Link: Every day sexuality and social work: locating sexuality in professional practice and education. This article looks at sexuality in social work and suggests that, despite advances in recent years, many difficulties remain. It highlights lack of attention given to addressing heterosexism, homophobia and discrimination in education and practice. The Code of practice for social care workers sets out the standards of professional conduct and practice required of social care workers as they go about their daily work.
This report investigates how professional standards and regulations discriminate against opportunities for people with disabilities to enter the social care profession. Link: Maintaining standards: promoting equality: professional regulation within nursing, teaching and social work and disabled people's access to these professions PDF file. This audit tool can be used either to evaluate a specific assessment, or as a reflective learning exercise to aid professional development.
Completion of the questionnaire generates an automated response that includes:. Social work practitioners often find themselves working with team members from other professions who may doubt their worth. This article discusses some of the challenges facing social workers and highlights the positive experience of one social worker working in palliative care. Link: Only the lonely This report presents the findings of a small-scale qualitative study into the professional conduct of social workers. The study explored actual and hypothetical scenarios involving encounters with a social worker, in order to elicit feedback on where users of services feel professional boundaries should lie and why.
Link: Professional boundaries in social work: a qualitative study PDF file. Professionals who take their religious beliefs into social work practice can end up in a disciplinary hearing. This article discusses whether religion has a place in social work, and whether it is ever appropriate for social workers to express their religious beliefs.
Link: Should I pray or should I go? Social work brings its own distinctive knowledge, skills and values to a team, and other team members benefit from the understanding and insights that social work offers. Link: Social work at its best: a statement of social work roles and tasks for the 21st century PDF file. The significance of spirituality has tended to be neglected, but is now experiencing a resurgence of interest and is receiving increasing attention.
This paper seeks to combine the two important areas by exploring the interrelationships between spirituality and equality — two vitally important aspects of social work and social policy. Link: Spirituality and equality PDF file. It is only relatively recently that the views of service users have been sought in social work discussion and so they have not been systematically collected or made widely available. This paper is a literature informed report on the views of service users.
Link: The changing roles and tasks of social work from service users' perspectives. Link: What is reflective practice? Word document. Click here to view the full outcome statement on Professional development on the Skills for Care website. NQSW resource - Outcome statement Professional development Professional development: Key resources Take some time now to explore our list of key resources and websites that may be of use in helping you think about professional development and accountability.
These have been organised into: Essential resources SCIE resources Other resources Useful websites Essential resources Your local policies, procedures and guidance: Council equality scheme Code of conduct Promoting diversity and equality of opportunity policies Dignity at work policy Grievance and disciplinary procedures Code of practice for social care workers and Code of practice for employers of social care workers General Social Care Council Continuing Professional Development for the social cafe workforce: the framework Skills for Care Law and social work: Accountability and intervention SCIE The critical practitioner in social work and health care Fraser and Matthews, eds.
See abstract on Social Care Online. The National Occupational Standards NOS expect social workers to: be accountable for their assessments work within the risk assessment and risk management procedures of the organisation contribute to the management of resources and services manage, present and share records and reports critically evaluate their own performance in light of knowledge and evidence of cause, need, risk, options, and models and methods of assessment use organisational and professional supervision to review the above reflect on the implications of needs and demands assessed, the relevance of assessment methods, the suitability of resources to respond and the effectiveness of response use the reflections above to contribute to personal, professional and organisational learning.
These e-learning resources will further your understanding of: the impact of identity, beliefs and culture on the process of communication the importance of sensitivity to issues of culture, identity and belief in communication the kinds of dilemmas that arise in communication across cultural and social divides. Link: Learning Organisations. This guide explores the supervision contract and what you can expect from your supervisor.
Link: Professional identity and collaboration. For the individual practitioner it provides a statement of the expected standard against which to review their own work either on their own or with their clinical supervisor. For professions involved in capacity assessments it provides a consensus statement of expected standards Link: BPS audit tool.
Completion of the questionnaire generates an automated response that includes: an indication of the effectiveness of the assessment suggestions to enhance practice including links to relevant sections of the Code of practice and other available information relevant to capacity assessments an option to join an online network of practitioners to share good practice. Full outcome statement Click here to view the full outcome statement on Professional development on the Skills for Care website. Contact us. Safeguarding adults. Mental Capacity Act. Dementia care. Children's services.
