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The SAGE Handbook of Decision Making, Assessment and Risk in Social Work
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The SAGE Handbook of Decision Making, Assessment and Risk in Social Work

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632 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The SAGE Handbook on Decision Making, Assessment and Risk in Social Work provides a comprehensive overview of key strands of research and theoretical concepts in this increasingly important field.

With 49 chapters and four section summaries, this Handbook describes the ‘state of the art’; discuss key debates and issues; and gives pointers on future directions for practice, research, teaching, management of services, and development of theoretical understandings.

A key aim of this Handbook is to support the development of sound, applied knowledge and values to underpin reasoned professional judgement and decision making by social workers in practice and those in management and regulatory roles.

With contributions from a global interdisciplinary body of leading and emerging scholars from a wide variety of roles, this handbook has been designed to be internationally generalisable and applicable to all major areas of social work.

This Handbook provides a field-defining account of decision making, assessment and risk in social work which is unrivalled for its diversity and strength of coverage, and will be of value to social work researchers, teachers and practitioners, as well as to those in allied fields such as health care.

 

Section 1: Professional Judgement

Section 2: Assessment, Risk and Decision Processes

Section 3: Assessment Tools and Approaches

Section 4: Developing and Managing Practice

Section 5: Concluding Section / Afterword

Annamaria Campanini
Foreword
Brian J Taylor
Introduction to the Handbook
 
Section 1: Professional Judgement
Emily Keddell & Aron Shlonsky
Introduction to Section One
Sub-section A: Heuristics& Biases

 
Trevor Spratt
Chapter 1: Confirmation bias in social work
Alessandro Sicora
Chapter 2. Blame & emotion in professional judgement
Martin Kettle
Chapter 3: The influence of optimism on analysis in professional judgement
Jacob Magnussen & Annemette Matthiesen
Chapter 4: Heuristics in professional judgement: between proximity & distance
Tracie Mafile’o, Jean Mitaera & Halaevalu F Ofahengaue Vakalahi
Chapter 5: Collective cultures, risk, and individual judgement
David Hodgson,Lynelle Watts & Donna Chung
Chapter 6: Social & relational contexts of professional judgement in organisations
Laura Cook
Chapter 7: . Intuition in social work practice
Paul McCafferty
Chapter 8: Challenges to using knowledge (evidence) in professional judgement
Eileen Gambrill
Chapter 9: Critical thinking and professional judgement
Duncan Helm
Chapter 10: Sense making in professional judgement
Christian Ghanem & Joel Gautschi
Chapter 11: Theories of professional judgement
Joel Gautschi & Christian Ghanem
Chapter 12: Methods for studying professional judgement in social work
 
Section 2: Assessment, Risk and Decision Process
Campbell Killick
Introduction to Section Two
Sub-section A: Contextual Aspects of Decision Making and Working with Risk

 
Prospera Tedam
Chapter 13: Cultural aspects of assessment and decision-making processes
Michael Preston-Shoot
Chapter 14: Legally-literate decision making and management of risk in social work
Ravit Alfandari, Jaroslaw Przeperski & Brian J Taylor
Chapter 15: Interprofessional decision making
Mark Gregory
Chapter 16: Decision making in organisational contexts
Colin Pritchard & Richard Williams
Chapter 17: Assessment and risk: recognising the circularity of child-adverse-events and psychiatric disorders in children and adults
Sub-section B: Engaging Children and Families in Assessment and Decision Processes

 
Lorna Montgomery, Mandi MacDonald & Eddy J Walakira
Chapter 18: Engaging client families in assessment and managing risks
Janne Fengler & Peter Schäfer
Chapter 19: Engaging children in assessment and decisions
Mónica López López, Leo Wieldraaiher-Vincent & Mijntje ten Brummelaar
Chapter 20: Reimagining participation of young people in decision making in contexts of vulnerability
Sub-section C: Engaging Adults in Assessment and Decision Processes

 
Gavin Davidson, Katherine Greer, Aodán Mulholland & Paul Webb
Chapter 21: Engaging adults in the assessment
Anna Olaison & Sarah Donnelly
Chapter 22: Shared decision making with clients
Jim Campbell & Ross Campbell
Chapter 23: Decisional capacity in mental health social work
Hazel Kemshall
Chapter 24: Risk, desistance and engagement: working with adult service users in Probation
Sub-section D: Prospects & Developments

 
Campbell Killick & Brian J Taylor
Chapter 25: Studying risk-managing, decision-making & assessment processes
 
Section 3: Assessment Tools and Approaches
John D Fluke & J Christopher Graham
Introduction to Section Three John D Fluke & J Christopher Graham
Sub-section A: Foundations of Assessment Tools & Predicting Harm

 
J Christopher Graham & John D Fluke
Chapter 26: Foundations of valid assessment
J Christopher Graham & Doug Klinman
Chapter 27: From validity to validation and beyond
Julie L Crouch & Joel S Milner
Chapter 28: Standardized risk assessment tools: methods, development & applications
Sub-section B: Assessment and the Use of Tools

 
Kresta M Sørensen
Chapter 29: Implementing assessments using structured tools
Pascal Bastian & Mark Schrödter
Chapter 30: Decision aids, decision supports and managing risk
Donald C Bross & Henry Plum
Chapter 31: Legal aspects of decision-making processes in social work
Kelly G Stepura
Chapter 32: Data visualization as an assessment tool
Sub-section C: Approaches to Assessment

