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Safeguarding older people from abuseCritical contexts to policy and practice$
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Angie Ash

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305668

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305668.001.0001

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date: 17 August 2017

Discretion and dissonance in adult protection work

Discretion and dissonance in adult protection work

Chapter:
(p.111) Seven Discretion and dissonance in adult protection work
Source:
Safeguarding older people from abuse
Author(s):

Angie Ash

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447305668.003.0007

The case study described in chapter 6shone light on the real, lived, sometimes messy and frequently contradictory world of adult safeguarding by social workers and their multi-agency partners. This chapter discusses the research findings, in particular the influences on adult safeguarding decision-making, the day-to-day constraints on professionals and the financial, cultural and organisational context to work with older people. Conceptually, the chapter uses the metaphor of a ‘cognitive mask’ to describe the contextual backcloth and its powerful, but usually invisible influence on professional responses to elder abuse. The chapter evaluates the contribution Michael Lipsky’s concept of street-level bureaucracy makes to understanding the dilemmas professionals face; in particular in light of the discretion exercised by social workers and their managers in the case study research, and the dissonance they experienced in their work.

Keywords:   street-level bureaucracy, Michael Lipsky, professional discretion, social work dissonance, cognitive mask

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