Scots law ‘will lead to more referrals’

New laws to protect vulnerable adults in Scotland will lead to a big increase in referrals to social services, social work leaders have warned.

Ronnie Barnes, an officer for the British Association of Social Workers Scotland, told the Scottish parliament’s health committee this was likely because the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill would make the public “more aware of the
fact abuse is not to be tolerated”.

The bill, which is progressing through the Scottish parliament, will give authorities wider powers to remove vulnerable adults from their home if they believe a carer or relative is abusive, or place an exclusion order on the carer banning them
from the home. Both interventions would need social services support.

Also giving evidence to the committee, Alex Davidson, chair of the Association of Directors of Social Work’s disability group, said social work would need to assess the type of intervention that was best.

“We don’t have ready-made solutions, but these are not new issues for us. The challenge is to ask ‘do we provide a homelessness or care response?’.”


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