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Decision Making, Assessment and Risk in Social Work

Decision Making, Assessment and Risk in Social Work

Third Edition

April 2017 | 272 pages | Learning Matters

At a time when accountability and the avoidance of risk are increasingly demanded of social workers, the ability to make clear and informed decisions is essential. This book, written for practicing social workers undertaking their ASYE and compulsory CPD, has been designed to help professionals make sound judgments in increasingly complex contexts and under pressure. The focus is on empowering front-line professionals through reflective practice, so that they are able to draw on multiple factors and perspectives and make sound problem-solving judgements.  The book begins with the core concepts, client focus and legal background before moving on to consider the collaborative processes and the nature of individual judgements. It then considers particular dimensions of social work decision making, such as safeguarding, taking risks, assessment and dynamic decision tools and processes. It then concludes by look at the organisational context of decision management, with a focus on supervision, training and effective communication.


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
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

All students need this book - it has all the detail of assessment processes and how to apply them in practice

Mrs Toni Benaton
Health and Social Care at Derby, Derby University
October 16, 2020

This book is brilliant in relation to understanding the assessment within the child protection arena.

Mrs Toni Benaton
Britannia Mill Campus, Derby University
June 5, 2019

Brian J. Taylor

Brian J Taylor, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Ulster University, Northern Ireland. Professionally qualified in social work and teaching, he spent 10 years as a practitioner and manager, and then 15 years in training and organisation development in health and social care before joining the University. Brian was founder and principal organiser of the biennial conference series: Decisions, Assessment, Risk and Evidence in Social Work, 2010-2022. He has taught, researched and published on these topics, including being author on over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has supervised about 20 PhD students, including some... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781526401052
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