The framework for Social Work education in Scotland

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The framework for Social Work education in Scotland

Standards in Social Work Education

STANDARDS IN SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION

1: Prepare for, and work with, individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to assess their needs and circumstances

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualified social workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Preparing for social work contact and involvement

Social processes such as racism, poverty, unemployment, poor health, disability, lack of education, unemployment, unsuitable housing, victimisation and other sources of disadvantage that are associated with the risks of crime, marginalisation, isolation and exclusion.

The effect these processes have on the demand for social work services.

Legal bases for intervention and the significance of relationships with statutory social services, especially education, housing, health, criminal justice, income maintenance and with other services provided by partner voluntary organisations and support groups.

The importance of inter-personal factors in delivering effective social work services

Make effective contact with individuals and organisations to achieve a range of aims, over the phone, in writing or by e-mail.

Gather information from a wide range of sources and in a variety of ways, for a range of purposes. These methods should include electronic searches using the Internet, reviews of relevant written materials and face-to-face, written and telephone contact with individuals and groups.

Take account of different views when gathering information and assess the reliability and relevance of the information they have gathered.

Review agency notes and other literature that is relevant to the case or situation.

Contact and work with relevant professionals and others to get additional information that can influence initial contact and involvement.

Engage and relate effectively with people who use services, with their families and other carers and with other professionals, maintaining awareness of their own style and approach and its effect on others.

Evaluate all information to identify the best form of initial involvement. Develop and record an initial action plan.

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualified social workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Working with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities so they can make informed decisions

The nature of social work services in a diverse society (with particular reference to concepts such as social need, informed choice, prejudice, inter-personal, institutional and structural discrimination, empowerment and anti-discriminatory practices).

Different explanations for the characteristics and circumstances of people who use services and the services they need.

Consider specific factors that are relevant to social work practice such as risk, resilience, rights, cultural, racial and ethnic identity, language differences, legal obligations and statutory responsibilities to protect vulnerable individuals.

Explain and negotiate the purpose of contacts and the boundaries of their involvement.

Listen actively to others, respond appropriately to their life experiences and understand accurately their viewpoint.

Work with individuals, families, carers, and communities to:

  • inform them of their own rights, entitlements and responsibilities;
  • clarify and explain the social work organisation's duties, services and responsibilities;
  • identify, gather, analyse and understand relevant information;
  • identify and analyse the risks involved in the situation.

Work in partnership with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities, so they can:

  • identify, clarify and express their expectations, strengths and limitations;
  • assess and make informed decisions about their circumstances, resources and preferred options.

1: Prepare for, and work with, individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to assess their needs and circumstances

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Assessing needs and options in order torecommend a course of action

The range of need expressed by, and attributed to, people who use services and their carers and the social processes by which such needs become defined and acted upon.

Models and methods of assessment in different practice contexts.

Explanations of the links between processes contributing to social difference (for example, social class, gender, racial and ethnic differences) and the problems of inequality and differential need that people who use services face.

Assess human situations, taking account of a number of factors including the views of those involved, theoretical concepts, research evidence, legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

Analyse the information they have gathered, weighing competing evidence and changing their viewpoint in light of new information, then relate this information to a particular task, situation or problem.

Listen actively to people who use services and their carers, respecting their experience and taking full account of their views.

Assess and review the preferred options of individuals, families, carers, groups and communities.

Assess and evaluate needs, strengths, risks and options, taking account of legal and other duties and service standards requirements.

Identify, evaluate and recommend appropriate courses of action for individuals, families, carers, groups and communities.

Work with others to help people who use services to achieve and maintain greater independence.

2: Plan, carry out, review and evaluate social work practice with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and other professionals

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree,

social work students need to

understand the following

Honours graduates in social work

will acquire the transferable skills to

do the following

On successfully completing the

honours degree, newly qualified

social workers must demonstrate

competence to do the following

Identifying and responding to crisissituations

Factors influencing the selection and testing of relevant information, especially if it is collected within tight timescales.

The nature of professional judgement and processes of risk assessment.

The nature of crisis and how it is different from related ideas such as emergency.

Think logically, even under pressure.

Plan a sequence of actions to achieve specific aims.

Manage the processes of change.