For white Anglo-Saxons, ironically, owning and valuing ethnic and cultural identity and its influences can be problematic, in the first place because they are rendered almost invisible by being the norm in the UK context. The ethnocentric assumption is that it is others who are different, who have racial and ethnic identities, which are then seen as requiring special pleading. Owning a white cultural identity brings the discomfort of an implicit label of oppressor.
Seeking to empower individuals and to challenge oppression and discrimination may involve more than just recognising and challenging on the basis of rather simplistic models of identity and social relations. Increasingly, it becomes part of a wider project of critical practice aiming to facilitate more permeable boundaries, acknowledge more flexible roles and identities and develop more dialogic ways of working with others.
It is about supporting the inclusion of service-users or recipients as equal — or indeed lead — participants within negotiations and decision making and in the control of service planning and delivery. There is in this sense both a moral and a pragmatic or evidence-based dimension. Scientific method offers an approach to evolving knowledge and practice in this way by testing out beliefs to prove or, alternatively, to attempt to disprove them. The notion of evidence-based practice stems from this tradition Muir Gray, and now forms the basis for policy planning and implementation, for professional practice and audit and for professional training and professional development.
The call for evidence-based practice reflects a rational and, what some would describe as, a Western frame of reference. In general, the quest for understanding in Western thought is for facts, in the East, for feelings. The Westerner seeks knowledge, the Easterner seeks to know. The second dimension of cultural style concerns the response: whether by seeking to control or eradicate the symptoms, or by acceptance combined with a restoration of balance. The third dimension addresses assumptions about outcome — whether a concern with re-establishing the autonomy and interests of the individual or with the harmony of the social group to which the individual belongs.
Yet professionals have their own ethnic and cultural origins and styles and, as with those they are working with, these will vary widely. And yet, increasingly, this power is called into question by the central importance of creating dialogue, partnership and respect. As well as such concerns about whether practitioners should rely solely on rational analytic approaches, there are also reasons to doubt that professionals do, or even can, operate in a purely rational way.
Theoreticians exploring how people make decisions have struggled to find models which account for how they do so. Typically, these have been cognitive and statistical models, describing the kinds of factors that may be taken into account in thinking rationally about the best decision to reach Ranyard et al. Such a formulation would fit comfortably with the implementation of evidence-based practice. We are also influenced by our attitudes and values and by the feedback loops from earlier decisions.
Therefore, they argue, it is essentially a social process rather than a rational, individual one. In other words, belief systems and cultural style may have a powerful impact on practice. From large-scale policy issues to specific practice decisions and the moment-to-moment decisions that are part of an ongoing process — how to respond to a request, how to initiate or conclude a conversation, the tone of voice, the interpretations placed on what is said or done — all will be influenced not just by formal evidence and analysis but by a host of other less formal understandings and feelings Schon, and ; Lester, ; Schell and Ceverso, Rational, evidence-based practice can be powerfully effective, but it will always depend on what evidence is seen as relevant and what outcomes are seen as meaningful.
It is inevitably limited in its range of vision, and the critical practitioner seeking to make a difference and also to value difference must draw on it as a tool and source of information, but not as the whole or only story. Experience and expertise should not be devalued, nor, as Claxton argues, the power of human intuition. Neither should we ignore the importance of the value base operating alongside our own unconscious motivations and defences.
In professions and organisations which are mediating human need and social justice, there is surprisingly little emphasis on the fundamental human processes involved. Barnett suggests we cannot have genuine critical thinking and critical action without self-engagement. We need to recognise these broader frames of reference in thinking about evidencebased practice and professional development.
If the professionalisation of work in health and social care is ultimately of value, it must be because it enhances rather than dehumanises our capacity to value and understand ourselves and others as moral and sentient beings — and our capacity to treat others, especially vulnerable others, accordingly, in working to support and provide for health and social care. Conclusion The concept of critical practice developed here locates the practitioner within the frame as an active participant in a process of creating meanings and understandings and forging relationships and dialogue across difference.
