Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

McCaslin, Rosemary


There are substantial amounts of research on risk factors that contribute to abuse among adults with developmental disabilities. There are also studies that explore preventative measures and safety factors to help reduce abuse among the population. These relevant studies and research has examined the relationship between developmental disabilities, types of abuse, risk factors, effectiveness of risk assessments, and prevention. The main purpose of this study is to explore the problem of high abuse rates amongst this population and discuss social service professional’s perspective on the current preventative measures used to protect adults with developmental disabilities from abuse. For this quantitative study, the researcher distributed questionnaires to social service professionals to gauge their experiences with working with the developmentally disabled population, and assessing abuse. The data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed for the purpose of giving a descriptive and exploratory view of the study. The key findings of the study showed the demographics of the participants and clients, abuse types and assessment techniques, and outcomes of abuse cases. There were no significant findings between variables, but the data showed that there is a break down in effective assessment techniques and procedures when assessing abuse among the developmentally disabled. Limitations and recommendations for social work practice were also discussed.