Meet deadlines and task definitions.

Review actions taken in the light of actual outcomes.

Critically assess the urgency of requests and requirements for action.

Identify the need for statutory and procedural intervention.

Plan, implement and record action taken to meet immediate needs and requirements.

Review the outcomes with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities, organisations, professionals and others, as relevant.

2: Plan, carry out, review and evaluate social work practice with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and other professionals

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Working with individuals, families, carers, groups andcommunities to achieve change, promote dignity,realise potential and improve lifeopportunities

Psychological and physiological theories of individual and social development, identity and functioning from infancy to old age and death.

The nature, characteristics and effects of developmental delay, disruption and trauma and the significance of resilience.

Theoretical ideas and evidence from international research on designing and putting into practice effective social work service for a wide range of people.

Research-based concepts and critical explanations from social work theory and other disciplines that contribute to the knowledge base of social work, including their reliability and how they are applied.

Communicate effectively across potential barriers resulting from differences, for example in culture, language, ability and age.

Use their knowledge of a range of interventions and evaluation processes to build and maintain purposeful relationships with people and organisations in community-based and professional contexts, including group-care.

Implement plans through a variety of processes including contracting and working in partnership with others.

Bring work to an effective conclusion, taking account of the implications for everyone involved.

Develop relationships with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities that show respect for diversity, equality, dignity and privacy.

Maintain purposeful relationships for as long as is necessary

Work in a structured way with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and others to deal with problems, resolve conflicts and avoid crises.

Apply and justify social work methods to achieve change, maintain stability, promote independence and improve life opportunities.

Regularly monitor, record, review and evaluate changes in circumstances and adapt plans to take account of these changes.

Reduce contact and withdraw appropriately from relationships.

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Producing, implementing and evaluating plans withindividuals, families, carers, groups, communities and colleagues

Approaches and methods of intervention in a range of community-based settings including group care.

Factors guiding the choice and evaluation of interventions in different circumstances.

The nature and characteristics of effective direct and indirect practice skills, with a range of people who use services and in a variety of settings including group care.

Make decisions, set goals and develop specific plans to achieve these, taking account of relevant factors including codes of practice, ethical guidelines, professional guidance and legislative requirements.

Consult actively with other people, including people who use services and their carers, who have relevant experience, information or expertise.

Apply ethical principles and practices critically when planning problem-solving activities.

Negotiate with others the services and resources that will be included in plans.

Identify and record responsibilities and actions to be taken, developing and recording plans based on these.

Carry out their own responsibilities and monitor, co-ordinate and support the actions of others involved in putting plans into practice.

Regularly review the effectiveness of plans with the people involved.

Renegotiate and revise plans to meet changing needs and circumstances.

2: Plan, carry out, review and evaluate social work practice with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and other professionals

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Developing networks to meet assessed needsand planned outcomes

The current range and appropriateness of statutory, voluntary and private agencies providing community-based, daycare, residential and other services and the organisational systems within these.

The significance of interrelationships with other social services, especially education, housing, health, criminal justice, income maintenance and other services provided by partners.

Develop effective helping relationships and partnerships with other individuals, groups and organisations that bring about change and achieve planned outcomes.

Consult actively with others, including people who use services and their carers, who have relevant experience, information or expertise.

Negotiate goals and plans with others, analysing and dealing creatively with human, organisational and structural barriers to change.

Challenge others when necessary, in ways that are most likely to produce positive outcomes.

With individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and others, identify, explore and evaluate support networks that can be accessed and developed.

Work in partnership with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and others to develop and maintain support networks.

Contribute to the development, maintenance and evaluation of integrated support networks and services.

In partnership with others, manage complex aspects of dependency and, where appropriate, provide direct care and personal support in everyday living situations.

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Working with groups to promote choice andindependent living

The relevance of sociological and criminological perspectives to understanding societal and structural influences on human behaviour at individual, group and community levels.

Social science theories explaining group and organisational behaviour, adaptation and change.

Involve users of social work services and, where appropriate their carers, in ways that increase their resources, capacity and power to influence factors affecting their lives and promote social inclusion.

Identify and use opportunities for purposeful and supportive communication with people who use services within their everyday living situations.

Identify opportunities to support existing groups and to help new groups to develop.