Rather than presuming a detached, objective and wholly rational role based on assumptions of passive compliance from others, the critical practitioner is seen as reflexive and engaged. Thus, in seeking to work in an empowering way, awareness of personal and socio-cultural origins and belief systems is seen as an essential basis for creating respectful and equal relationships and for challenging discriminatory barriers. Critical practitioners must be skilled and knowledgeable and yet remain open to alternative ideas, frameworks and belief systems, recognising and valuing alternative Fraser-Ch This sense of critical practice with its dilemmas and conflicts, but also its sense of creative and developmental process, underpins and infuses the work of all health and social care practitioners today.
References Allen, D. Argyris, C. Barnett, R.
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Bateson, G. London: Intertext Books. Braye, S. Buckingham: Open University Press. Brechin, A. Campbell, J. Balloch and N. Connelly eds , Buying and Selling Social Care. London: National Institute for Social Work. Clarke, J. Saraga ed. London: Routledge. Claxton, G. Culley, L. Davies, L. Finlay and A.
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London: HMSO. Dominelli, L. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Doyle, C. Dutt, R. Eiser, J. Fernando, S. Fish, D. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. Fletcher, K. London: Jessica Kingsley. Gergen, K. New York: Basic Books. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press. Glendinning, C. Bristol: Policy Press. Gomm, R. Walmsley J. Reynolds, P. Shakespeare and R. Habermas, J. London: Heinemann. Harre, R. New York: Basil Blackwell. Hornby, S. Oxford: Blackwell. Howe, D. Aldershot: Wildwood House. Kahneman, D. Slovic, P. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kitwood, T.
Kolb, D. Thorpe, R. Edwards and A. Hanson eds , Culture and Processes of Adult Learning. Layder, D. London: UCL Press. Lester, S. Lewis, G. Loxley, A. Mann, H. Smith ed. London: Arnold. Maynard, M. McNamee, S. Morris, J. Muir Gray, J. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. Oliver, M. Pinkney, S. Hughes and G. Porter, R. Porter, S. Ranyard, R. Crozier, W.
R and Svensen, O. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Saraga, E. Schell, B. Schon, D. London: Temple Smith. Tsoukas ed. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Scottish Executive Protection of Children Act. Shakespeare, T. Shotter, J. Smith, P. London: Department of Health. Spandler, H. Stainton, T. Swain, J. Thompson, N.
Tsang, N. It might appear that their knowledge, skills and experience enable them to make well-informed and accurate judgements about interventions, but these are circumscribed — if not compromised — by the many different forms of regulation that surround and constrain their actions. This chapter aims to explore these themes, particularly in relation to regulation around issues such as qualifying training, national standards, codes of practice and the regulatory role of the General Social Care Council GSCC.
These types of regulation control entry to the profession and progression within it — yet they are not controlled by the profession itself. We will reflect on whether social work is a profession and, if so, what sort of regulation it is subject to and how the profession should respond to such regulation. It should not be taken for granted that social work, in itself, actually constitutes a profession. We begin this chapter by offering some theoretical constructs drawn from the sociology of professions, to enhance our understanding of the concept.
Most authors begin with the concept of professional knowledge. At first glance, we might assume that social work fits the bill here, but let us pause to ask the question: does social work have a distinctive knowledge base? The question is difficult to answer; social work itself has always been something of a contested activity and authors have frequently commented on its struggles to define its status, both in terms of an academic discipline as well as an arena of professional practice Lovelock et al.
There are, however, readily identifiable statements about social work knowledge. The social work qualifying degree is assessed against National Occupational Standards TOPSS, and involves a standardised curriculum contained in statements from the Department of Health DoH, and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education QAAHE, — yet all these statements are fairly general and it is hard to pick out aspects that are quintessentially social work, as opposed to any other profession. Social work draws on knowledge from a range of disciplines, notably law, social policy, psychology, sociology, and so forth.
Thinking more broadly, there can be little doubt that what a student learns as they enter the social work profession has a profound effect, beyond knowledge learning. Our identity as people is often defined by matters such as gender, class, and race but perhaps we might more readily see ourselves as best defined by the profession we have chosen.
Hall, writing on this broad theme of identity, believes that we no longer possess simple identities, but rather fragmented, contradictory identities Hall, Perhaps, as social workers, we are constructing a composite professional identity that draws in a similar way from different sources. The question this raises is one of consistency — how can social work be a unified profession under such circumstances?
