Level of capability: social worker working in an adult setting at the end of their first year in employment

Image: Mapping to the Knowledge and SKills Statement

By the end of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment social workers working in an adult setting should have consistently demonstrated proficiency in a wide range of tasks and roles. For example, they will be able to complete assessments of need independently, which start from a perspective of the service users' desired outcomes and have become more effective in their interventions; deal with more complex situations; develop respectful and situation appropriate professional relationships, thus building their own confidence; and earn the confidence and respect of others.

They will have a good understanding of risk assessment and positive risk taking and be able to apply this to practice to ensure person-centred planning approaches and individual rights are upheld. They will have developed confidence in working within multidisciplinary settings, understanding their roles and be able to maintain and express a clear social work perspective.

They will have experience and skills in relation to a particular setting and user group, be able to understand and work within the legal frameworks relevant to adult settings, in particular, the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act and the Care Act, and fully operate within the organisational context, policies and procedures. They will be able to confidently undertake mental capacity assessments in routine situations; to identify and work proactively and in partnership around safeguarding issues and have demonstrated the ability to work effectively in more complex situations.

They will seek support in supervision appropriately, whilst starting to exercise initiative and evaluate their own practice. For example, they should take responsibility for cases allocated to them, be proactive in identifying issues and recommending actions, but be aware of when to seek further advice and support in more complex situations. They will be able to reflect on their practice and continue to identify learning and development to further consolidate their knowledge and skills. They will have developed some resilience and leadership skills and be able to demonstrate sound professional judgment and will know how to argue for appropriate resource allocation to meet assessed needs.

The full Knowledge and Skills Statement for social workers in adult services can be viewed on the Department of Health and Social Care website.


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