Use group programmes, processes and dynamics to improve the skills of group members and to promote well-being, choice, potential, dignity and independence.

Help groups to achieve planned outcomes for their members and to evaluate the value and appropriateness of their work.

Engage in, and disengage from, groups appropriately and in a planned way.

2: Plan, carry out, review and evaluate social work practice with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and other professionals

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Tackling behaviour which presents a risk toindividuals, families, carers, groups, communities and the wider public

The complex relationships between justice, care and control in social welfare and community justice and the practical and ethical effects of these.

Social workers' roles as statutory agents with duties and responsibilities to protect the public and uphold the law.

Models and methods of assessment, the use of relevant research, selection and testing of relevant information, the nature of professional judgement and the processes of risk assessment and management.

Help people to gain, regain or maintain control of their own affairs, insofar as this is compatible with their own or others' safety, well-being and rights.

Use both verbal and non-verbal cues to guide interpretation of behaviour and to assess risk.

Plan for and manage situations in which there is a significant element of risk.

Take prompt action to deal with behaviour or situations that present a risk to people who use services, their carers, colleagues or the wider public.

Work with individuals, families, carers,

groups, communities and others to:

  • identify and evaluate situations and circumstances that may increase risks; and
  • reduce or contain the level of those risks.

Plan, manage and record intervention designed to change the identified risk behaviour positively.

3: Assess and manage risk to individuals, families, carers, groups, communities, self and colleagues

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Assessing and managing risks to individuals, families, carers, groupsand communities

The concepts of rights, responsibility, freedom, authority and power associated with the practice of social workers as moral and statutory agents.

Social workers' roles as statutory agents with duties and responsibilities to protect the public and uphold the law.

Up-to-date legislation defining the rights of people, especially measures designed to tackle all forms of discrimination.

The nature of risks and harm associated with intervention in the lives of vulnerable, dangerous or socially excluded individuals and groups.

Analyse the nature of risks and potential for harm associated with the circumstances and nature of planned interventions.

Undertake practice in a way that tries to protect the safety of everyone involved whilst promoting the well-being of people who use services.

Identify, assess and record the nature of risk, its seriousness and the harm that it may cause.

Balance the rights and responsibilities of individuals, families, carers, groups and communities with the associated risks to them or the wider public.

Manage risk to individuals, families, carers, groups and communities and the wider public over time, regularly monitoring and re-assessing priorities and actions with them.

Assessing and managing risks to self andcolleagues

The complex relationships between justice, care and control in social welfare and community justice and the practical and ethical effects of these.

The nature of risks and harm associated with intervention in the lives of vulnerable or socially excluded individuals and groups.

Practise in ways that maximise safety and effectiveness, especially in situations of uncertainty or if there is incomplete information.

Review intentions and actions in the light of expected and unintended consequences.

Assess, analyse and record potential risk to themselves and colleagues.

Work within the risk assessment and management procedures of their own and other relevant organisations and professions.

Plan, monitor, review and record outcomes and actions taken to minimise risk, stress and harm.

4: Demonstrate professional competence in social work practice

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Evaluating and using up-to-date knowledge of, and research into, social work practice

The characteristics and evidence of the effectiveness of social work practice in a range of community-based and organisational settings including group care.

Factors influencing changes in practice within statutory, voluntary and private sector services.

Relevant social research and evaluation methodologies.

The place theoretical perspectives and evidence from international research has in assessment and decision-making processes

Assess the relative strength, applicability and implications of contrasting theories, explanations, research, policies, procedures and methods of intervention.

Employ understanding of human behaviour and intention at societal, organisational, community, inter-personal and intra-personal levels.

Monitor situations, review processes and record and evaluate outcomes.

Undertake critical enquiry and review relevant literature, drawing evidenced conclusions from the data.

Review and regularly update their own knowledge of relevant legislation, policy guidelines, service standards and procedural frameworks.

Locate, understand and critically evaluate research findings and literature that is relevant to social work practice.

Use professional and organisational supervision and support to research, critically analyse, and review the evidence base for effective practice.

Implement knowledged-based social work approaches and methods to develop and improve their own practice.

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Working within agreed standards of social workpractice

The nature, historical development and application of social work values and codes of practice.

