the collaborative work between different agencies. There are different types of services involved with the social services, education, health and voluntary agencies that have their area of responsibilities to provide safeguard towards the wellbeing of the children. For example, the concern about the wellbeing of a child may directly involve the General Practitioners (GPs), family support workers and the social workers. The health visitors have the responsibility about the health as well as the development of children who are five years old or less. On the other hand, General Practitioners (GPs) play a vital role in the context of safeguarding the welfare of the children. The General Practitioners (GPs) possess the responsibilities about the general health of the patients who are registered with that GP is a locality. The hospital staffs also play a critical role that involved the steps in order to avoid accidents in the emergency department and provide a safe environment for the patients (children). Social workers also have a responsibility to offer services for the vulnerable children as well as towards their family. This is because in several cases it is found that the families went through struggle in order to protect their children from abuse incidences. However, it was also evident that there are many parents who are found to abuse their children, even kill them. In this context, it is observed that the social workers always play a crucial role to monitor the welfare of the children who in a community. In addition, the local community can also play a vital role in ensuring the security of the children in their community area.

Working for the welfare of the vulnerable people especially for the children is a very complex work. The children used to depend on their parents solely about their safety and well-beings. However, it is found that the parents are not the only responsible people who have to ensure their children’s safety. Barlow and Calam (2011) showed in their research that a large number of children experience abusive incidence in their play schools or day care, which is not at all desirable. Therefore, several strategies are taken in order to minimize the abuse incidences in the social and health care. It is the responsibilities of the volunteers, groups or agencies who are directly or indirectly engaged with the children and their families to develop as well as implement policies, processes and systems in place that could support “the multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.” Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) is considered as one of the very important organization who are actively involved in the safeguarding the children welfare. This organization, as well as other organizations, took responsibilities to prevent an unsuitable person from working with the children. One of the best ways to carry out the responsibility is to take help from Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) (Parton 2011). Criminal Records Bureau is recognized as the agency of Home Office, which helps to provide access to the criminal record information that is considered as equivalents to the national organization. In addition, these organizations and agencies need to follow the rules and regulations that are stated in Children Act 2004, Safeguarding Vulnerable Act 2006 and Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The Education Act 2002 ensures the security of the children in the school premises without compromising their learning facilities. Apart from these, the organizations are taking steps to monitor individual students in order to identify if they are facing any abuse in their school or other organizations.

After reviewing present practice and strategies in different organizations and the agencies, it can be stated that for a certain limit these practices, as well as the strategies, proved as beneficial in the context of safeguarding the welfare of the children. The proper implementation of Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004 proved as helpful in order to ensure the security of the children group who are considered as the vulnerable group in the society (Great Britain. Department of Health 2012). As the children are bound to trust their parents as well as their caregivers for their welfare, the effective policies are helpful to reduce the chances of child abuse in the home. However, still the incidences of child abuse in the home are a very common incident. On the other hand, the other strategies are taken by the organizations and strategies to help the victim children such as monitoring individuals' activity in certain limit helped to reduce child abuse incidence in most of the communities. Sadly, according to the study of Webber, McCree and Angeli (2013), most of the child abuse incidences are taking place among the families who belongs to the migrated colonies. Therefore, the effectiveness of the policies and the strategies remains in doubt. On the other hand, the steps were taken by Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) were considerably proved as helpful to implement the acts proposed by the government of the United Kingdom. The help taken from Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in order to access the criminal record is no doubt proved as promising to identify the unwanted personals in the context of providing care towards the children. The role of the local community members, as well as volunteers of different organizations, are also very much appreciating in the context of ensuring the safeguard of the welfare of the children.

After reviewing the present policies, legislations, acts and the action was taken by the organization it can be stated that for a certain limit these practices, as well as the strategies, proved as beneficial in the context of safeguarding the welfare of the children. However, it is also important to mention that despite the implementation of several policies, legislations, acts and strategies, there are still several reports of child abuse are emerging. Therefore, it is clear the present policies, legislations, acts and strategies need several amendments. To improve the present practice the government needs to take more active and stricter steps to implement their rules and regulations. The community members need to monitor the individual child in their area and report immediately if they saw any difference in their behavior. The school or the institutions need to arrange a session with the psychiatrist with individual children at least twice in a year to ensure the welfare of the children.

Conclusion:

After reviewing all of the policies and the legislation it can be said that implementation of few act, legislation or policies are not enough to protect the wellbeing and the rights of the vulnerable group in the society. To ensure the safety as well as the security of the vulnerable group the local communities as well as the health and social care organizations need to take several steps. These steps may include the monitoring of the children and the elderly people living in a community. In addition, the organization management needs to be stricter and need to use different policies while recruiting new staffs. This procedure should be entertained in order to avoid future complications such as the occurrence of abusive incidence involving the organization staffs. The government of the United Kingdom also needs to amend their several acts and policies in order to avoid future complications and offer a better safeguarding towards the vulnerable groups.

Reference

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