A common factor in the abuse of people with intellectual disabilities in residential settings has been the failure of care staff and frontline managers to recognise poor practice at an early stage and prevent its development into a culture of abuse. In this context, staff understandings of abuse and poor practice in residential services for people with intellectual disabilities were explored.
Semi‐structured interviews (n = 56) were undertaken with care staff and frontline managers working across England. Interviews included the use of vignettes, based on real‐life experiences of people with intellectual disabilities, to prompt discussion.
Staff struggled to define either “abuse” or “poor practice”, focussing more on individual acts or omissions than on institutional practices. When faced with vignettes, staff demonstrated a lack of agreement regarding what constitutes either abuse or poor practice.
The implications for practice in residential care settings and for safeguarding training are discussed.
Fyson, R., & Patterson, A. (2020). Staff understandings of abuse and poor practice in residential settings for adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 33(3), 354-363. https://doi.org/10.1111/jar.12677