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Why relationships are key to good social work

 

Over the past few years the social work sector has received a great deal of attention in the press due to a number of high profile incidents. The sector has also been the subject of a great deal of controversy over a severe lack of funding.

In light of this, the sector is under a great deal of scrutiny and has recently been the subject of in-depth research, exploring the links between building positive relationships and the impact that social services will have on families.

Social work

The research, carried out by the Harvard Centre, found that families put strong emphasis on their relationship with their social worker as a sign of an excellent social work ‘experience’.

The tricky nature of the work that a social worker carries out can be severely underestimated.  People often overlook the fine balance that the role must adhere to in ensuring that risks are identified effectively, alongside gaining the trust of a family whom you are essentially investigating and exploring solutions that will ensure a positive outcome for a child. It is a difficult position for a social worker to be in, when their work will thrive on building these relationships but a major aspect of their job is to assess the risk posed to child. There is also always the potential that the role will involve taking a family, with whom you are trying to build a relationship, to court.

Often the social work sector is seen as removing choice from a family, despite the fact that it is widely agreed that families need to be actively part of the decision making process with regards to their family life. The research shows that it is key that social workers are encouraged to build the vital relationships for effective social work to take place.

The team at Peel Solutions believe that building these relationships will prove to be a turning point for the social services industry and could provide an excellent platform to improve how effective the work they carry out can be, as well as improving their perception within the general public.


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