Ability to write effectively and product reports of appropriate standard and keep records.
I can write effectively and produce reports to a high standard. For instance, I wrote part of a report for the court.
This report included details of my direct work with the child and information on the views of the parents. I received very good feedback from my practice educator and manager regarding my ability to plan and write a clear and lucid report.
My placement experience has enhanced my skills in the use of computer systems. Through managing my caseload and supporting social workers with other cases, I have grown in confidence and ability in maintaining accurate computerised records and information.
Knowledge of the Data Protection Act (1998) has enhanced my understanding of the need to record information that is factual.
I have written up many assessments which have described events, detailed my observations, analysis, identified risks and protective factors and recommendations.
My assessments have always been clear and thorough and I feel that I have been able to produce effective assessments because I take the time to know the family and understand their needs.
I have received positive commendations for writing effective and high-quality assessments.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives individuals the right of access to information held by public authorities.
It is, therefore, essential to make information accessible to both the service user and other professionals which means being careful about the use of abbreviations and jargons so that information is clear and relevant.
Understanding and experience of effective planning of social work to produce care plans for children….
who are subject to child protection, children in need and for children looked after plans.
Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 states that everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life, their home and their correspondence.
Social workers and other professionals who have access to information about children and families must, therefore, treat any information confidentially.
Prior to holding a Child in Need (CIN) meeting, I have got the consent of parents to share information with other agencies.
During home visits, I have referred to the relevant plans to ensure families are aware of what they were working towards and the organisations’ expectations.
I understand that it is important to use effective planning as a social worker, particularly where children are experiencing frequent changes and uncertainty.
In planning effective CIN plans, I have focused on improving outcomes for the child.
When organising a venue and time for the meeting, I have considered an environment that ensures the family can attend easily.
For instance, I arranged for a CIN meeting to be held at a school because the parents could easily get there. I have ensured that everyone in the CIN meeting has a signed and dated CIN plan.
I have ensured that copies of relevant assessments are circulated beforehand and copies of the CIN plan agreed at the meeting are circulated afterwards. I have also taken comprehensive meeting minutes and circulated this after the CIN meeting.
In developing effective CIN plans, I have used tools such as the Signs of Safety framework using the model of Strengthening Families Enhancing Futures to establish levels of risk in complex cases and explore factors which are considered being a risk against those which are protective.
I have developed plans which are SMART and included strategies aimed at reducing the risk factors.
Ability to assess clients’ needs and to identify risk, including experience in undertaking assessments of need…
including child protection investigations and for cases which meet agreed threshold.
The needs of children and families change over time and it is important to determine presenting levels of need and to consider the response at the right time by the right service.
My experience of working within the assessment teams in both adults and children services has equipped me with assessment, analytical and information gathering skills.
Using such skills has aided my ability to assess the service user’s needs and identify risks. I have used appropriate tools when gathering information to support me with my analysis and risk assessment.
For instance, I have used worksheets and bear cards when working with children to get their views and feelings on the assessment.
I was involved in completing an assessment with a family. I read the case history and drew up a genogram and a chronology. While I found it beneficial to read the case history and keep myself informed about what had happened in the past with this mother, I aimed to approach the case with an open mind.
According to Biestek, the ethical principles for effective practice include individualisation, purposeful expression of feelings, acceptance and nonjudgmental attitude. I have remained open-minded when carrying out assessments with children and families to eliminate discrimination and to achieve fair outcomes at all times.
During this assessment, reflection was very important to me because I had to consider how my involvement would have created some anxiety for the service user.
Besides, this assessment has led me to do a lot of reading around change theory and the stages of change. I realised that mother was at the ‘active’ stage where she was actively trying to change her behaviour by engaging with the right group of people who would have a positive influence on her parenting skills.
She had joined a parenting class and was attending regularly. I felt this was a very positive change as she had contemplated and realised that there was a problem with her parenting skills and there was a need to change her parenting behaviour to safeguard and promote the welfare of her child.
Ability to work on own initiative managing and prioritising own workload under pressure….
and under the direction of the supervisor.
I am confident about using my initiative when managing and prioritising my workload. I can remain calm while under pressure, seek advice and support from my manager and practice educator when necessary. I am a very organised person and feel I can manage my time well and prioritise tasks.
I have attended training on time management and this has enhanced my ability to effectively time manage and prioritise work when under pressure. I feel that my ability to time manage is also because I am self-motivated, focused and have excellent planning skills.
Good time management is crucial to social work because it encourages a practitioner to manage daily stresses and works towards achieving a good work-life balance, which is important to me.
For instance, when prioritising work, I always begin with completing tasks based on due dates. I complete the ones that have the earliest due dates.
To conclude, if offered the opportunity to work with your organisation, I would use the best of my abilities and skills in transforming the lives of children and families. I am passionate about social work and I am keen to start my professional career within this organisation. I feel that I have all the attributes necessary to make a great social worker.
My combined placement, work and life experiences have moulded me into an empathic, respectful, authentic, hardworking, self-motivated and reflective social worker.