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Tags: Mental Health, Social Work

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The Social Worker’s Guide to Liberty Protection Safeguards

AUTHOR : By Martin Sexton Edited by Pete Feldon

ISBN : 9781913063931

Edition No : 1

Publication : Feb 14, 2022

Extent : 192 pgs


A new scheme of human rights safeguards comes into force in England and Wales in 2020 with the aim to protect people who cannot make their own decisions and whose care involves a level of restriction that may infringe their human rights. Liberty Protection Safeguards will apply from aged 16 upwards so all social workers in adult’s services and many in children’s services will be working with them. The Social Worker’s Guide to Liberty Protection Safeguards ensures that social workers have a clear understanding of the new legislation and, crucially, how to apply it to their practice.

Written by an experienced practitioner, the book summarises the human rights basis of LPS and takes a critical look at the contexts in which the legislation operates.  The LPS process and the different roles that social workers will have when implementing LPS are explained.  It analyses the potential weaknesses of the safeguards and how social workers can take a critical and reflective approach to implementing them.  Attention is also paid to the roles of other professionals (e.g. advocates), and of the Court of Protection in regulating LPS. Specific topics that are likely to be particularly challenging under LPS are highlighted, including liberty and family care, fluctuating capacity, covert medication, restrictions on contact with others, and intimate relationships.

This book is the first in a new series, Critical Social Work Law which will take new or complex areas of the law, explain them clearly to practitioners and demonstrate how they should be applied to social work practice.



  1. Introduction 
  1. Human rights and social work in England and Wales - an overview 
  1. Restrictions on liberty in health and social care settings 
  1. The LPS process 
  1. The role of the Approved Mental Capacity Professional 
  1. LPS and young people 
  1. Complex practice issues and LPS 
  1. Challenges to LPS authorisations 
  1. Glossary 
  1. Bibliography 
  1. Cases cited


Martin Sexton trained as a social worker at Brunel University.  He was the winner of the inaugural Jo Campling Memorial Prize for a student essay on ethics and social welfare. 

Martin is currently is a social work team manager with Salford City Council.  He is a member of the British Association of Social Workers and was a member of its Policy Ethics and Human Rights Committee from 2016 to 2020.  Martin was a member of the Department of Health and Social Care stakeholder group that drafted the LPS Code of Practice.  

Martin has also been a member of a NICE guideline committee producing guidance on safeguarding adults in care homes.


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