Discriminatory Abuse and Working with Trans People: Exploring Practice Responses through Story Completion

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Introduction – Discriminatory abuse is a safeguarding adults’ category in English policy. It refers to abuse which is targeted at people who have care and support needs on account of their protected characteristics. Reporting is very low and little is known about practice responses in this area.

Aim & Objectives – This presentation will report on a small scale story completion project, undertaken in partnership with the charity Research in Practice, where 17 social work and social care practitioners were asked to write short story responses about how they would navigate working with a trans person who had experienced discriminatory abuse. Themes from the stories will be identified.

Methods – Story completion is a creative qualitative method which asks participants to respond to the first few lines of a story and continue the story. It is particularly useful for researching phenomena that are sensitive or where self-report methods are unhelpful due to a lack of experience with the subject, but where it is feasible that this could arise for the participant. In this instance, practitioners responded to a story stub that involved a trans person who has care and support needs reporting discrimination in their community. Thematic analysis was used to develop a better understanding of potential practice responses.

Findings/Outcomes – Story responses emphasised (a) unfamiliarity and lack of practitioner readiness, but eagerness to learn and some helpful suggestions, (b) an awareness that the person’s experience may be substantially different to practitioner assumptions and (c) an awareness of a lack of readiness at an organisational level for this type of work

Discussion/Conclusion – This is a small scale study with practitioners who may not have experience of working with people who are trans but where contact with this group was feasibly likely to arise in their practice.

Implication(s) for Practice – More work to familiarise practitioner confidence in working with people who are trans is needed, but at an organisational level, substantial work is required to ensure workforce development, policy development and practice responses are developed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2023
EventInternational Sexuality and Social Work Conference 2023: Everyday gender and sexuality: justice, rights and activism in social work and helping professions - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Jul 202319 Jul 2023
Conference number: 5


ConferenceInternational Sexuality and Social Work Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleISSWC 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
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