If we are going to appropriately and efficient work with other professionals, we have to establish ourselves as a profession of experts. We have to genuinely work together with other professionals to achieve the best possible outcomes for clients. If we become experts, we can educate others on what we do and how we do it. We can all take responsibility for different aspects of working with clients from our specialist areas. Working together does not mean we pass the buck. It means we expect other professionals to be able to do what their roles dictate and to a high standard.
Social Workers are experts.
By being experts on their cases, Social Workers show their professionalism, their abilities and prove that they are experts. In so doing, we can:
- promote the profession
- become stronger professionals
- showcase our engagement skills
- strengthen our relationships with our clients
- help lessen the need for so much oversight
How do you become an expert?
- know your cases; know why they are known to your service; know what their needs are and the work you are doing to help them; know the plan for your client
- be able to talk about the facts of your case confidently
- be able to talk about your interventions confidently
- don’t be afraid to say you don’t know but make sure you find out
- stay involved with your clients by doing some non-agenda visits
- become invested in their success
- genuinely engage with your clients
- plan for what the client wants while addressing local authority concerns
- update chronologies
- keep running case summaries
- go in with a fresh outlook (know the history but help your client make a new start)
- suspend preconceived notions but have a couple of theories
- be open to being proven wrong