In the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) in adult services, Newly Qualified Social Workers are expected to work on a portfolio which includes reflecting on their practice.
Critical Reflection Log Part 1: Beginning the ASYE
This example of a critical reflective log is the first of four reflective logs required for the ASYE portfolio.
Consider your learning needs for the next three months and over the course of the year.
Looking back on what I have learned over the last couple of years and my learning needs within the next three months, Gibbs reflective cycle will be used in this reflective piece to unpick the learning that I have gained and what I hope to achieve over the next three months.
In this critical reflective piece, I will highlight my strengths and weaknesses as well as my learning needs in relation to the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Social Workers in Adult Services (KSS) as well as the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).
Over the last couple of years, I have gained tremendous experience and knowledge as a student social worker. My placements were with adults and children’s services.
I learned to be professional, recognise the fundamental principles of human rights and equality, recognise oppression, discrimination and to conduct myself ethically while striving to meet the requirements of Social Work England Professional Standards.
Following the end of my last placement, I received a comprehensive report from my Practice Educator.
Feedback on my future learning needs highlighted I needed to work on my emotional resilience and grow in confidence.
In hindsight, I realised that occasionally; I became overwhelmed with some cases because of their complexity and the significant impact on the service user’s wellbeing.
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As part of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) as a Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW), I attended an event which gave me an overview of the required skills within the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Social Workers in Adult Services (KSS).
The event made me aware that the KSS sets out what I should know and be able to do by the end of my ASYE programme. This awareness has made me mindful of the fact that working within the PCF and KSS framework would help me develop essential skills to help improve my practice.
Below is a discussion of my current level of learning against 2 KSS domains:
Person-Centred Practice: In the past, I have been able to work in a person-centred way with service users by identifying their needs.
For instance, I signposted a mother who needed help with parenting to a parenting class where she received the encouragement and support to thrive as a parent.
However, the learning need I have identified within this area is the need to know which support and services are available to complement people’s own resources and networks.
Safeguarding in adult services: I would like to be able to work on safeguarding cases over the next 3 months.
The learning need identified in this area is the ability to recognise the risk indicators of different forms of abuse and their impact on the service user and their families/support networks.
I would like to work in accordance with the adult risk management guidance and apply personalised approaches that maximise the service user’s opportunities and wellbeing.
In order to achieve this, I would need to understand how the six adults’ safeguarding principles apply in practice. The learning need here will be to increase my knowledge in this area by carrying out assessments, training and through supervision.
Consider key legislation relevant to adult services generally and your employment setting specifically.
As a social worker, the law plays an important role in my practice. Knowledge of key legislation would provide me with a practical understanding of my duties, as well as the service user’s rights and responsibilities.
In my professional opinion, the Care Act 2014, the Mental Health Act 1983, Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) as an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 are key legislations I should aim to consider throughout my career in adult services.
I aim to demonstrate the application of these legislations in my assessments. For instance, I will carry out assessments in accordance with the Care Act 2014 and take steps to prevent, reduce, or delay the need for care and support for service users.
Furthermore, I hope to demonstrate the ability to work within the standards set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. I will aim to comply with the code of practice and use the Act’s five statutory principles as a benchmark to underpin any mental capacity assessment I undertake. In addition, I will use knowledge of the MCA to protect and restore power to service users who lack capacity.
Organisation–specific policies and legislation dictate who is eligible for services, standards for record keeping, confidentiality and other client rights.
Legislation relevant to my employment settings, such as the LA Adult Risk Management guidance. This would provide me with a framework to help facilitate effective multi-agency working with adults aged 16+, who are deemed to have the mental capacity and who are at risk of serious harm or death through severe self-neglect, risk-taking behaviour or refusal of services.
I am aware that there may be dilemmas in managing the balance between protecting adults at risk from self-neglect against their right to self-determination and personal freedom.
However, I feel that an understanding of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010 will help me manage such conflicts and help bring such imbalances to an equilibrium encouraging proportionality in practice.
How do you plan to obtain the practice evidence you need?
I will use a wide range of approaches to obtain the practice evidence I need.
Firstly, I will aim to obtain feedback from service users after I have carried out an assessment.
Prior to me requesting this, I will consider their capabilities and abilities. For instance, if a service-user is dyslexic, I will make sure my feedback forms are dyslexic–friendly with large fonts and colours to help separate words and make reading easier.
This feedback will help me evidence the success of my assessment in identifying how the care and support needs of the service user will be met.
Another approach to obtaining feedback will be from other professionals I have worked with who have observed my practice. This may be from social workers, supervisors, or other professionals.
The feedback obtained will help me identify how I need to improve upon my inter-professional and collaborative working relationship. Accordingly, I will be able to streamline my practice in order to improve upon my social work skills and abilities.
In addition, I will use supervision to gain feedback on my development. I will seek feedback on my ability to carry out strength-based assessments and the proportionality and appropriateness of my assessments. I will also use this platform to seek feedback on areas to improve.
Finally, I will seek feedback from the observations and comments I receive from my ASYE supervisor throughout my ASYE year.
I am confident that prior to my first review, I would be able to carry out strength-based assessments which are concise, as well as personalised care and support plans aimed at achieving desired outcomes.