1 Social work: needs and risks
You begin your study by exploring the role of the social worker in relation to needs and risk. This is an important topic to engage with early, as it is both politically sensitive and of concern to all practitioners. Most of the work allocated to social workers contains elements of need and elements of risk. They need to understand the relationship between these two aspects of need and risk, and to develop the skills to make balanced assessments where necessary. While these are abstract concepts on paper, in the reality of everyday practice social workers intervene in the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable citizens. It is therefore important for social workers to be articulate and accountable for the choices and decisions they make. Many new social workers are understandably nervous about their interventions in the current climate of media scrutiny, and this is also examined here. Let us begin by thinking about the range of risks that social workers manage on behalf of society.
Activity 1 The social work role and risk management
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