'Knowledge is the power to do good'

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Blogging on a Friday is a bit unusual for us (and it’s Friday 13th too), but the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Social Workers in Adult Services is something we’ve been keeping an eye on in the woodland. We’re interested to learn how we can help social workers with their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). So we were pleased to see the Government response to the consultation with the sector, published yesterday.

The Knowledge and Skills Statement for Social Workers in Adult Services says that, among many other things, social workers

should have a critical understanding of the difference between theory, research, evidence and expertise and the role of professional judgement. They should use practice evidence and research to inform the complex judgements and decisions needed to support, empower and protect their service users. They should apply imagination, creativity and curiosity to working in partnership with individuals and their carers, acknowledging the centrality of people’s own expertise about their experience and needs.

Consultation respondents didn’t disagree with this, but asked that the ‘complexity of the continuous professional development landscape for social work’ be accounted for.

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The complexity of the continuing professional development landscape in social work needs to be accounted for.

 

For the Social Care Elf, these are strong messages. We exist to provide social workers and all those working in social care with the opportunity to critically engage with research evidence by making it accessible, relevant and possibly even fun.

As well as examining what research says about social care and support, we’re also looking at research about social work practice and education. For example, we’ve recently featured a blog on research about social worker identity and stress, which provides evidence for management and supervision practice.

Social workers 'should have a critical understanding of the difference between theory, research, evidence and expertise'.

Social workers ‘should have a critical understanding of the difference between theory, research, evidence and expertise’.

 

We welcome bloggers who are social workers and social care practitioners and encourage them to have debates and discussions with researchers through the magic of social media; something crucial for promoting research-minded practice and practice-minded research!

The Social Care Elf wants to support all social workers to engage with research and evidence, including those in their ASYE and in the longer term for their continuing professional development. So let us know your thoughts on how we can help with knowledge and skills.

Link

You can learn more about the Statement and Consultation from Lyn Romeo, the Chief Social Worker for Adults, by visiting her blog.

To read about the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Children and Families click here.

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Sarah Carr

Sarah Carr

Sarah is Associate Professor of Mental Health Research at Middlesex University. Sarah also runs an independent mental health and social care knowledge consultancy. She has a background as a senior research and policy analyst in mental health and social care, with a focus on service user participation, personalisation and equality issues, having formerly worked for the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). She is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Institute for Applied Social Science at the University of Birmingham, an Honorary Visiting Fellow, Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Co-chair of the National Survivor and User Network (NSUN) and a member of the editorial boards of the journals Disability and Society and Lancet Psychiatry, Sarah has a particular interest in social care and mental health issues and is a long term user of services.

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