Preparedness of final year speech and language therapy students and newly qualified therapists for safeguarding following undergraduate level training
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Objective: To investigate preparedness of final year speech and language therapy students and newly qualified therapists for safeguarding following undergraduate level training. Design: An online questionnaire survey composed of statements related to preparedness for safeguarding in practice and case scenarios for identification of and response to abuse was undertaken. A focus group explored views on undergraduate training in safeguarding. Participants: 32 final year undergraduate speech and language therapy students and 7 newly qualified therapists from accredited speech and language therapy degree courses in the United Kingdom (UK). 5 undergraduate speech and language therapy students from one university took part in the focus group. Results: A significant relationship was found between participants’ preparedness for safeguarding and participants who were clear on their role in safeguarding. The majority of participants requested more safeguarding training at undergraduate level, and a significant relationship was found between this request and preparedness for safeguarding (p<0.05). No significant relationship was found between preparedness for safeguarding and training undertaken in previous employment. A significant relationship was not found between preparedness for safeguarding and research on safeguarding undertaken in free time (p>0.05). Participants accurately identified and responded to abuse in 6 out of 8 case scenarios (p<0.05). Participants identified both positive and negative aspects of the safeguarding training at undergraduate level in terms of timing, experience and the reporting process, and made suggestions for undergraduate safeguarding training. Conclusion: Undergraduate students and newly qualified therapists’ preparedness for safeguarding is related to clarity of role in safeguarding. Knowledge of types of abuse and action required in safeguarding is evident. Inclusion of safeguarding training early in the undergraduate curriculum, with a focus on theoretical knowledge and the safeguarding procedures, is proposed.
B.Sc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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