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Social work - Integrative Practice Study

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SOCIAL WORK Integrative Practice Study FRIDAY 06/08/04 2nd YEAR REG NUMBER 200238521 WORD COUNT 5547 Introduction and Placement context My work placement was a statutory project situated within North Lanarkshire Council. North Lanarkshire council is one of the largest new unitary authorities in Scotland with a population of over 326,000, which 1.3% of the population are from a minority ethnic group, compared with 2% for Scotland as a whole. The area has a range of different communities ranging from small villages to towns, the council challenge to provide services, which are responsive to the needs of these different communities. (www.Northlan.gov) North Lanarkshire was traditionally part of the Scottish industrial heartland with a strong identity relating to their industrial history, but the decline of industries has resulted in a widespread of unemployment and the increase of problems associated with social exclusion, poverty and disadvantage, which I later found to be a common theme experienced by service users with whom I would work with. The social work department is one of the largest departments in the council employing just under 3,000 people in various areas. "There aim is to promote social inclusion and social welfare by tackling poverty and disadvantage. Through indicating a commitment to poverty and disadvantage, working in partnership with other agencies to improve supports and resources and involving individuals in identifying their needs, the council aim to provide a high quality of care to all individuals living in the area." (www.Northlan.gov) An anti-discrimination policy is in place within North Lanarkshire, however the majority of the service users are white females. This could be considered to be unusual when today we live in a multi-cultural society and raises questions about policies in place, which meet the needs of other cultures. A survey completed by Bilingual pupils in March 2002 indicated that there were 33 languages other than English spoken in the homes in North Lanarkshire. ...read more.


The process of assessment is rooted within the context of social work values, and there must be respect for individual differences in order to avoid disempowerment and stereotyping. "Assessments are about making judgements and not about being judgemental". (Middleton cited in Parker and Bradley 2003, P5) I would agree with Middleton as I found undertaking the assessment I often had to reflect on my own values in order to apply professional judgement on the situation. The identified aim of the assessment was to assess Emma's well-being and development not to judge her mother or father and their living environment. Yelloly (1995) and Jones and Joss (1995) in Riche and Tanner (1998 p20) state, "a holistic approach to training and assessment that incorporates the model of the reflective practitioner is necessary" they argue, "in order to be competent social workers have to become reflective practitioners." I further advised that in order to make an accurate assessment I would be contacting agencies Emma was involved in. Ms J consented to my doing this. It has been established policy and practice have been affected by improved interest in partnership, prevention and early involvement, family support, and an emphasis on interagency coordination to the importance of social work services working in partnership with health, education, social security and housing. (Audit Commission, 1994) this may lead to a clearer communication of policies and planning requirements for children and their families. (Plat and Shemming 1996) Mr T is at present staying with his parents who live nearby, Ms J advised Emma still had contact with her father in the grandparent's house. I accepted that although Emma's father does not have any legal parental rights, as he is not married to Ms J, he plays a significant part in Emma nurture; whilst being conscious to demonstrate anti discriminatory practice, I felt it necessary to speak with Mr T regarding Emma, I believe that this established to Ms J that my intentions towards Emma was to ensure an accurate assessment was completed, I sought Ms Js consent to contact Mr T. ...read more.


According to Piaget's Stages of Development Emma has reached the stage of pre-operational thought (2 - 7 years) the child becomes able to use mental imagery, but they lack the ability to think logically. I would agree with this in Emma's case as during observation on a home visit Emma struggled to understand why the grass and sky both met in a jigsaw puzzle. (Piaget cited in Sunderland 1992 P12) Plan My Initial assessment on Emma advised that at this time no further action be taken with regards to Emma, although I suggested that the social worker working with the elder sibling in school should continue this work within the family home. I plan to send a copy of the assessment to Ms J and the senior social worker from the area team. Ending During my visits I sustained a good working relationship with the whole family, this was acknowledged in my final direct observation, which was also my final home visit to the family. I ended my visit sincerely and have offered support to the family if required within my final weeks on placement, I advised that support would be offered through the social worker working with the oldest daughter. Learning and supervision Being on placement has provided me with a variety of learning, which has enhanced my skills and ability to working with groups and individuals. I believe that being a participant in the group work preparation and group work sessions alone with completing an Initial Assessment report has enabled me the opportunity to incorporate my theory learnt in university into my practice. Support and guidance through supervision sessions with my practice teacher provided me with direction, which enhanced my confidence in practice and assisted me to focus on developing new skills and value my individual strengths. Organized and consistent sessions helped support and sustain a positive and professional relationship, which all participated in my ability to attain the skills and core competences necessary in integrating theory into practice during my placement. My objective is to continue with the progression of my professional development. ...read more.

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