Russell House Publishing
This book offers a structured, explanatory approach to the role and perspective of the social worker in multi-disciplinary child and adolescent mental health services. This perspective is grounded in an understanding of the pressures of practice, with realism and honesty that will enable practitioners to gain encouragement to achieve competent practice.
The role of structural inequality, the psychological effects of social exclusion and inadequate resource allocation are addressed and linked to social work ethics and values to challenge oppressive practice in all its forms, including the rationing of scarce resources. There is a place for accepting uncertainty and withstanding agency pressures using advanced negotiation and decision-making skills.
Evidence-based practice and rigorous evaluation are discussed as a way for social workers to develop skills that result in effective and timely interventions for clients.
There is a paucity of service user evaluation and involvement in research design and an urgent need to recognise the child’s perspective, despite it being a policy aspiration and a request for practitioners to encourage greater partnership. However, the most important resource we offer is ourselves.
Susan Ashworth is an approved social worker and practice assessor, Wiltshire Council Parenting and Disability: Disabled Parents’ Experiences of Raising Children.