This, in turn, leads us to a second professional trait: organisation, in the sense of cohesion. This would include how social work might distance itself from other occupations and maintain its exclusivity around some aspects of its role. For social work, this is perhaps less clear as there is no obvious unifying body or agency. The British Association of Social Workers BASW takes on aspects of this role and is certainly the largest association promoting high professional standards in social work but its membership is less than complete and it struggles to articulate a comprehensive professional voice.
Furthermore, social work Fraser-Ch One might conclude that this is a particular area of challenge and provides both threat and opportunity to social work as a profession. Payne suggests that the location of social workers in a range of different settings, and within multi- and interprofessional teams provides positive opportunities for individual social workers to develop skills and influence. The third and final trait is related to how a bond is created and maintained within the profession. There are two elements commonly referred to: adherence to a professional code of conduct and a commitment to altruistic service.
The traits that we have discussed represent the sociological make-up of a profession; they are acquired over time within a historical but non-linear development and can be exhibited to varying degrees within a wide range of characteristics.
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Etzioni, v Etzioni was the first writer to delineate social work in this way using the traits of the traditional, established professions as a gauge and seeing how it measured up. The importance of judgements of this kind is seen when we consider how much power each occupational group is able to exert in the workplace. Ask the question: who controls the workplace? Is it social workers who control the type of work they engage in, the methods of intervention and so forth?
Or do those decisions tend to be made by managers within the bureaucratic structures of an organisation? Etzioni Fraser-Ch Following this line of argument we can reflect on the problems and tensions that can arise when a professional group, such as social work, with its particular knowledge and value base, works within an organisational structure. This might be a local authority or health service that, while sympathetic to the aims of the profession, has other competing agendas that arguably necessarily limit the level of discretion and autonomy that it wishes the profession to command.
A local authority, for example, has many different professions working within its boundaries, tight budgets to manage and prioritise, and responsibilities over consistency and quality in the delivery of service that inevitably lead it to seek greater control over the workplace.
At its simplest we can see this argument laid out in the competition between needs-led and resources-led assessment. They attempt to define both the work and the way the organisation functionaries will react. Thus, in a predefined situation, the social worker is expected to act in a pre-programmed way. Work becomes both fragmented and standardised.
By increasing rules, routines, procedures, the manager diminishes the area of professional discretion available to the social worker. Howe, But does this sound like the reality of the situation? There is perhaps also a sense in which there is a process of professionalisation that social work is engaged with that fluctuates over time, and social work is perhaps not accurately seen as a perennial semi-profession. He sees this as an ongoing, dynamic process and reminds us that professions and social work, in particular, are engaged in different struggles as they make their way.
He describes a process where principles of efficiency, predictability and control are brought to bear on a limited number of services, where training is focused on people learning how to intervene in a small number of limited ways and where the environment of social work loses its scope for innovation and creativity. He acknowledges that he may be pessimistic about the Fraser-Ch Briefly considering the critical path taken by the profession towards its present location, we can see some significant staging posts along the way that have affected both the social work role and its context.
James argues that during the s social work enjoyed a highly individualised way of working, clearly focused on the relationship between social worker and client. He further suggests that the creation of social services departments in in England and Wales led to the bureaucratisation of social work and that the development of short-term, task-centred, contract-based and behavioural methods of intervention began to dominate practice James, By the s there was a clear perception that social workers spent a reduced amount of time working directly with service-users themselves.
With these shifts in role came the notion of case management. Rather than working primarily and directly with individuals, social workers became responsible for making more comprehensive assessments and subsequently integrating the whole range of activity and intervention connected with an individual. The corollary? That the social worker focuses on administrative, procedural and organisational aspects of the role Lymbery and Butler, For the purposes of this chapter we will look at particular aspects of regulation that are located within the broad frameworks of social work registration and professional education, attempting to understand them in terms of social work as a profession.
The path taken towards registration for the profession is closely intertwined with the debate about whether a central council would enhance the development of social work as a profession. Should this central council be seen as an advocate for the profession, promoting its interests, or should it possess a more regulatory role? Yet, this was not a particularly new or novel idea. The registration of social workers was actually considered by a study committee of the Association of Social Workers ASW which met and reported in It did not suggest that enhanced professional status would result.
