Social Worker 's Role And Responsibility

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As one of society’s most vulnerable groups, social workers are legally obligated to assess and support the 397,600 children in need and their families (DfE, 2014). The social worker’s role and responsibility is to ensure children’s additional needs are adequately met to try to reverse disadvantage and enable children to maximise their lives and potential. To achieve this objective, social workers sift through in-depth information regarding each area of family life, both past and present, as the vast majority of issues affecting children evolve from external factors, particularly related to parents. Gathering data involves collaborating with the family and relevant professionals to understand difficulties the family face and establish what…show more content…
Children in need are identified because of concerns that their health or development could be adversely affected without statutory intervention; either being ‘significantly impaired’ or lacking a ‘reasonable standard’ (Children Act, 1989:c41:p3:s17). The definition is attributed to research on brain development that has highlighted the detrimental effects of children living amongst inconsistency, chaos, danger or fear. A prime example is domestic abuse since it is prevalent within the lives of many children, despite the fact that witnessing violence is emotional abuse (NSPCC, 2016). As a form of ‘toxic stress’, repeated or prolonged exposure to domestic abuse, especially during critical stages in early life, could cause irreversible changes in brain structure like delayed cognition (Anda et al, 2005). This in turn can lead to communication difficulties and a spiral of events including isolation, school failure, unemployment and ultimately poor mental health (HM Gov, 2015). This knowledge explains why the criteria for ‘in need’ not only refers to the complex needs of children with disabilities, but also those whom are affected by risk factors which compound caregiver’s mental and physical caring ability, including poverty, parental mental illness, disability or substance misuse (Barnardo’s 2011). Early help is anticipated to protect and
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