Article

Constructions of vulnerability in comparative perspective: Scottish protection policies and the trouble with "adults at risk"

Citation

Sherwood-Johnson F (2013) Constructions of vulnerability in comparative perspective: Scottish protection policies and the trouble with "adults at risk". Disability and Society, 28 (7), pp. 908-921. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2012.732541

Abstract
This paper places Scottish adult support and protection (ASP) policy in the context of debates about the nature of 'vulnerability' and its usefulness as a defining concept in law and social policy. It examines the construction of 'adults at risk' in ASP policy, using a comparison with the construction of children in Scottish child protection policy, on the one hand, and women in Scottish domestic abuse policy, on the other, to illuminate the nature of the vulnerability that ASP considers itself to be addressing. It then problematises this construction, drawing both on the social model of disability and on an ethic of care. It concludes that current ASP policy remains underpinned by unhelpful assumptions about disabled people, older people and people with mental or physical health problems. A more inclusive understanding of vulnerability would be more empowering to these people and others, in policies concerned with mistreatment and abuse.

Keywords
adult protection; adult safeguarding; ethic of care; social model; vulnerability; violence

Journal
Disability and Society: Volume 28, Issue 7

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2013
Publication date online30/10/2012
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/10439
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN0968-7599