However, it only covered training for social workers in health and welfare departments, and the Central Training Council in Child Care continued with its work. In the mids the government rejected a proposal to develop a three-year qualification for social work Payne, The election of a Labour government in saw the introduction of a number of measures which together appear to have raised the profile of the social work profession, within the broader context of social care.
The Council has seventeen members and is required by law to have a majority of lay members and a lay chairperson. Both these facets of lay involvement are worthy of note, given our questioning of the control exerted over the profession by those outside of it. In the GSCC published the first code of practice for social care workers and code of practice for employers.
In April the first social workers began to be included in the register of qualified social workers. Together these developments established the profession alongside others that had had similar provisions for some considerable time. They also offer developments that clearly impact at the most fundamental level on issues of profession and regulation.
However, as we can see, the title is contingent upon registration. It must be acknowledged that the process of registration is controlled by the Councils, which are government-sponsored bodies, as opposed to the profession itself. The GSCC, although formed in part from the ashes of the CCETSW, is noticeably more distant from the professional worker than its predecessor, which is illustrated, for example, by its own minimalist approach to the development of the curriculum for the social work degree.
The GSCC has a much broader remit, for example in respect of social care, and a clearer, more formal regulatory function. One cannot equate the profession with the regulatory body. Here they are two distinct entities and it would certainly not be true to say that the GSCC fully reflects the interests of the social work profession which it regulates. Registration In order to be registered, social workers must meet the criteria laid out in Section 58 of the Care Standards Act , demonstrating they are of good character, physically and mentally fit for the professional role, have completed an approved course and agree to abide by the Code of Practice.
Reasonable adjustments and a caring response rather than a bureaucratic, medically framed reaction would be more fitting with the values of the social work profession. McLaughlin, b: 6 The social care register is itself a public document and can be accessed at www. The register records the geographical area within which a registered social worker practises. Re-registration is a further requirement of registration and must take place every three years. Social workers must undertake a minimum of ninety hours or fifteen days post-registration training and learning in order to re-register.
This is an interesting development and follows a similar pattern to some health professions. How much stronger would it have been to require the achievement of a post-qualifying award within that time frame — or even within the first six years of practice? The emphasis, it appears, is on the control dimension of regulating the professional workforce rather than promoting its continuing professional development. There is also a Code of Practice for Employers which governs the agencies in which they work.
The GSCC requires that social workers must: 1. Protect the rights and promote the interests of service-users and carers; 2. Strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service-users and carers; 3. Promote the independence of service-users while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm; 4.
Respect the rights of service-users whilst seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people; 5. Uphold public trust and confidence in social care services; and 6. Be accountable for the quality of their work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving their knowledge and skills. However, one can see that regulation and standard-setting is also an integrated part of this agenda.
Some authors query whether how social workers conduct themselves in their private lives is any business of the GSCC, how well it is equipped to take on the role of moral arbiter and with what agendas it approaches that task McLaughlin, b. Interestingly, McLaughlin points out that there was surprisingly little criticism of the codes following their publication — or indeed since. Given that being struck off the register prevents social workers from future employment in that sector, one might have expected a more forceful response, yet in one survey most social workers believed registration would raise the profile and standards of the profession McLaughlin, b.
The Code of Practice for employees also includes a requirement that social care workers are responsible for maintaining and improving their knowledge and skills. This should include undertaking relevant training towards that personal development as well as their contribution to the learning and development of others Requirement 6. There is a matching requirement in the Code for Employers Requirement 3 , which states that employers must provide training and development opportunities to enable social care workers to strengthen and develop their skills and knowledge.
The vision embodied in the Green Papers for both the child care and adult social care workforce DoH, ; DoH, includes the idea that all staff should have Fraser-Ch Employers are expected to deploy a significant percentage of their staff-training budget on workforce development and individual employees are expected to contribute to the cost of their own development. Social work degree The introduction of the three-year undergraduate degree as the basic requirement for social workers to become qualified and eligible to practise is a significant policy change and results from a long campaign to establish a degree qualification for social work.
The social work degree was introduced in autumn and produced its first graduates in Its key characteristics include the removal of age restrictions for qualifications, the introduction of compulsory CRB and health checks for applicants, and literacy and numeracy standards required for entry. In terms of learning there were also requirements around preparation for placement, evidence-based practice, inter-professional learning and a greater amount of time spent in practice. The number of days on placement for qualifying students increased from to days on the degree, more days, but proportionately the same.
