Social Work Practice and Theory

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Professional practice requires you to be clear about the ideas that are guiding your thinking and influencing your practice’ (OKO 2008 p.17). in the light of the above statement, analyse a piece of work that you have undertaken on placement, critically discuss and evaluate a particular aspect of the theoretical base, the rationale for applying this knowledge base to your practice, and to what extent your practice has benefited from this.

Professional practice requires you to be clear about the ideas that are guiding you thinking and influencing your practice. In the light of the above statement my essay begins by illustrating the plight of disabled people, and the role of social services. What is also demonstrated is the legislation which developed as a result of the Seebohm Report. This is followed by signifying the value of assessment, and thus begins the starting point of my work with client X who had an inability to cope due to the admission of his mother to hospital. The significance of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 s.47 and the FACS ‘Fair Access to Care Services’ are applied; this determines the eligibility of the client/s. The essay then goes on to discuss and evaluate personalisation and the theory attached to this and how I applied this to my practice in the work with client X and in what ways this benefited my practice. Lastly the essay addresses the issue of anti-discriminatory practice and concludes by showing how personalisation is a tool of empowerment for individuals who are part of adult services. Prior to 1970, help for disabled people and their families were only available through the health service (medical social workers) or voluntary organisations. During the 1950’s a few local authorities set up professional social work services which were staffed mainly by medical social workers and in some cases occupational therapists. Previous to the Seebohm Report welfare departments also offered services to disabled people, but the majority did not employ trained social workers, the support which was given was material help and information giving, and provision for residential care. The current role of social service departments emanate from the Seebohm Report which recommended the expansion of services for disabled people. Based on the Seebohm Report thus came the development of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, this was followed by the social services departments and the recommendations on disability were incorporated into the additional Act the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (Oliver and Sapey, 2006). In the mid 1980’s social services departments were under pressure first from disabled people who were dissatisfied with the lack of autonomy they could achieve through the design of personal care services (Shearer, 1984, cited in, Oliver and Sapey, 2006) and its inequitable distribution (Fielder, 1988, cited in, Oliver and Sapey, 2006) and second from the government who were concerned about the spiralling costs of welfare services for adults(Audit Commission, 1986, cited in, Oliver and Sapey, 2006). This resulted in the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act, 1986 this was the attempt to ensure that disabled people had a voice in the assessment of their needs (Oliver and Sapey, 2006). Coulshed and Orme (2006) stress the importance of the process of assessment which they note is core to social work practice. They further note that the organisation and delivery of social work services change and develop in response to political and economic reforms and that the assessment process is the one part of service delivery that depends on the skills, knowledge and values of those who have been educated and trained as social workers. Assessment is a key factor in the work with adult service users this establishes the nature and breadth of issues to be addressed for the individual. This will vary, and may include the availability of appropriate accommodation...
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