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Supporting vulnerable adults : citizenship, capacity, choice

Stewart, Ailsa (2011) Supporting vulnerable adults : citizenship, capacity, choice. Policy and Practice in Social Care . Dunedin Academic Press. ISBN 9781906716127

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Abstract

The author examines theories of citizenship, capacity and choice when supporting vulnerable adults and uses the impact of the early implementation of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 as a model. Her main themes are the extent of the reach of the state and the appropriateness of this with; a discussion of the tension between autonomy and protection and consideration of whether or not vulnerability impacts on the human rights of individuals. Concepts of harm and abuse are explored. Key questions answered include: does diminished intellectual capacity limit your rights as a citizen? Does vulnerability, and being at risk of harm or abuse, limit capacity? The author also explores whether the introduction of such legislation compromises individuals’ free will and choice. The book bases itself around the Scottish legislation and draws on the emerging results of empirical research undertaken by the author over the first two years following its implementation, the first of its kind in the UK. This provides a unique focus for the central debate on autonomy and protection and the link to citizenship and capacity. Supporting Vulnerable Adults provides an excellent overview of the tensions inherent in these policies for students and for those health and social care workers, policy makers and other practitioners whose work involves the vulnerable. Ailsa Stewart is a Lecturer in the Glasgow School of Social Work, a joint school of the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.