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Decision Making, Assessment and Risk in Social Work


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Table of Contents

Introduction A framework for decisions, assessment and risk Client decisions, perspectives, emotions and crises Legal aspects of decisions, assessment and risk Assessment, risk assessment and decision support systems Professional judgement, bias and using knowledge in assessment and decisions Judgements about safeguarding and service eligibility, and predicting harm Risk-taking care choices: values, gains and hazards Collaboration, communication and contest in assessment, risk and decision processes Dynamics of practice: managing risk, reassessing, and changing your mind Managing decisions, assessment and risk: support, blame and learning Conclusion Appendix 1 Pointers in designing or completing an assessment to inform a decision in uncertainty Appendix 2 Supported decision tool Appendix 3 Professional Capabilities Framework Glossary of terms

About the Author

Brian J. Taylor is Professor of Social Work at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, where he has the lead role for research in social work. He spent 10 years in practice and 15 years in professional training and organisation development in social work before moving to the university. He teaches research methods to Ph.D. students and to experienced social workers undertaking postgraduate, post-qualifying study. He was module coordinator for an innovative Introduction to Evidence Based Practice module on the B.Sc. qualifying social work programme. Brian leads the university social work research cluster on Decision, Assessment, Risk and Evidence Studies and is the primary organiser of a biennial international symposium on this topic. He was a founder Board Member of the European Social Work Research Association, and is an honorary Senior Fellow of the School for Social Care Research of the National Institute for Health Research, London.

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