Self-assessment provides social workers and student social workers the opportunity to reflect on an experience, and to assess what is working vs. what is not working.
Therefore, self-assessment in social work helps social workers to identify their learning needs for personal development.
In that regard, self assessment helps to put any challenges into perspective while helping the individual to identify their strengths.
Why is Self Assessment Important in Social Work?
In social work, self assessment may be applied by social workers, students and managers as a qualitative tool.
Therefore, self assessment presents the individual with an opportunity to reflect on learning and assessing their personal development.
Practicing social workers may use self assessment to reassess their own growth, value and mindset.
In that regard, self assessment helps facilitate the awareness of learning outcomes of social work experiences.
Through self assessment, social workers can address their personal growth goals and objectives.
Self assessment is never complete because it focuses on goals and objectives for lifelong- learning.
As your experience and learning develops, so does self assessment as a process.
Why use of Self is Important in Social Work?
Self is the representation of oneself.
Use of self in social work is combining knowledge, values, and skills that a social worker has gained in their social work education.
This works in conjunction with personal self, personality traits, beliefs system, cultural heritage and life experiences.
Use of self helps social workers strive for authenticity and genuineness while working with service users or clients.
At the same time, social workers should have regard to the values and ethics of social work.
Below we discuss;
Why the use of self is important in the daily work of a social worker.
Let’s jump straight in.
- Help social workers to understand who they are as individuals and their professional identity as social workers in order to understand when the two roles integrate and when they should be separated.
- Through self, the social worker can set families at ease and build relationships and rapport with them.
- Enables social workers to draw from their own feelings and experiences. This helps them to develop empathy and understanding for clients and their situations.
- Social workers use self as a method of understanding, organising and making sense of the world around them.
- Social workers can integrate their social work skills with their own authentic selves.
- Enables social workers not to project their world views on service users or clients.
- Through self, the social workers recognise clients’ rights to their own standards and beliefs.
- Helps social workers to strive for authenticity with the clients they serve.
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Importance of Self Assessment
1. Helps Social Workers To Understand Challenges
Self assessment being a qualitative tool helps highlight challenges.
Ideally, self assessment helps social workers to understand what is holding them back from what they aspire.
In that regard, each social worker is aware of the stuff holding them back.
2. Critical in Highlighting One’s Strengths
- Through self assessment, a social worker can identify his or her strengths.
- This is because when they are exposed to positive experiences, they discover their unique patterns of strengths which help them do more.
- Self-assessment helps provide an insight into a social worker’s true value and can help to identify gaps in their knowledge.
- A social worker may use self assessment to help examine their own learning.
- Self-assessment can serve as an important tool to help identify areas that require improvement.
- In addition, self assessment is a great intervention to acknowledge the good in you.
3. Creates a Better Understanding of the Clients
By practicing self assessment, social workers can understand service users’ or clients’ situations better.
Through understanding the service user or client, the social worker can then signpost or offer relevant services and resources.
4. Assessment of One’s Growth
- Another importance of self assessment is that it helps to reassess one’s growth, value and mindset.
- It helps the social worker to set and maintain high standards.
- It helps the social worker know how far he or she wants to go in life.
- This helps create a positive attitude and a self-fulfilling mindset that everything is possible.
- Self assessment helps in critical thinking because social workers wholly depend on themselves.
- They therefore have to develop intellectual independence and standards to assess their thinking.
- As critical thinkers they have to not only state a problem but state it and assess it for clarity.
- When social workers gather information, they gather it and think critically to check whether it’s significant.
- The practice of self assessment in social work helps to minimise the assessment workload on others.
- Social workers use more direct interactions to assess their practice.
- They don’t use investigative methods.
- They use client feedback tools and client practitioner feedback.
5. Helps in Planning
Finally, self assessment helps in consideration of decisions, reflection on actions and planning of future processes.
Social workers face situations that are unique or complex and the solutions may not be in the books.
Through considerate decision making and reflective actions, the social worker continues to learn, grow and develop through practice.
These situations help the social worker in the future if he or she encounters the situation again.
Benefits of Self-Evaluation
Self-evaluation is observing, analysing and valuing your professional action and the results in order to make it stable or improve it.
Self- evaluations have several benefits, which include:
- It enables you to assess your strengths and improve on areas that require improvement.
- It enables you to increase commitment to goal setting and also goal achievement
- It increases your competency development and career planning.
- Self evaluation helps one to become an active participant in their own evaluation
What are Social Work Values?
Social work values are ethical principles that social workers use as a guide in their work.
The values establish the moral foundations of the social workers’ organisation.
They set professional standards and guide social work practices by identifying professional obligations.
The social work values are:
Social workers must always use their knowledge and skills to help their service users or clients through serious problems.
2. Social Justice
Social workers fight against social injustice by promoting equality of opportunity.
They are primarily focused on poverty, education, housing, unemployment and discrimination.
3. Human Relationships
Social workers improve relationships among people in order to restore and promote function and ability of families and communities.
They understand relationships are key for change, advocacy and equality.
Despite Individual differences, cultural norms and ethnic diversity, social workers value the dignity and worth of each person.
Social workers must conduct themselves honestly and maintain trustworthy ways.
Any social worker who is in need receives appropriate support and services through the core social work values.
What is Safe and Effective Use of Self?
This is where the social worker uses his or her skills purposely and intentionally to communicate and interact with others in ways that facilitate change.
Social work values, attitudes, and beliefs affect how helpful social workers bring about change.
They reveal all these qualities in professional relationships, directly or indirectly.
It’s safe for a social worker not to show unexamined attitudes either consciously or unconsciously because it can be perceived as a barrier.
With self assessment as a qualitative tool that helps social workers to gauge their value to service users or clients, their services will improve.
This will result in having happy and fulfilled service users or clients, families and communities.
With all the benefits of self-evaluation to a social worker, their competency development and future planning is catered for.