Safeguarding is a key role for social workers working with people with learning disabilities. This assignment will consider models of human development and critically analyse factors that impact upon the vulnerability of adults. It will further explore how adults with learning disabilities are oppressed and discriminated against at various levels. Using a practical example I demonstrate how I use theory to critically reflect on the consequences and dilemmas for practice with vulnerable adults and investigate issues that may affect safeguarding in the present day.
Theorists have long sought to define human development and consider the effects that it can have on our lives. Our knowledge of how we develop as we do draws broadly speaking, on three disciplines: Biology, sociology and psychology (Wilson etal 2008). Erikson (1950) developed a model of Human Development titled the "Eight Stages of Man". This Psychosocial approach saw individual identity being developed as they move through points in their lives as they age (Crawford and Walker 2003). Critics of the model argue that it does not take into account issues of stigma, oppression and discrimination, however, they do describe in general the kinds of concerns that human beings encounter at different stages of their lives (Trevithick 2005). Bronfenbrenner (1979) takes an Ecological approach to human development and considers that "human development takes place through processes of progressively more complex reciprocal interaction between an active, evolving bio psychological human organism and the persons, objects, and symbols in its immediate environment".
The notion that human development can be affected on a number of levels has been adopted in numerous theories, and moves on from the work of Maslow, Freud, and Erikson to consider external factors that can influence a person's
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