Social Work question for university selection process

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ScottishShortiex
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#1
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I've been asked to write 500 words thereabouts on how relevant relationship based practice is to being an effective social worker, and the question wants me to talk about the current challenges for social work.

However, I don't really understand how relationship-based practice is supposed to link to social work challenges, so I am struggling with what is relevant to write. Obviously, relationship based practice is paramount in social work as it is vital that social workers build a trusting relationship with their client (service user). From research, I understand funding is a big problem but i'm not sure if that is what challenges the question is asking for.
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Minerva
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(Original post by ScottishShortiex)
I've been asked to write 500 words thereabouts on how relevant relationship based practice is to being an effective social worker, and the question wants me to talk about the current challenges for social work.

However, I don't really understand how relationship-based practice is supposed to link to social work challenges, so I am struggling with what is relevant to write. Obviously, relationship based practice is paramount in social work as it is vital that social workers build a trusting relationship with their client (service user). From research, I understand funding is a big problem but i'm not sure if that is what challenges the question is asking for.
I don't know much about it, but presumably establishing trusting relationships with clients takes time - what sort of impact might that have on workload, as caseloads get larger? Does 'getting to know' your client really well affect your objectivity in decision-making? That's where I'd start from.
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LPK
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Minerva has nailed it.

If you think about the role of social work, and the way it is intrinsically linked, whether we like it or not, to politics, this draws considerable attention to the role that socio-economics has on the ability of social workers to operate.

As a result, relationship-based practice is something that is continuously ongoing, and that requires an investment of time and resources to establish. As we're living in a period of austerity, the distribution of resources is thinner than before, due to the impact of increased demand and budget constraints. This is true irrespective of which area of social work (Children and Families, Adults, Learning and/or Physical Disabilities, Mental Health etc) you focus on. As you focus on a particular area, you'll be able to contextualise these challenges more effectively. For example, a social worker in Adult Social Services will be dealing with the budget constraints referenced above, and a specialised example of this would be the Supreme Court case of P v Cheshire West and Chester Council. This case basically overhauls the criteria for what would be classed as a 'deprivation of liberty'. In the simplest terms, anybody who is not free to leave their accommodation without any discouragement or distraction could potentially be deprived of their liberty, and this would need an order in place to legally legitimise this. The consequence, however, is that pretty much anybody in a residential, nursing or supported living home are at risk of falling into this. Previously, it took a much higher standard for a DoLs assessment to be initiated, so there's a gigantic national backlog at the moment, with local authorities assessing everybody in their service, to determine if they need to undergo a DoLs assessment.

That's just one example. There's many more, which are specific to respective social work specialisations.

Social Work operates under an unusual paradoxical dilemma. It is least needed at a time when the economy can devote appropriate resources to manage service users. It is most needed when those resources aren't there, due to austerity etc.
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ScottishShortiex
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Thank you both of you. I had to hand in my answers before you replied but hopefully my answer was good
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Minerva
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(Original post by ScottishShortiex)
Thank you both of you. I had to hand in my answers before you replied but hopefully my answer was good
Oh dear - sorry about that . Good luck with the application - perhaps some of what we've suggested will be useful at an interview?
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ScottishShortiex
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(Original post by Minerva)
Oh dear - sorry about that . Good luck with the application - perhaps some of what we've suggested will be useful at an interview?
No worries My answer mentioned things such as how it takes time to build relationships and then I mentioned things like lack of funding and media perceptions (especially after high profile cases like Baby P) as challenges social workers face and related that back to relationship based practice, so hopefully I was on the right lines If I receive an interview, I will take your answers on board!
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Minerva
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(Original post by ScottishShortiex)
No worries My answer mentioned things such as how it takes time to build relationships and then I mentioned things like lack of funding and media perceptions (especially after high profile cases like Baby P) as challenges social workers face and related that back to relationship based practice, so hopefully I was on the right lines If I receive an interview, I will take your answers on board!
Sounds good - best of luck with your application!
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