· What does a social worker do?
· What is the setting in which social workers act?
· What groups of people do social workers deal with?
· What are the typical activities of a social worker?
A social worker works with people who have been socially excluded or who are experiencing crisis. Their role is to provide support to enable service users to help themselves. They maintain professional relationships with service users, acting as guides, advocates or critical friends.
Social workers work in a variety of settings within a framework of relevant legislation and procedures, supporting individuals, families and groups within the community. Settings may include the service users' home, schools, hospitals and the premises of other public sector and voluntary organisations.
Qualified social work professionals are often supported by social work assistants. They also work closely with other health and social care staff.
Over 50% of social workers work with young people and their families. They may also work with the following groups:
people with mental health conditions;
drug and alcohol abusers;
people with learning and physical disabilities;
Government legislation focusing on the integration of health and social work services means that social workers often work in multidisciplinary teams.
Tasks typically involve:
§ undertaking and writing up assessments (often with medical staff), which meet specified standards and timescales;
§ conducting interviews with service users and their families to assess and review their situation;
§ offering information and counselling support to service users and their families;
§ organising and managing packages of support to enable service users to lead the fullest lives possible;
§ recommending and sometimes making decisions about the best course of action for a particular service user;
§ liaising with, and making referrals to, other agencies;
§ participating in multidisciplinary teams and meetings, for example child protection, mental health;
§ maintaining accurate records and preparing reports for legal action;
§ giving evidence in court;
§ participating in training, supervision and team meetings.
crisis – кризис
young offenders – юные правонарушители
legislation – законодательство
liaise – поддерживать связь
give evidence – давать свидетельские показания
· The role of social workers is to solve the service users’ problems.
· Social workers have to perform many functions.
· Much of social work is done in close collaboration with professionals from other spheres.
· Before organizing help social workers estimate the needs of service users.
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