By Peter Gilbert.
Russell House Publishing
ISBN 1 903855 24 1
Peter Gilbert discusses the value of social work within mental health, and addresses concerns for practitioners in the context of proposed changes to the legislation, structural changes in the delivery of social care, and the demise of social services departments.
The author’s breadth of knowledge makes the book accessible and informative at all levels of enquiry.
The role of the approved social worker is discussed from a historical perspective, current practice and beyond. Gilbert advocates the role of a mental health officer, employed by a public body, both separate and independent of mental health providers. Practitioners would share a level of experience with, and undertake similar training to, the current approved social workers.
The contribution that social work skills make to service users is apparent throughout the book. And these skills are transferable – as practitioners become managers and chief executives, their inclusive model proves valuable in leadership.
Social workers should retain and nurture links to the wider social work profession within NHS trusts, and there should be a champion for social work and social care at the highest level, says the author.
Susan Ashworth is a practice assessor and approved social worker, Wiltshire Council.