The processes of reflection and evaluation, including familiarity with the range and significance of approaches for evaluating welfare outcomes.

The significance of legislative and legal frameworks, service standards, practice guidelines and codes of practice.

The nature of legal authority, the application of legislation in practice, statutory responsibility and conflicts between statute, policy and practice.

Recognise and work with the complex tensions and links between intra-personal and inter-personal processes and the wider social, legal, economic, political and cultural context of people's lives.

Analyse and take account of the impact of inequality, discrimination and social exclusion in work with people in a wide range of contexts and problem situations.

Work in an open way and be able to justify their own actions within accepted ethical and professional standards.

Work at all times within the professional codes of practice, ethical principles and service standards that underpin high-quality social work practice.

Exercise and justify their professional judgement.

Use appropriate assertiveness in justifying professional decisions and upholding social work practice values.

Critically reflect on their practice and performance and modify these as a result.

4: Demonstrate professional competence in social work practice

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Understanding and managing complex ethical issues, dilemmasand conflicts

Aspects of philosophical ethics that are relevant to understanding and attempting to resolve value dilemmas and conflicts in both inter-personal and professional contexts.

Knowledge of equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory legislation and policy. Factors influencing the effectiveness of conflict resolution in different settings.

Analyse the impact of injustice, social inequality and oppression.

Challenge individual, institutional and structural discrimination in constructive ways.

Analyse and handle ethical dilemmas and conflicts to produce clear, accountable outcomes.

Review ethical decisions and reflect accurately on factors that influence decision-making

Identify, understand and critically evaluate ethical issues, dilemmas and conflicts affecting their practice.

Devise effective strategies to deal with ethical issues, dilemmas and conflicts.

Act appropriately, even in uncertain and ambiguous circumstances and critically reflect on, and learn from, the outcomes.

Promoting best social work practice, adaptingpositively to change

Links between the content of different codes defining ethical practice and the regulation of professional conduct.

The effective management of potential conflicts created by codes and values held by different professional groups.

The position of contemporary social work within historical and comparative perspectives, including European and international contexts.

The nature of change, its significance for those involved and the characteristics of effective change management.

Reflect critically on their own conduct and practice, identifying the need for change

Analyse and respond positively and flexibly to changes in the demand for, context, setting and organisation of, services.

Challenge unacceptable practices in a responsible manner.

Contribute to policy and practice review and development.

Use supervision, together with other organisational and professional systems, to influence courses of action where practice falls below the standards required.

Work with colleagues in related professions to develop and further integrate services.

5: Manage and be accountable, with supervision and support, for their own social work practice within their organisation

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Managing one's own work in an accountable way

The relationship between agency policies, legal requirements, ethical principles and professional boundaries in shaping the nature of services.

The significance of modern communication and information technologies in planning and managing work programmes.

The nature, characteristics and boundaries of professional activity and judgement.

The characteristics of effective workload management and project planning.

Increase their learning and understanding with an appropriate degree of independence.

Identify and keep under review personal and professional boundaries.

Manage uncertainty, change and stress in work situations, using appropriate support.

Handle inter-personal and intra-personal conflict constructively.

Manage and prioritise their workload within organisational policies and changing demands.

Carry out duties accountably, using professional judgement and knowledge-based social work practice.

Monitor and evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of their programmes of work in meeting the needs of individuals, families, carers, groups and communities and meeting organisational requirements.

Use professional and managerial supervision and support to improve their practice.

Taking responsibility for one's own continuingprofessional development

The importance of critical reflection and self-monitoring in defining new personal learning plans.

Reflect on and change their professional behaviour in the light of growing experience.

Take responsibility for their own further and continuing acquisition of knowledge and skills.

Make a positive contribution to the continuing education of colleagues.

Using supervision, consultancy and professional support, take action to identify and meet their continuing professional development needs.

Contribute appropriately to the continuing education of others.

5: Manage and be accountable, with supervision and support, for their own social work practice within their organisation

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Contributing to the management of resources and services

The contribution of different approaches to improving management, leadership and quality enhancement in public and independent social services.

Modern communication and information technology, especially management information systems, and their application to service delivery.

Basic statistical, resource management and budgetary procedures and techniques.