To meet this demand, practice-learning opportunities are being created in agencies that have traditionally not taken social work students and a variety of new ways of offering practice-learning opportunities are being developed Doel, Students on the degree can expect to undertake practice in more than one setting, working with different service-user groups, and have experience of statutory intervention DoH, The NOS for social work are, in one sense, the single, clearest statement of what it currently means to be a social worker.
As is the case with other competency structures, the National Occupational Standards indicate what workers should be able to do in order to demonstrate that they have met the standards set. They consist of broad statements of key functions or roles within social work as practised across a range of settings. There are six key roles in Fraser-Ch Functional analysis was employed to identify what workers must be able to do in order for the key roles to be performed across a range of settings.
The analysis was completed in a series of stages with the levels of performance becoming increasingly more detailed and explicit at each stage. The key roles are thus split down into twenty-one units which are again subdivided into seventy-seven elements of competence. Each element is then expanded into performance criteria. To achieve an element of competence students should be able to demonstrate that they can do everything that is spelt out through the performance criteria.
This can lead to a concentration on the minutiae and a loss of appreciation of the whole because the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts. Dominelli argues that it is a dogmatic and inflexible approach which reduces complex social interactions to snapshots and moves away from relationship-building which, she argues, is the fundamental core of the profession.
Indeed, a significant debate has continued in social work education since the early s about whether a competence-based framework should be applied to the complexities of the profession. Constructions such as the National Occupational Standards for Social Work include a range of skills and knowledge which learners must demonstrate and be able to evaluate critically and apply in practice. Failure to acquire the knowledge which informs competence could lead to robotic performance with little understanding of the reasons why intervention has gone well or badly and poor ability to justify actions and predict outcomes.
In short, it could lead to robotic performance and a de-professionalising of the role. But by the same token, an overemphasis on performance criteria can lead to shallow, unimaginative and essentially unprofessional practice Thompson, Notwithstanding the problems of differentiation in multi-professional settings, social work has experienced difficulty in identifying specifically what its purpose is compared to other professions Wickwar and Wickwar, ; Butrym, ; Barclay Report, ; Clarke, ; Clark, This is pertinent to education and practice.
The challenge is clarifying exactly what its area of expertise is. It could be argued that social work expertise should be negotiated between the professions, recognising that there are areas of overlap. If we pursue this line of thinking, we might need to question whether some of the broader claims about the primary focus of social work could only be achieved as a consequence of the integrated and connected work of a range of professions in the current context.
It might follow that if the areas of expertise which are said to differentiate social work are those which at some point could be adopted or integrated by other professional groups, we would move towards a situation where social work becomes very differently constructed. Alternatively, in respect of Fraser-Ch Does this turn the focus of the profession away from the service-users at the root of vocation and values, or would it allow social work a new foundation on which to build a stronger profession?
There are, of course, at least two sides to the coin of differentiation. One looks at what social work does to differentiate itself from others; the other side can be what social work does to prevent others from colonising its professional territory. One of the enduring observations in social work is that social workers intervene with people at the point at which the individual interacts with their environment Younghusband, ; Hollis, ; Stevenson, An ecological systems perspective is one of the models which are currently used to make a holistic assessment of complex social situations Jack, To maintain a sense of differentiation in this arena, social work might need to identify the particular way in which it adopts its holistic approach, especially in the context of an inter-agency approach.
It may be useful to explore whether there is a contrast in the way that other professions increasingly work with individuals in the context of social and environmental factors, whereas social workers have the expertise to engage directly and in a sustained way with the complex and often conflicting relationships that exist in those networks. It is also suggested that social work can be distinguished by its values Shardlow, The concept of and belief in social justice is a strong premise within the social work profession and is perhaps one starting point for comparison with other claims for a similar value base.
A social justice perspective for social work practice has two strands which relate respectively to the empowering of individuals at the micro level and to the significance of structural disadvantage at the macro level. The first strand emphasises the basis of social morality which, it is suggested, should fundamentally inform social work practice. The second strand relates to the discourse of structural disadvantage. Jordan takes this a step further, urging an emphasis on the social work role in the resolution of structural problems. Social work, in these ways, becomes a political practice, engaging with those confronted by unjust social relations, including those with social institutions such as the state and the family that are divergent from the norm Butler and Pugh, It can therefore be suggested that social work, in its pursuit of social justice, must not only be concerned with individual empowerment, but with political activity in pursuit of that empowerment which is presented as an ethical endeavour.
