Risk Assessment in People With LearningDisabilities 2e
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Risk Assessment in People with Learning Disabilities, Second Edition reflects legislative updates made over the past decade while continuing to demystify the process of assessing risk for people with intellectual impairment (previously called 'learning disabilities').
  • Revisits techniques of risk assessment outlined in First Edition in light of the recent legislative changes, most notably the 2005 Mental Capacity Act
  • Covers methods of assessing a person's capacity to consent in a range of situations, from the everyday, to complex medical or psychological scenarios
  • Covers implications of new guidelines issued in relation to the Care Programme Approach (CPA)


Carol Sellars is a retired Chartered Clinical and Forensic Psychologist. She worked for the NHS Trust for more than thirty years with a wide range of client groups with different types of problems.


Preface: Introduction to Second Edition vii

Chapter 1 Assessing Risks in the Lives of People with Intellectual Impairment 1

Chapter 2 The Problem of Predicting Risk 13

Chapter 3 Assessing Risks and Establishing Care Plans 27

Chapter 4 Everyday Risks 47

Chapter 5 Parents with Intellectual Impairment 69

Chapter 6 Self-harm, Mental Illness and Risk 89

Chapter 7 Other Mental Disorders and Associated Risks 103

Chapter 8 Violence and Offending in People with Intellectual Impairment 123

Chapter 9 Sex Offenders with Intellectual Impairment 141

Chapter 10 Assessment of Risk with Those You Care For: the Way Forward 155

References and Suggested Further Reading 167

Index 171


Risk Assessment in People with Learning Disabilities, 2nd Edition provides a step-by-step guide to the process of assessing and minimising risk in situations ranging from crossing the road to serious sexual offending. It offers a thoughtful, ‘person-centred’ approach, encourages empathy and explores the impact of risk decisions on both the person with intellectual impairment and those around them. It explains the apparently conflicting legal responsibilities and gives clear guidance on implementing the Mental Capacity Act.  This is a book that will be pulled off the shelf every time a difficult risk decision needs to be made. Everyone who works with individuals with intellectual impairment should have a copy.
Zillah Webb, Consultant Clinical Psychologist for the Learning Disabilities Service, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Following the passing of the Mental Health Act, this updated version takes as its philosophy an enabling and facilitating rather than just a preventative approach to risk for those with mental impairments, so that they can lead as normal a life as possible.  It is commonsensical in its approach, advising what questions should be addressed together with credible examples.  This book will give confidence to care staff in ensuring a safe environment for those for whom they care on a day-to-day basis.
Paul Devonshire,Former Head of Forensic Clinical Psychology Department, Shaftesbury Clinic, London, UK. 

Risk Assessment in People with Learning Difficulties, 2nd Edition is a clear and up to date description of risk assessment, written by someone who has many years of experience in the field. It helps  care staff and professionals to make sense of the complexities involved in risk assessment and gives frameworks for people to undertake it, maximising safety for all involved whilst giving people with intellectual impairment ‘fuller lives with greater freedom of choice’ and recognising resource limitations. This is a book to read, use and keep on the shelf to refer to over and over again.
Valerie E. Barden, Retired Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Learning Disability Services NHS, UK