Use information and communications technology methods and techniques for a variety of purposes including professional communication, data storage and retrieval, information searching and resource management.

Calculate, analyse figures and interpret data in both statistical and financial contexts.

Contribute to monitoring the outcomes, quality and cost effectiveness of services in meeting need.

Contribute to the processes involved in purchasing and commissioning services and setting and maintaining service standards.

Contribute to procedures for managing and sharing information.

Managing, presenting and sharing records andreports

The statutory basis of reports and the requirement to share these with relevant parties.

Legal requirements relating to data protection and the rights of citizens to have access to information held about them.

The use of communication and information technology in preparing reports and sharing and storing official information.

Write accurately and clearly in styles that are adapted to the audience, purpose and context of the communication.

Present conclusions verbally and on paper, in a structured form that is appropriate to the audience for which these have been prepared.

Synthesise information and lines of enquiry and sustain detailed reasoning at length and over time.

Maintain accurate, complete, accessible and up-to-date records and reports.

Provide clear evidence for judgements and decisions.

Implement legal and policy frameworks for access to records and reports and the protection of data.

Share records with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities within legal and ethical guidelines and requirements.

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualifiedsocial workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Preparing for, and taking part in, decision-makingforums

The nature and characteristics of decision-making in a variety of settings.

The complex relationships between public, social and political philosophies, policies and priorities and the organisation and practice of social work.

Issues and trends in modern public and social policy and their relationship to contemporary practice and service delivery.

Factors that inhibit effective participation in decision-making in different settings.

Communicate clearly, accurately and precisely (both verbally and in writing) with individuals and groups in a range of formal and informal situations.

Make effective preparation for meetings and lead them in a productive way.

Follow and develop lines of argument and evaluate the viewpoints of, and evidence presented by, others.

Prepare reports and documents for decision-making forums such as courts, hearings, tribunals, adjudications and case conferences.

Work with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to select the best forms of representation and involvement in decision-making.

Present evidence to decision-making forums and help individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to understand the procedures involved and the possible and actual outcomes.

Help individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to be involved appropriately in decision-making forums.

5: Manage and be accountable, with supervision and support, for their own social work practice within their organisation

Learning focusTo achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the followingHonours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the followingOn successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualified social workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Working effectively with professionals within integrated, multi-disciplinary and other service settings

Relationships between agency policies, legal and regulatory requirements and professional boundaries in shaping the nature of services provided in inter-disciplinary contexts.

Issues associated with working across professional boundaries and with different disciplines.

Factors and processes facilitating effective service integration, inter-agency collaboration and partnership.

Function effectively within a framework of complex accountability to people who use services, agencies, the public and others.

Understand and take account of the views of others who are involved in collaborative work.

Analyse and work with the factors that inhibit integrated working across discipline, professional and agency boundaries.

Develop, maintain and review effective working relationships within and across agency boundaries.

Contribute to identifying and agreeing the goals, objectives, working procedures and duration of professional groups and to evaluating their effectiveness.

Work effectively with others in delivering integrated and multi-disciplinary services.

Deal constructively with disagreements and conflict within work relationships.

6: Support individuals to represent and manage their needs, views and circumstances

Learning focus

To achieve the honours degree, social work students need to understand the following

Honours graduates in social work will acquire the transferable skills to do the following

On successfully completing the honours degree, newly qualified social workers must demonstrate competence to do the following

Representing in partnership with, and on behalf of, individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to help them achieve and maintain greater independence

The complex relationships between justice, care and control in social welfare and community justice and the practical and ethical implications of these.

Social work roles as statutory agent, particularly in upholding the law in respect of discrimination.

Links between processes contributing to social differences (for example, social class, gender and ethnic differences) and the problems of inequality and differential need faced by people who use services.

Act effectively with others to promote social justice by identifying and responding to prejudice, institutional discrimination and structural inequality.

Overcome personal prejudices to respond appropriately to a range of complex personal and interpersonal situations.

Assess to what extent they should act as representative for an individual, family, carer, group or community.

Help individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to get independent advice, support and representation.

Where appropriate, represent individuals, families, carers, groups and communities, in partnership with them.

Support people who use services to manage their affairs, including managing finances and purchasing care services.