It seems surprising, given our comments about social justice and professional values, that so little work has been done to develop a care ethics approach to social work, especially given that care is obviously a central concern in human life Banks, Yet it can be argued that care in its sense of virtue does not require the social worker to connect with the person receiving the care Banks, This is not to suggest that we are necessarily focusing on the relationship between the social worker and service-user. Social workers have expertise in relationships not only in the traditional sense of between themselves and the service-user, but in respect of the way in which people are cared for, by others and by themselves, they facilitate those relationships.
Social workers therefore have to develop expertise in communication skills to enable them to engage with service-users to empower people to maximise their potential. They can be expected to facilitate carers, service-users and significant others to care collaboratively and resolve conflict. For individuals who experience stress, there may be an impact on their ability to engage in the reciprocal social relationships which facilitate social functioning.
Social workers can use their social sciences knowledge and practice experience to facilitate the achievement of individual goals for each service-user. So here we see a number of themes coming together. This, perhaps, is a unique aspect to its professional claim. The complex nature of relationships between and among members of a family, significant others, the broader community and society are all, in this analysis, within the frame of understanding and working with the service-user.
How far does the impact of bureaucracy allow the profession to develop its expertise in this area? If we consider the social worker as gatekeeper to services and as case manager, it could be argued that this has led to a distancing of social work from the individual, becoming less rather than more concerned with social justice and the ethics of care. Nevertheless, the discussion earlier in this chapter suggests that there has been a change in the extent to which social workers have discretion in respect of how they deploy their knowledge, skills and values.
We have particularly considered the regulation social work has recently experienced in relation to social work education, the codes of practice and the requirements of registration. These have been broad, legislative forms of regulation that have impacted in very real ways on the nature of training and the ethical base of the profession.
The question remains whether these forms of regulation, with their concerns over quality, consistency and equity, allow the professional sufficient freedom to exert judgement and respond to the increasingly complex scenarios that make up professional practice. Can social workers assert, for example, a case for suitability for services, as opposed to eligibility? Flynn suggests that, Ultimately professionals assert the authority of expertise and claim disinterested integrity … knowledge and skills may be codified and systematized but they cannot be completely programmed; outcomes of intervention are to varying degrees uncertain, and the particularity of individual cases and clients requires professional discretion.
Flynn, 34 The concern about the increasing influence of managerialism and regulation is that the nature and forms of control over what a professional does is so complete that professionals become de-skilled in respect of what they expect of themselves and what they can achieve with service-users. Social workers need to look beyond the specific requirements which are made of them in an organisational context and from a managerialist perspective, to develop a creative approach that maximises the use of social work knowledge and skills.
Nevertheless, social workers are themselves at different stages of their own professional development and the extent to which they are able to work in an increasingly autonomous way will depend on their current stage of professional development. Similarly, it could also be argued that different elements of the profession are at different stages of development.
In conclusion, one might wonder whether the student of social work will have found the Fraser-Ch The continued drive for regulation appears to have picked up pace although some elements clearly have beneficial outcomes for the profession. A complex picture is being drawn and some elements appear to be being erased. London: Association of Social Workers. Banks, S. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Bamford, T. London: Bedford Square Press. Bisman, C. Butler, I. Butler, J. Lovelock, K. Lyons and J. Aldershot: Ashgate. Butrym, Z. London: Macmillan. Carr-Saunders, A.
Oxford: Clarendon Press. Clark, C. Challenges to Social Work. Davies, M. The Sociology of Social Work. Doel, M. London: Practice Learning Taskforce. Cambridge: Polity Press. Etzioni, A. London: Coller Macmillan. Featherstone, B. Flynn, R. Exworthy and S. Folgheraiter, F. Fook, J. Friedson, E. Garrett, P.
London: GSCC. Greenwood, E. Haines, J. London: Constable. Hall, S. Morley and K. Chen eds Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies. Hallett, C. Harbert, W. Hadleigh: Holhouse Publications. Harris, J. Higham, P. Hollis, F. Roberts and R. Nee eds , Theories of Social Casework.
