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.
Considering all your learning to date, reflect critically on how you have progressed in your development as a professional over the last three months and consider your development areas for the forthcoming three months.
Over the last 3 months, I have reflected on my practice and this has helped me develop and grow as a professional as part of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment.
In addition, the last 3 months have been a rewarding experience for me as a Newly Qualified Social Worker in my role.
Critical Reflection Log Part 3
In this reflective log, I will reflect on how I have progressed in my development as a professional and highlight areas for development over the forthcoming six months using 2 case scenarios.
Over the last 3 months, I have aimed at working in line with the PCF and the KSS for adult’s framework. The 2 main KSS I would focus on in this log are :
- Writing effective assessments and direct work with customers and families.
- Direct work with individuals and families.
Over the last 3 months, I have worked directly with service users and comprehend how important it is to write effective assessments and outcome-based support plans.
For an assessment to be effective, it should be person-centered, appropriate, proportionate, holistic and strengths based.
In addition, assessments should not overstate or understate an individual’s needs, so that support is always provided at the correct level.
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CASE 1 analysis
I worked on a referral where the individual was of the opinion that her most recent assessment understated her needs therefore, putting her overall wellbeing at risk.
I used a person-centred approach while carrying out this assessment by being empathic, authentic and respecting the customer. I felt that this facilitated an open and honest relationship.
I ensured that my assessment was appropriate in format and proportionate in scope.
This is in order to prevent or delay an individual’s needs from arising or increasing. However, while working with VH, I realised that she was becoming dependent on me and I felt like a rescuer.
Karpman’s Drama Triangle clarifies the connection between responsibility and power and their relationship to boundaries.
The triangle refers to the 3 individual roles within a group; victim, persecutor and rescuer (Maclean & Harrison, 2009).
What this means in practice is that I can easily assume the role of a ‘rescuer’ when working with service users, which can reinforce the ‘victim role’ on the service user, thus reinforcing dependence.
According to Maclean and Harrison (2009), social work is a relationship-based practice and may sometimes be complex.
The complexity lies in the tendency for service users to become dependent on their social workers through their ongoing interaction.
Nonetheless, social work seeks to empower and promote service user independence (Payne, 2014).
With this knowledge in mind, I felt that a way of promoting independence for VH is by introducing more people into her life, so she is less dependent on one source of support.
For instance, I referred VH to the Personal Budget Support Service (PBSS) where she was allocated a worker to help her with collating her returns for the Monitoring and Payments (MAP) team.
I felt that my assessment gave an accurate reflection of the customer’s needs.
I was also able to act within my professional boundaries while maintaining a professional relationship with the service user by working within my competence.
For instance, I referred to my manager for further support/advice and I introduced PBSS to the customer.
KSS Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9; PCF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
CASE 2 analysis
MW needed an increase in social care hours as her needs had changed.
My role was to assess MW and develop an outcome-based care and support plan.
I planned on working with MW and her family to identify a provider who can support her by using interpersonal skills to create relationships based on openness, transparency, and empathy.
When working with service users, a social worker should be able to communicate clearly, sensitively and effectively.
Excellent communication skills are essential for establishing the quality of relationships that promote successful social work outcomes (Gary & Webb, 2012).
I also used task centered approach, as there were different tasks I needed to carry out in my work with MW.
These included facilitating a care package that reflected the customer’s needs, sourcing or finding out about community resources and activities that MW could get involved in outside the home, facilitating a CHC assessment and carrying out a Mental Capacity Assessment.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) was used to find out if the customer can consent to managing her own finances. If the result is that the customer has no capacity, then a Best Interests decision will be made.
I used the Care Act 2014 to assess the customer’s needs and her eligibility.
This informed the recommendation which I made to my line manager for the need to increase the customer’s current care package.
I also liaised with the care agency to find out if they could facilitate the increased care package.
KSS Outcome 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9; PCF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
The key piece of legislation that I used daily to underpin my practice is the Care Act 2014, Mental Health Act (1983) and the Mental Capacity Act (2005).
Regarding my learning going forward, I will need to focus on:
- Continue to build my knowledge on the customer group I am supporting
- Attend safeguarding levels 1, 2 and 3 courses.
- Continue to write effective assessments and support plans which are outcome based.
Linking my work over the last 3 months to the PCF & KSS:
I feel that my confidence in undertaking assessments has increased.
I present myself professionally and show respect to service users.
In demonstrating workload management skills, I can stay on top of my caseloads.
For instance, more recently, I have been using the Gantt Chart a workload management tool to help me manage my cases more effectively. KSS: 4.1b, 5.1a, 7.1d
Values and Ethics:
I have aimed to ensure that my professional values guide how I work with people and reach decisions.
I have also interacted with a lot of other professionals and have always tried to ensure that the service users’ privacy is respected as much as possible.
The Data Protection Act 1998 has governed how I disseminate information to other professionals and to customers too.
KSS 1.1a, 1.1c, 9.1a
I was able to use the knowledge I gained from training on the Care Act 2014 to identify that the customer’s care package was not working for her and that she needed an increase in care and support package in Case 2.
In case 1 & 2, I was also aware that I had to use the Care Act 2014, MCA and Data Protection Act 1998 to inform my decision-making.
KSS: 2.1a, 2.1b, 4.1a, 7.1a
Critical reflection and analysis:
Through supervision and 1-2-1, I am able to critically reflect and think analytically about my cases.
For instance, in Case 1, I was able to understand the need to increase VH’s support network to prevent her from being the ‘victim’ and move towards becoming more independent.
KSS: 5.1b, 5.1c, 7.1b, 7.1c, 9.1b
Intervention and Skills:
In Case 1 and 2, I ensured that the customer’s voice was heard. I used information from GP’s, mental health professionals, carers and families to inform my assessments.
I also used different social work methods and models.
For instance, task centered approach.
KSS: 1.1b, 2.1c, 8.1a, 8.1b
I have worked with service users from diverse backgrounds and with different needs and tried to ensure I uphold their Human Rights, especially where customers might not have a voice.
In my work with customers, I have tried to ensure I work in an anti -discriminatory way, whereas I see each individual as a person and treat them respectfully while carrying out holistic assessments.
KSS: 2.1a, 2.1b, 3.1a, 4.1b, 5.1a, 4.1a
Contexts and Organisation:
I worked with other professionals on both cases and ensured I worked within my organisation’s remit, i.e. recognising that my role was as a social worker.
I worked together with the care agency in Case 2 to identify the customer’s needs and the right level of support.
KSS: 8.1a, 9.1a, 5.1c, 4.1a, 3.1a, 3.1c
I was able to get more guidance on the 2 cases through supervision.
I work collaboratively with service users, their carers and family members to come up with holistic and effective assessment as well as outcome-based care and support plans.
KSS: 9.1a, 8.1a, 5.1b, 5.1a, 3.1c
Rights, Justice and Economic Wellbeing:
I was able to identify in case 1 that a cut in the customer’s care package resulted in an adverse impact on her well-being.
As a result of an understatement of needs, the individual’s overall wellbeing was affected negatively.
KSS: 2.1c, 8.1a, 9.1a, 5.1c, 4.1a, 3.1a