One primary goal of the social worker is to close the opportunity gap between the rich and the poor by way of aiding individuals and families to have more control over their lives, and through the development of hope for the future.
To be effective the inter-professional working context of social workers needs to communicate effectively and efficiently. For only by achieving a streamlined team-focused work environment can it be hoped that independence and resilience amongst the rest of the population will be promoted (Perth & Kinross Council, 2006). Without optimal communication structures between social workers, and their contemporaries in other disciplines, can a "person-focused" approach be truly implemented and an integrated social care system achieved. This dissertation aims to explore the perceptions of the importance of inter-professional communication among social workers in the Perth & Perth & Kinross Council (Scotland) district. Firstly, a review of literature supporting effective communication in the social care system will be presented. Secondly, the rational for this dissertation and the research question will be delivered. Next, the methodology for data collection and analysis to answer the research question will be outlined. Finally, ethical considerations for this study will be detailed. A conclusion shall summarise the main points of the paper and demonstrate the importance of inter-professional communication for social workers.
Review of the Literature
To achieve the goal of the comprehensive and effective use of the entire social service workforce, and to build capacity, develop confidence and trust at all levels of the social care system, it is necessary that dramatic shifts in the balance of power and control take place (Perth & Kinross Council Council, 2006). It is clear that inter-professional communication plays a significant role in the breaking down power imbalances and at establishing trust and confidence among social workers. In 2006 the Scottish Executive released the document Changing Lives to herald its strategy to transform social work as a profession in the 21st century. Important to this strategy was the development of paraprofessionals (communitycare.co.uk, 2006b). However, the importance of communication of inter-professionals was not focused upon, and neither were protocols and policies to achieve effective communication outlined. This is a critical oversight considering that the working and organizational structures in Scotland are so diversified, and that the ultimate goal of the Scottish Executive is an integration of the social care service.
It has long been recognized that the partnerships between social workers and other public, private and voluntary organizations are in need of change (Horby, 1993; Scottish Executive, 2006; Coulshed & Orme, 1998). Inter-professional communication must occur as social workers alone cannot be responsible and accountable for the strategies to solve social problems. In order to fully utilize available resources and expertise it is necessary that social care services align with the work of other disciplines with the understanding that together new ways of achieving national social care goals can be made. A key feature of 21st century social working, is working within a team environment.
The social worker may find themselves working in a team environm
It is critical that all people within a society experience a healthy, tolerant, safe, inclusive and fair way of living. To ensure this occurs requires a dynamic economy as well as a high standard of integrated public services (Perth & Kinross Council, 2005a)…
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