The role of social workers working with adults

Image: Mapping to the Knowledge and SKills Statement

The Care Act 2014 puts the principle of individual wellbeing and professional practice of the individual social worker at the heart of adult social care and signals a move away from care management as the overriding approach to working with adults.

Social workers need to apply a wide range of knowledge and skills to understand and build relationships, and work directly with individuals, their families and carers to enable and empower them to achieve best outcomes. This should include undertaking assessments, planning care and support and making the best use of available resources to enable people to have better lives. Social workers should enable people to experience personalised, integrated care and support them to maintain their independence and wellbeing, cope with change, attain the outcomes they want and need, understand and manage risk, and participate in the life of their communities.

Social work should focus on the links between the individual, their health and well-being and their need for relationships and connection with their families, community and wider society. Social workers in adult social care must understand and be able to explain the role of social work as part of the system of health and welfare support to individuals and families.

They must understand the impact of poverty, inequality and diversity on social and economic opportunities and how these relate to people’s health and wellbeing as well as the functioning of their families, particularly in connection with child protection, adult safeguarding and also empowering individuals who may lack mental capacity.

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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