By Judith Milner, Patrick O’Byrne (auth.), Jo Campling (eds.)
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Extra resources for Assessment in Social Work
We suggest an overarching framework below. A framework for assessment Although we recognise that it is extremely difficult to undertake a thorough assessment in a political climate that emphasises risk assessment at the same time as it limits resources and does not take need seriously, we do not think that social workers should accept these implicit constraints at the first point of assessment. It is rather like catching the first bus that comes along on the grounds that you haven't time to wait for the right bus or because you fear that, should another bus actually arrive, it might be full up.
This should always include the user' s own internal and external resources and what intervention would be needed to mobilise these, so that, ideally, it is not just about meeting need now but meeting it in such a way that the individual's and family's resources are strengthened for coping for the future. Sainsbury (1970) adds that we should always consider whether it is necessary to intervene at all and whether there are any negative consequences from doing or not doing so. 36 Assessment in Social Work By depth, we do not mean that social workers must know everything about their subject from cradle to grave.
It simply requires the social worker to decide what the boundaries are and clearly state the purpose of the assessment. Sainsbury (1970) maintained that the purpose of making assessments was primarily to represent the individual or family Outcome Evaluation and the Assessment Process 33 in its struggle for resources, but it should include drawing attention to any fonn of inequity that may be operating, as well as an understanding of the individual or family dynamics. He added that assessments need to include some consideration of why the situation is described as a problem and how far is the agency responsible for dealing with it.
Assessment in Social Work by Judith Milner, Patrick O’Byrne (auth.), Jo Campling (eds.)