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Assessment is particularly important as it creates the foundations of a social workers work with the service user.

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´╗┐Tuning-In to Assessment Assessment is a central element in social work practice. It is a common misconception held by the public that social work practice is merely a series of well-meaning but otherwise uncoordinated activities (Haines, 1981). This, however, is not the case. Social work practice is a highly organised profession. A certain process is followed when dealing with a service user. The stages of this process include assessment, planning, intervention and review. ?Assessment involves gathering and interpreting information in order to understand a person and their circumstances; the desirability and feasibility of change and the services and resources which are making necessary to affect it. It involves making judgements based on information? (Middleton, 1997, p.5). Assessment is particularly important as it creates the foundations of a social worker?s work with the service user. The purpose of a social workers assessment is to help them to understand the situation that he/she is dealing with and to identify the relevant factors in a situation (Pincus, 1973). It is also important to realise that assessment does not only take place in the in the beginning of the case. Assessment is an ongoing, dynamic process which continues throughout the process of working with a service user. As situations change and people change it is tremendously important to re-assess the client in order to deal with there issues appropriately. Assessment is the beginning of a process of change for the service user. Meetings between service users are therefore not merely an unorganised, random act. It is organised and assessment is a major part of the process of change, developed between the social worker and the client. Assessment is a central part of effective social work practice. This is clear by the number of types of assessment a social worker is involved with. One type of assessment is a single event assessment (Ni Raghnallaigh, 2007). This is where a social worker does one assessment of an individual at a specific time in their lives. ...read more.


Coulshed and Orme describe the theory of CORE skills. CORE stand for Communication, Observation, Reflection and Evaluation (Cuolshed & Orme, 2006). According to this theory, these skills are essential when carrying out an assessment. Communication is needed in all information gathering. In assessment, social workers receive written and verbal information from outside agencies and other professionals, which is vital to understanding the situation being assessed. This is why communication is a central skill for assessment. Observation has a huge impact on a social workers understanding of situations (Coulshed). Social workers get a chance to observe service users during meetings with them. Observing patterns of behaviour as well as body language can be instrumental in getting a sense of what is happening for the service user at that point in time (Coulshed). For example, if a child is being very quite, but his body language shows that he is fearful of the parent this could be an indication to the social worker that child abuse issues may need to be examined. This sort of situation shows how observation could bring up questions that may not have come up otherwise. Reflection is a skill which is also useful for an assessment. Reflection involves reviewing the different perspectives assessed during the gathering of information process and from the observation process (Coulshed). Another advantage of reflection is that it gives an opportunity for the social worker to review the different perspectives in the light of theory and research evidence (Coulshed). The concept of evaluation within the CORE skills is an exploration of the effectiveness of the process of assessment (Coulshed). Evaluation also gives the worker an opportunity to explore the input made by both the service user and the worker (Coulshed). It is also important to ensure that the social worker has gathered as much information as possible and nothing has gone unexplored. The evaluation may additionally highlight the potential of the assessment to stereotype individuals and their issues, unfair allocation of resources and the operation of power in the relationship between the social worker and the client (Coulshed). ...read more.


Essentially, chronologies list in date order the significant events in a child?s life and the involvement of agencies in supporting the family as a means of creating an ordered overview of those events for analysis. Typically the events include changes in the make up of the family (births, deaths, other changes), changes of address, school health care arrangements, periods of ill health or medical treatment, injuries or harm, reported incidents of domestic violence, substance misuse, criminal and anti-social behaviour, school attendance and educational attainment, employment of parents/carers, legal changes or interventions. The chronology I am devising will assist social workers, managers and others in understanding the immediate or cumulative impact of these events on the child. While each event in itself might seem particularly significant analysis of the accumulation of seemingly unrelated and/or repeated events might enable professionals to identify key issues and patterns that need to be addressed including risk of significant harm. The analysis requires professionals to use professional knowledge, understanding and judgement in evaluating the significance of specific events and the accumulation of events. Aswell as the chronology I am going to carry out a risk assessment of Mr B and then I will go through it with him to get his views on it. Undertaking a risk assessment should minimise the chances of the identified risk occurring. In the risk assessment I am going to include background factors, situational hazards, strengths and risk minimisation. This will be a live document and I will make all staff aware that it must be kept up-to-date because Mr B is displaying very risky behaviours are present. I have outlined the various types of assessment that a social worker is involved in. The range of types of assessment shows how central it is in social work practice. I explained the skills that a social worker will need to undertake assessments effectively. Another important component of assessment is which model a social worker follows. This can affect the outcome of the assessment. Finally I have discussed how I am going to carry out my assessment of B. ...read more.

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