NQSW resource - Outcome statement 12: Professional development
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Davies ed. Jack, G. James, A. Lyons, and J. Johnson, T. Jordan, B. Opportunity or oxymoron? Lovelock, R. Lymbery, M. Macdonald, K. Malherbe, M. McLaughlin, K. Merton, R. Community Care and Disabled People.
The Critical Practitioner in Social Work and Health Care - Google 图书
Noddings, N. Halmos ed. Keele: University of Keele. Orme, J. Parkin, F.
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- The Critical Practitioner in Social Work and Health Care S Fraser NEW | Trade Me.
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London: Paladin. Parsons, T. Parton, N. Payne, M. Birmingham: Venture Press. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Pilisuk, M. Sainsbury, E. London: Pitman. Shardlow, S. Adams, L. Dominelli, eds and M. Stevenson, O. Lymbery and S. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Wickwar, H. London: Bodley Head. Williams, F. Younghusband, E. When user and carer movements develop enough momentum they start to engage with, and challenge, the knowledge on which professional interventions are based.
They also begin to challenge the gap between the status and rewards which accrue to professionals in comparison with their own, often precarious and marginalised, economic status. Increasingly, service-users argue that their own skills and resources should be mobilised and are locating solutions within their own networks. This changing emphasis impacts on individual relationships but also affects strategic and operational aspects of social care provision with knock-on effects for their leadership, structure, culture, policy and practice in areas such as recruitment, training and resource allocation.
Many people have contact with primary or acute health services on a more or less occasional basis — they visit their GP a few times a year, or are booked for day surgery or receive treatment over a short, contained period of time.
The Critical Practitioner in Social Work and Health Care S Fraser NEW
These contacts with services are normative and tend to go unremarked; usually they do not lead to significant changes in social roles or economic status. These groups may come to be defined by their use of services, by themselves as well as by others. As a result of it, they may find themselves squeezed out of other Fraser-Ch Their relationship to service providers has undergone major changes, to the point that these user-led organisations now offer services as well as use them.
Groups have taken on more formal organisational identities in order to interact with statutory agencies, within a contract as opposed to a campaigning culture. More formal statutory roles have been put in place through the Mental Capacity Act, which has introduced Independent Mental Capacity Advocates IMCAs to support people who need help in decision-making about financial, health or welfare issues. It is likely that the Mental Health Act will also include formal advocacy in this vein. Throughout the chapter we will show how complex the interaction of roles has become in terms of both individual and organisational relationships.
Conflicts of interest and difficult boundary issues arise at every turn. It is too medical for people with mental health problems and learning or physical disabilities. But users are not the only ones with an axe to grind. Carers also lay claim to a body of expertise which challenges professional dominance, but their distinct and sometimes Fraser-Ch Because the service is never explicitly acknowledged as being for the parent as well as for their son or daughter, their voices are easily silenced: they can be characterized as neither unbiased advocates for their relatives nor legitimate complainants on their own behalf.
Brown et al. These are rarely stated as potential conflicts of interest but they complicate the position of carers in relation to service agencies and create distrust. Carers come to be suspicious of high-sounding motives, especially when the implicit motivation for change is a financial one, shifting the share of care provided by social care agencies back on to the shoulders of unpaid carers, and thereby moving the responsibility from a public, shared sphere to a private and personal one. Carers who resist such moves can find themselves backed into a corner, arguing against progressive service development for their relative because it might have a negative impact on their own lives.
Glazer described how, in the USA, limits on acute hospital budgets forced through by insurance companies obliged carers to take on increasingly technical tasks when their relatives were discharged earlier from hospital. When tasks change hands in this way they are often accompanied by a shift in language or ideology that demotes complex areas of care and reframes them as less difficult. Tasks tend to be reassigned to the family solely because they are no longer paid for out of the public purse.
When seriously ill patients are discharged early from hospital it is often assumed that family members will cope and little planning is done either around the caring work or the other responsibilities of those family members who are to take on this role. Visiting professionals may assume that carers have no other commitments and avoid discussing the implications for them of the caring tasks which they are being expected to take on. Bibbings reports that: Although the physical burden can be heavy, many carers would say that their worst problems are of an emotional nature.
Carers feel isolated.