Risk Essay

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This assignment will critically evaluate theories of risk, and consider the approaches to practice for the role of a local authority social worker in the identification, assessment and management of risk of social work with children, young people and families. There will be consideration given to the impact of social work practice on service users and carers including my understanding of anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice.

The idiom ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ is a definitive climax of the dilemmas that social workers are faced with daily within their professional role. It could be argued that in reference to the culmination of tragedies reported by the media, more prevalently in the death of
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Carson and Bain defines risk as: “An occasion when one or more consequences (events, outcomes and so on) could occur. Critically (a) those consequences may be harmful and/or beneficial and (b) either the number and /or the extent of those consequences, and /or their likelihood, is uncertain and/or unknown”. (2008, p242)
Ulrich Beck defines risk as the probabilities of physical harm due to given technological or other processes.
Historically changes in the definition can be traced to specific periods, thus European thinking about risk was influenced by Renaissance thinking. Pre-Renaissance thinking was characterised by ‘fate’ which was associated with personal disaster, based on the notion of chance and personal destiny according to (Green, 1997). For example in 1603 Manchester suffered an outbreak of plague, which has said to have killed a quarter of the population, people then were not interested in causality.
This then lead to a shift to control the forces of nature, therefore Post-Renaissance thinking was characterised by ‘determinism’ to have universal laws and causality to have some predictability (Green, 1997).
Consequently this lead to research into risk, being adopted through an ‘artefact’ approach, framing risk as a static, objective reality pliable to measurement and probabilistic calculations (Horlick-Jones, 1998). Within the social world this has been

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