Assessing and managing risk is a daily challenge for social workers. Working with risk can be anxiety provoking and demanding, requiring great skill and high levels of confidence. In these complex situations, social workers have to work hard to get the balance right. This innovative book focuses on the development and use of skills for work with risk. Using a range of case studies, examples and reflective exercises, the authors examine the key skills required to work effectively with risk. Various chapters focus on assessment skills, gathering and evaluation of information, decision-making challenges, and ethical issues. Recognising the difficulties presented in the context of busy statutory work, there is a strong focus on practical skills and tips for improving risk management plans. The book also pays careful attention to the emotional impact of working with risk, with a final chapter on the management of self in the challenging and sometimes distressing world of social work. Written in a reader-friendly, accessible style, the book will be essential reading for students and staff across a range of social work settings, including community care, adult services, child protection and mental health.
Figures and Activity Boxes vi Acknowledgements ix 1 Understanding Risk 1 2 Skills for Risk Assessment 9 3 The Art of Decision Making 43 4 Risk Planning and Management 71 5 Risk and Ethics 101 6 Review and Evaluation of Risk 121 7 Managing Self in the Organizational Context 146 Conclusion 166 References 173 Index 188