Complexity lies at the heart of social work practice and this book is designed to help students and newly-qualified social workers plan for and manage complex cases in an increasingly complex environment. Split into two parts, this book reflects the journey of qualifying social work students from preparation for practice in an educational context to learning ‘on the job’ through working with service users in practice settings, and eventually assuming a more senior role in management, administration and training. Key topics covered in the chapters include, managing volatility and uncertainty; making judgements and decisions; building and maintaining relationships; using reflection and supervision; working interprofessionally; managing risk; exploring cause and effect.

Working Interprofessionally
Working Interprofessionally
Chapter Summary

This chapter examines interprofessional working as a response to complex needs. It starts by outlining the policy context to specialisation and professionalisation in the welfare state, and the move towards greater managerial control of professional work along with efforts to foster partnership and integration across agency boundaries. Theories of collaboration are then explored, including interprofessional education, continuum and gestalt models, ecological and organisational perspectives, and teamwork. Approaches to interprofessional ethics are followed by a discussion of conflict and consensus in collaborative contexts. Psychodynamic concepts are then applied to the role of anxiety in shaping patterns of communication and collaboration in institutional contexts. The chapter concludes by exploring some key areas of interprofessional expertise for social workers, including knowledge, communication, negotiation, ...

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