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Hoarding and self neglect- law and good practice 28 February 2024

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Date, Time & Location

Feb 28, 2024, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

via Zoom

About the Event

Most mental health and social work professionals have encountered a client with a serious hoarding problem – someone who has accumulated items to the point that it is impacting significantly on their life and/or upon other people, but who is resistant to any attempt to declutter their home. These problems tend to be long- standing, but because they are not generally seen as a ‘crisis’ they do not usually receive the concerted, multidisciplinary attention that they need. Even though the Care Act 2014 now includes hoarding under the heading of ‘abuse and neglect’, it still tends to be left to the case worker to try to find a way forward, often in the face of fierce resistance from the individual who claims they want to be left alone. Many professionals are unclear what they are legally able to do, and even whether they should be attempting to intervene at all.

This one-day interactive course for mental health and social care professionals reviews the different manifestations of hoarding and the possible origins of this behaviour, and then considers a range of possible responses under the law and where each one might be appropriate. The course does not aim to provide a ‘magic wand’ to solve what are often intractable problems, nor to look in detail at therapeutic approaches, but rather to equip participants with a clear understanding of when intervention is justified and of the potential legal ways forward. It also gives participants the opportunity to share their own strategies and successes in hoarding cases.

The course will cover the following key topics:

  • What is ‘hoarding’, and how it relates to self-neglect generally
  • The diversity of hoarding behaviour and its possible causes
  • The role of adult safeguarding under the Care Act 2014
  • Whether intervention can be justified in the context of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Scope for use of the Mental Health Act
  • How the Mental Capacity Act can help
  • When it is appropriate to use environmental health law

The course will be delivered by Sara-Jayne Williams

Sara-Jayne Williams is a Social Work England registered social worker, having obtained her professional status in 2001. She has experience of working with older people, adults with learning disabilities and adults with physical health needs. Sara-Jayne has experience of front line social work practice, supervision and managing a social work team.

Sara-Jayne has a particular interest in the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). For eight years, she was employed as the lead MCA/DoLS professional for a local authority, advising social care staff on their use of the MCA and DoLS. She is a member of the National Mental Capacity Forum. Sara-Jayne is also a Best Interests Assessor (BIA) under DoLS. Sara-Jayne is passionate about demystifying the MCA. She is highly motivated, enthusiastic and driven to ensure best practice and compliance with human rights legislation.

Sara-Jayne was awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Post-Compulsory Education in 2019. Sara-Jayne has designed, delivered and reviewed training on the MCA, DoLS and the Care Act 2014. Training has been delivered to a range of audiences, including health and social care, police, housing and colleagues from the private, voluntary and independent sector.

Includes all course materials and a certificate. Course access details will be emailed direct to delegate(s) upon completion of your booking.  If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email  or call 07341 277487.


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