Social Work Law and Practice Assignment

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“To be accountable is literally to be liable to be called upon to give an account of what one has done or not done. The account may include all or some of descriptions, explanations, excuses or justifications.” (Banks, 2004, p.150). Within my current agency context I have a professional accountability which appoints me a duty to carry out and justify my work through; informed theoretical knowledge, professional judgements and legal frameworks which govern the social work profession in the field of criminal justice (Kleinig, 2008). To date I have carried out my ‘supervised direct practice placement’ within a third sector agency whose aim within the ideal of social care and protection is to promote the economic and social welfare in Scotland in working with ex-offenders and young people deemed ‘at risk’ to provide them with the transferable skills they each require to help them find or stay within employment or education (Agency Policy, 2010a). The variety of settings and engagement styles I worked within over this period of time, although diverse, all aimed to uphold the organisations statement of purpose which defines that, “our work adheres to the use of the organisation’s employability model to; identify, assess and tackle barriers faced by our service users such as debt, family problems and offending. This service delivery should reflect upon the relevant techniques and guidance which focus on reducing re-offending and providing both guidance and advice on conviction relevance and disclosure” (Agency Policy, 2011b). As a social work student I have accountability and adherence to various bodies and individuals whom govern my professional practice. This duty to the work within the lines of multiple accountabilities which are often in tension with each other pose complexity on the work I deliver, which in turn both represents thus public bodies whilst safeguards and promotes the welfare of service users. This statement is agreed by Ingram (2011) who indicates that social workers within Scotland have “complex interdependencies and relationships in delivering safe, effective, accountable and professional practice” (Scottish Government, 2011). This comment also expands on the crucial professional partnerships I have with other agencies and statutory services. In the purpose of my professional practice I have worked together with the appropriate officials and agencies that all have the common purpose of tackling and delivering practice of various degrees to service users within the criminal justice field. Our service users are the key components of our interest focus and have brought us together to work with a common purpose; their welfare (Banks, 2004). Knowledge of the remit in which other agencies work within is vital, allowing for the reduction in both overlaps and voids in our service delivery (Glasby and Peck, 2004). In my current agency I have used partnership working as a tool to both source information and gather professional opinions from those working with individuals in a different capacity. This has marginally been in liaising with social workers for developed background information on the service users I have worked with and informing their professional decision making with regard to each individual’s progression with the organisation following referral. This multi-disciplinary style of working, although beneficial to my development and progression of work with individuals is additionally a legal standard of conduct which governs my professional performance (Pycroft and Gough, 2010). The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is the regulatory body whom describes and governs the standards of conduct which I am accountable to deliver in my work with individuals. Through my essential registration to them it is their guidance that outlines those standards and values I must adhere to in my professional practice. It is this Council that foresees the essentiality of; “Recognising and respecting the roles and...
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