Consent or coercion? An exploration of practice within the framework of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act (2007) (ASP)

Stewart, Ailsa (2016) Consent or coercion? An exploration of practice within the framework of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act (2007) (ASP). In: Recognition, Recovery and Citizenship, 2016-05-09 - 2016-05-12, Yale University. (Unpublished)

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Opportunities for control within a caring paradigm is a significant concern within social work practice, particularly where service users are determined to be vulnerable. The legislative framework to ensure the protection of those at risk of harm in Scotland provides local authorities with specific duties and powers to provide support and protection to this population only with the consent of the adult (except in very specific circumstances). This paper considers the potential for consent to coerced; within an adult protection framework in Scotland drawing upon empirical research that focused in part on the determination of thresholds for intervention by practitioners. The paper will initially explore the way in which practitioners construct the thresholds for intervention within the ASP, drawing on a range of sources of information and a dialogic process of decision making. A significant element of this discussion relates to the extent to which informed consent is determined and can can be given by the adult, a fundamental requirement of the Act. Within this framework an exploration of the theoretical constructs used by practitioners will be drawn upon including bounded rationality and concepts of capacity. The paper will conclude by discussing the potential opportunities presented by the ASP for practitioners to exert control and to coerce consent from service users. This will be framed within a consideration of the ethics and values of the social work profession. Alongside this an exploration of relationship based social work and the extent to which this could contribute to control and the exertion of power rather than a co-productive approach to the provision of support and protection will be discussed.


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