Promoting and supporting critical analysis and decision making

Image: Mapping to the Knowledge and SKills Statement

5.1 Practice supervisors should create a culture of focused and critical thinking which consistently explores and takes into account a wide range of contexts including individual, carer and professional stories, the chronology of critical events, social and economic circumstances and their own practice experiences. 

5.2 Practice supervisors should support social workers to recognise multiple and sometimes conflicting hypotheses, interpretations or perspectives in reaching a professional judgement to take account of the complexity of people's lives, accepting that people are experts in their own lives.

5.3 Practice supervisors should understand and be able to apply different methods of critical reflection to promote the development of critically reflective practice in others. They should support and challenge social workers to apply reasoned discernment, making decisions based on observations and analyses, to explore differences between opinion and fact, address common bias in situations of uncertainty and to make clear conclusions and defensible judgements.

5.4 Practice supervisors should ensure that social workers are ambitious for people and are focused on enhancing and promoting their wellbeing so that decisions are person-centred and outcome-focussed in accordance with the legislative framework. They should ensure, particularly in relation to safeguarding and mental capacity practice that the immediate and long-term impact of decisions is fully considered at each stage of planning and review and that social workers are able to clearly articulate and justify their plans, decisions and actions. Practice supervisors should promote and enable social workers to adopt a positive approach to managing risk which is underpinned, where necessary, by relevant legislation. They should ensure that social workers are responsive to meeting the assessed needs of people and their carers, and where expectations cannot be met, that disappointment is managed sensitively and appropriately.

5.5 Practice supervisors should establish recording processes which provide the full analysis underpinning decisions, making sure the rationale for why and how decisions have been made is comprehensive and well expressed.

The full Knowledge and Skills Statement for Social Work Practice Supervisors in Adult Social Care can be viewed on the Department of Health and Social care website.


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