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'The process of engaging in an assessment should be therapeutic and perceived of as part of the range of services offered.'
This DOH view acknowledges that assessment is more than an administrative task, a form of gatekeeping for resources or a means of determining risk. It confirms the need for assessment and intervention to be conceptualised as part of a continuum of contact between social worker and service user.
This essential book, acclaimed in its first edition, offers social workers an extensively revised, restructured and updated, comprehensive guide to empowering practice for them and the people with whom they work. It:
Using case illustrations, evidence based guidance, and practical activities combined with extensive references, this valuable learning resource will help students, practitioners, managers, trainers and policy-makers to synthesise social work knowledge and theory to provide holistic support and effective services.
Large format paperback. 176 pages. 9781905541683. Published 2010. £18.95.
From the author's introduction to the second edition:
Since the first edition was published "several authoritative reports have illustrated the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of life in modern Britain, and that Britain has become an increasingly divided nation where the richest 10% of the population are more than 100 times as wealthy as the poorest 10% of society - one of the highest levels of inequality in any modern industrialised country. They also show that the poorest people in society die sooner and become ill younger than the richest and that social mobility is stagnant with evidence that family wealth, private education and privileged access to University remain the key determinants of career success and well-paid employment...
"The latest in a long line of government reports into the future of social work produced by the Social Work Taskforce (DCSF 2009) listed many recommendations to guide the future development of the profession...
"The problem with this list of ideas is that it came without an action plan, timescale of implementation or identified funding linked to demonstrable change. Social workers will rightly feel that this is so much more rhetoric, while they observe deep cuts in public services and welfare provision which are bound to create more need within neglected and deprived communities...
"At the time of writing in 2010 a new Government is embarking upon a programme of cuts and a deep-rooted ideological aversion to the public sector and the principles of the welfare state which will devastate communities and tear at the very fabric of society - testing social workers to the very limit of their endurance and resilience...
"This book is designed as a practical manual; for use by busy practitioners, students, trainers and professional education providers requiring evidence-based knowledge and guidance to enable staff to engage with people in a supportive way."
Social work practitioners, students, trainers, professional education providers, and libraries who serve them. It is specifically geared towards the needs of those on graduate training courses, PQ students, as well as for a range of in-service training in voluntary or statutory social work and social care.
Part One: Principles of assessment and intervention
Modern assessment practice
Mental health assessment
Caring for carers
Community care assessment
Children and families assessment
Common assessment framework
Assessment as process
Three models of assessment
Creative assessment practice
Modern intervention practice
The problem with theory
Methods and models of practice
Family therapy/systemic practice
Cognitive behavioural practice
Task centred practice
Postmodernism and social work
Anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice
Resources and intervention
Endings, closure and doubt
Risk assessment and risk management
Two approaches to risk
Minimising risk is possible
The social construction of risk
Risk assessment in child care
Risk assessment in mental health
Risk assessment with elderly people
Elder abuse and assessment
Towards holistic risk assessment
Safeguarding and protecting vulnerable people
The prevalence of abuse
Stages of the safeguarding process
The Children Act 1989
The Children Act 2004
National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Midwifery Services
National Service Framework for Older People 2001
National Service Framework for Mental Health 1999
The care programme approach
Skills and knowledge for safeguarding
Part Two: Challenges and dilemmas in practice - by Chris Beckett
Shifting roles in assessment and intervention
Diversity of roles
Conflict of roles
Social work and social control
More on the control agent role
The control agent role and direct work
Implications for assessment
Implications for intervention
Some ethical considerations
Roles and relationships
Working with limited resources
Social work's involvement in rationing
Rationing in voluntary organisations
The manager-practitioner split
Individual budgets and direct payments
Competing for resources
Resources and intervention
Time is a resource
Philosophy and resource allocation
Time is a resource
Economy and efficiency
Aiming for consistency and fairness
Thresholds of need
Need and eligibility in children’s services
Thresholds of risk
Harm and risk
False negatives and false positives
Where to draw the line?
Part Three: Synthesising, integrating and developing practice
Empowerment and socially inclusive practice
Community practice and social development
Socially excluded groups
Elements of socially inclusive practice
Disability equality and social exclusion
Legislation and policy
Globalisation and emancipatory practice
Cultural, spiritual and religious dimensions
Applying theory to practice
Citizenship, nationality and race
What is culture?
Care, control and partnership
Partnership practice with young people
Understanding spirituality and religion
Religion and belief
Culture and spirituality
Psychology, religion and spirituality
Therapy and cultural belief
Integrating methods, skills and values
Strategies for integration
Intuition versus analysis
Ethics and values
Social work skills
The practice context
Multi-disciplinary and inter-agency working
The challenges in working together
Service user involvement
Recording and record keeping
Evaluation and evidence-based practice
Types of evaluation
Process versus outcome
Useful terms and concepts
Evaluating social work - the people's perspective
How to evaluate
The social work dilemma
Reflective and reflexive practice
What works in practice?
Change and the practice evidence-base
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Steven Walker is Principal Lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University.
Chris Beckett is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.
"Provides philosophical and practice guidance to practice dilemmas with the aid of activities that readers are urged not to skip as their responses will in themselves be a resource to practice... In having to resolve so many conflicts of accountability, social work is almost unique amongst professions.” Professional Social Work.
"Helpful, given the pressure that can be felt by front line workers to consider assessment to be the completion of a form and a fixed task. Intervention can so easily be considered simply as something for which we don’t have adequate resources... addresses overarching issues such as rationing of services and thresholds of need which are particularly pertinent in the "Big Society" of today. There is much that is useful in this book.” Rostrum.
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION
"A thoughtful and ethically realistic book which addresses the principles and dilemmas of contemporary social work practice... it draws on a wide-ranging examples of practice across all the mainstream client groups… an engaging and stimulating book... reading this book has challenged my assumptions about the nature of assessment and intervention in social work practice; it has encouraged me to think critically, analytically and ethically about them and their intertwined relationships... it will be an important resource." Health and Social Care in the Community.
"An extremely informative book on which to build and develop high standards of practice and, together with the extensive further reading list, it provides the reader with a useful range of learning material." Practice
"An accessible and thought-provoking guide, with succinct summaries if the main points and clear advice on common dilemmas faced by social care professionals." Adoption and Fostering.
"An in-depth examination of contemporary assessment practice and contemporary models of intervention... an impressive resource-cum-guide." Care and Health.
"A vast amount of information is covered... The authors have also included activities and case scenarios... This interactive approach, coupled with a comprehensive list of further reading, makes it particularly useful." Community Care
"I would recommend this book." Rostrum.
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