A Holistic Assessment Of Needs Against Predicting The Uncertainties Of Future Risks

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Trying to balance a holistic assessment of needs against predicting the uncertainties of future risks is difficult due to the complexities of people’s lives; any assessment needs to be undertaken with some aspect of research and a knowledge base to make sense of the information gathered. Knowledge used by social workers (SWs) has to be relevant and transferrable between the complex range of situations and circumstances where social work is undertaken.
Social work has grown from the foundations of individualised practice in a positivist model to the contemporary practices which form the multidimensional aspect of twenty –first century mainstream practice (Bell 2012). Many writers have argued that the current paradigms of social work are
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When attempting to understand how the current situation is affecting the family, it is vital for the SW to realise that no amount of research is going to be complete because all humans experience life differently and how they respond is unpredictable and “uncertainty inevitable” (Trevithick 2008, p.1214). Therefore, the SW needs to use different sources and types of knowledge so that an overall comprehensive understanding of the current situation has been gained and therefore, the SW can begin to address why and how to move the family forward.
Speaking to the family will provide the SW with David, Carlas and the childrens knowledge. This type of knowledge is often called ‘expert by experience’, it is the knowledge that helps the family to theorise their current situation and helps them to make sense of it. As the knowledge comes from their viewpoint, it may not always be rational, intelligible or accurate, but it is fundamental for the social worker to gather it and comprehend it all the same. Likewise, their lived experiences are often more important and precise than research findings and as such can be invaluable (Trevithick 2008).
The main over-riding source of knowledge is that of the ‘policy community’. The government draws up guidance, duties and powers, regulations, inter alia, that outline expectations of local authorities (Brammer 2003). This factual information considers categories such as class; gender;
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