Mediation and family group conferences in adult safeguarding

Journal article citation:
Journal of Adult Protection, 15(2), 2013, pp.69-84.

Purpose: This paper presents an overview of research and practice literature on the use of Mediation and Family Group Conferences (FGC) in the context of adult safeguarding in the UK. Design/methodology/approach: This paper describes the main features of Mediation and (FGC) and explores how such 'family led' approaches to adult safeguarding fit within the wider agenda of personalisation and empowerment, including the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its associated Code of Practice. It also considers the main implications for best practice and future research and service priorities. Findings: Mediation and FGC in an adult context are inclusive processes that enable people to explore choices and options in a supportive environment, assuring maximum possible independence and autonomous control over basic life decisions, while still addressing the person's need for assistance. When used appropriately, both approaches can be a valuable response to safeguarding concerns, promoting choice and control at the same time as protecting people from risk of abuse and harm. However, there are few robust evaluation studies currently available and no systematic research studies were found on cost‐effectiveness. Originality/value: The paper shows that there is a clear need for further pilots of Mediation and FGC in adult safeguarding. If such research and pilot evaluations find M and/or FGC to be effective, then more consideration will need to be given as to how to integrate such approaches into mainstream social work practice. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
safeguarding adults, mediation, family group conferences, personalisation, family-centred approach, Mental Capacity Act 2005;
Content type:
research review
United Kingdom
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