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Professional Decision Making and Risk in Social Work

Professional Decision Making and Risk in Social Work

Second Edition

216 pages | Learning Matters
This book is written to help social work practitioners and students on CPD courses make professional decisions with clients; from exercising statutory powers and duties to protect children from abuse, to making decisions about risk.

This revised second edition has more of a focus on risk within social work practice as many social workers face daily pressure to make sound decisions in very difficult circumstances. In this complex arena of conflicting demands and considerations - from the public, the client, the family, the organisation - the professional needs a robust and yet flexible framework to inform practice decisions. Featuring illustrations from practice as well as case studies and practical activities to aid learning, this book provides a holistic view of decision making and risk as a core aspect of effective social work practice.

About the author
Preface to the second edition
Concepts and frameworks for decision making and risk
Crises, emotions and supporting client decision making
Consent, human rights and reasonable decisions in law
Collaboration, communication and contest in risk and decisions.
Professional judgement, bias and using knowledge
Safeguarding judgements and predicting harm
Taking risks: values, gains and hazards
Assessment, risk assessment and decision support systems
Dynamic decision making and managing care risks
Managing decisions and risk: support, blame and learning
Appendix 1:Pointers in designing or completing an assessmnet to inform a decision in uncertainty
Appendix 2: Supported decision tool
Appendix 3: Professional Capabilities Framework
Glossary of terms

This book helps guide social work students in a tricky area that causes them anxiety. Helps to focus on what is important.

Mr Alan Marshall
Faculty of Education and Society, Sunderland University
March 18, 2016

A really informative and helpful text.

Mr Stefan Brown
Department of Health & Social Care, Royal Holloway, University of London
February 17, 2018

This book would be very useful for newly qualified staff, as it would aid awareness of the concept of risk assessment in general, judgements and decision making.

Mrs Surj Sall-Dullat
Mental Health Law & Policy Team, Staffordshire County Council
April 9, 2015

A good introductory text on some of the complexities of this area. A useful and very accessible reference book for students.

Mrs Sarah Finlay
Social Work and Communities, Northumbria University
February 26, 2015

Professional decision making is an increasing focus while teaching Social Work students. This book is great for students and NQSW.

Mrs Kerry Fidler
Social Work Department, University of Leicester
February 16, 2015

I have already used this book in teaching Best Interests Assessors as some of the writing on decision-making and risk is very pertinent.

Mrs Rachel Hubbard
Health and Life Sciences, University of the West Of England
December 10, 2014

Excellent introduction to decision making theories and models. Up to date and very accessible.

David Saltiel
School of Healthcare, University of Leeds
October 1, 2014

Helpful text for undergraduate social work programme.

Miss Jacky Foster
Social Work , Cornwall College
September 19, 2014

Excellent overview of analytical thinking in SW

Mr Jas Sangha
Dept of Social Work & Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University
August 29, 2014

Excellent text that covers different programmes of care in the field, with excellent examples of how to assess and manage risk. Core aspect of assignment in level 3 focuses on risk assessment / management

Dr Audrey Roulston
Social Work Department, Queen's University Belfast
January 25, 2016

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 15 PhD students to completion,... More About Author