2 Focusing on the individual
In this section you will be thinking about the individual people who are at the heart of the social work process – the service user and the social worker. Relationships between social workers and service users are integral to all social work interventions, whatever the area of social work practice. Being able to build relationships with service users and colleagues, maintain them and reflect honestly on them are central to social work practice. In this section we will be exploring some aspects of what is meant by a ‘relationship-based’ approach to social work practice and considering some of the questions that this approach to social work throws up.
You will be exploring skills in the importance and use of empathy; you will also explore identity and will be introduced to reflective practice. These elements combine to form the foundation stones of social work practice.