 
Beth Coulthard & Brian J Taylor
Chapter 33: Big data analytics for making decisions and managing risk
Emily Keddell
Chapter 34: The devil in the detail: algorithmic risk prediction tools and their implications for ethics, justice and decision making
Beth Coulthard
Chapter 35: Natural language processing: opportunities and challenges
Emmaline Houston, Barbara Fallon & John D Fluke
Chapter 36: Understanding risk through social epidemiology
 
Section 4: Developing and Managing Practice
Andrew Whittaker
Introduction to Section Four
Sub-section A: Learning & Teaching Decision Making

 
David Saltiel
Chapter 37: Complexity and troublesome knowledge: teaching decision-making in social work
Cheryl Regehr
Chapter 38: Improving high-risk decision-making in situations of risk and uncertainty: the role of deliberate attention
Sub-section B: Continuing Professional Development

 
Louise O’Connor & Kate Leonard
Chapter 39: Developing professional expertise: transitions and thresholds in complex organisational contexts
Danielle Turney & Gillian Ruch
Chapter 40: The contribution of reflective practice to developing professional judgement and decision-making knowledge and skills
David Wilkins
Chapter 41: Supervising professional judgement
Sub-section C: Contextual & Organisational Aspects

 
David Carson & Judith Mullineux
Chapter 42: Accountability for risk decision-making in social care
Anne McGlade
Chapter 43: Getting evidence into organisations to support decision making and risk work
Jochen Devlieghere & Rudi Roose
Chapter 44: Accountability, management & professional discretion
Sub-section D: Managing Services in a Risk Context

 
Denise Harvey & Arlene P Weekes
Chapter 45: Managing risk and decision-making processes
Mary McColgan, Suzanne Cunnningham, James Laverty & Insa Osterhus
Chapter 46: Regulating risk in care services
Marian O’Rourke, Helen McVicker & Catherine Maguire
Chapter 47: Risk and regulation of the social care workforce
Sub-section E: Prospects & Developments

 
Joanne Hilder & Andrew Whittaker
Chapter 48: Studying the effectiveness of interventions to improve decision making and work with risk
 
Section 5: Concluding Section / Afterword
Janet Ananias, Rajendra Baikady & Vivian Lou
Chapter 49: Challenges in less developed welfare systems and professional contexts
 
Glossary

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

John D. Fluke

John D Fluke, PhD, is Associate Director for Systems Research and Evaluation at the Kempe Center with appointments as Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA, and the Department of Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. His research focuses on child protection decision making and child maltreatment epidemiology. He is known internationally for his research involving child welfare administrative data analysis, workload and costing, and performance and outcome measurement for children and family services. For the US government as well as local governments, foundations,... More About Author

J. Christopher Graham

J. Christopher Graham, PhD, is a Senior Researcher in Child Welfare at the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), Office of Innovation, Alignment, and Accountability. Dr. Graham holds a Doctoral Degree in Social Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He has specialized in caseworker decision making, program evaluation, and performance monitoring for agencies working with vulnerable children, youth, and families, and is the author of numerous reports, scholarly articles, and some book chapters in the field of child welfare. More About Author

Emily Keddell

Emily Keddell, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Social and Community Work at the University of Otago – Te Whare Wānanga o Otago. Her research focusses on child protection systems, specifically social inequities affecting system contact and experience, decision-making variability, knowledge interpretation in practice, the use of algorithmic decision tools, and the politics of state intervention in family life. She is a founding member of the Reimagining Social Work blog, an associate editor of Qualitative Social Work, and a member of the editorial collective of the journal Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work. Her work highlights issues... More About Author

Campbell Killick

Campbell Killick, PhD, is Lecturer in Social Work at Ulster University, Northern Ireland, where he teaches assessment and decision making on undergraduate (qualifying social work) courses and post-qualifying, post-graduate courses. He is Course Director for the MSc in Research Methods for social workers, service users, carers and others involved in social work services. Campbell’s research focuses on professional decision making particularly in relation to the abuse of children and adults. Campbell is Co-Founder and Deputy Convenor of the Decisions, Assessment and Risk Special Interest Group (DARSIG) of the European Social Work Research... More About Author

Aron Shlonsky

Aron Shlonsky, PhD, is Professor and Head of Department (Social Work) at Monash University School of Primary and Allied Health Care. He is known for his work in child and youth services, particularly in the generation, synthesis and implementation of evidence to inform practice and policy in the child and family services field. He has authored and co-authored over 100 other books, peer-reviewed articles and government reports in the child protection and family services areas including decision-making and risk assessment in child welfare, youth justice and domestic violence services, the predictors and effects of sibling separation in... More About Author

Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker, PhD, is Professor of Social Work Research at London South Bank University, England, where he is head of the Risk Resilience and Expert Decision Making (RRED) research group. His research on risk and decision making has ranged from ethnographic to randomised controlled trial research designs. Andrew recently completed a review of professional decision making for a child death inquiry in Queensland, Australia. He is the Convenor of the Decisions, Assessment and Risk Special Interest Group (DARSIG) of the European Social Work Research Association. DARSIG is the main European network for researchers in the field of assessment... More About Author