Pilots for the UK’s first post-qualifying course in adult protection are under way at Edinburgh University.
The qualification, offered in partnership with Edinburgh Council, provides an opportunity for professional development in a burgeoning area of social work.
A small group of professionals from Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian are taking part in a pilot course. Subject to evaluation results, it will become available as a postgraduate diploma, certificate or MSc on a permanent basis.
Training to help with implementation
The training is intended to guide social workers in their implementation of the 2007 Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act, which came into effect last month.
Under the Act, councils will be required to investigate cases of suspected abuse of vulnerable adults.
In addition, social workers will be able to use removal orders to move service users from private homes and care providers for up to seven days, “where there is a likelihood of serious harm” if they remain.
They can also issue banning orders, preventing adults from being in a specified place for up to six months.
Ronnie Barnes, chair of the British Association of Social Workers, participated in the Scottish government’s implementation group for the Adult Support and Protection Act.
He welcomed Edinburgh University’s MSc because it would help bring the field of adult protection into line with child protection.
“Social workers are having to deal with increasingly complex cases regarding vulnerability, abuse, and harm of adults,” he said.