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Post qualification award in social work

Your CPD should be personal to you and your practice. These examples should not be viewed as best practice.

Post qualification award in social work

Example of CPD recorded by a registered social worker

Title of CPD

Post qualification award in social work

Date CPD completed

20/11/2020

What was your role in this example?

Student/ Practise Educator/Social worker

What did you do?

I have completed my BPhil degree and attained a qualification which further improved my social practice.

Thinking about this example, what would you do differently and how did this learning activity impact on your practice?

I have completed my BPhil degree post qualification award in social work on 19/08/2019. The modules covered are the consolidation module, Law and Professional Practice, Assessment of Risk, Child Centred practice, Change Empowerment and Transition as well as, Practise Education. During my study, I was able to share my knowledge and skills with my colleagues at work and it helped me to improve my practice further. I also had a student as part of my course and helped her to achieve her degree. I was able to share the knowledge and skills statement for child and family practitioners by the Department of Education, Government UK.

Whilst working for the Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking children team, prior to working with the Assessment team, I have learned the significance of the Attachment Theory which I could apply to the children who have been separated from their parents. This theory has helped me to understand the emotional bond with another person. The author, Bowlby, believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. This has been quite evident as the children have suffered significant loss being separated from their loved ones. I am also trained to be an age assessor by the ADCS Age Assessment guidance training and was able to complete age assessments accordingly.

I am currently working as a senior social worker in ASTI( Assessment and Short Intervention Team), here I am going to reflect on how doing this module on Child-centred Practise helped to have an in-depth understanding of the theories and to link back to the social work practice especially in terms of the Attachment Theory. A referral received stating the father has made an allegation that the child disclosed physical and sexual abuse caused by the mother. My role was to investigate the allegation and assess risk and protective factors by making sure that there is a safety plan in place. I have used the strength-based approach, Practise Framework and Practise Handbook, Department of Health and Social Care published in February 2019 to assess the strengths and weakness of both parents.

I was able to reflect on a child-centred module while working on this case. Specifically, on the child’s life experience and the impact on his psychosocial and emotional development. Although I was aware of the Attachment Theory prior to attending this course, I have learned more about applying narratives with a greater understanding of this case.

I was able to reflect on Child Centred Practise where I reflected on one of the cases. I have learned various theories and methods in this module, and I was able to gain an in-depth understanding with a link to my social practice especially to the attachment theory.

Additionally, I had to consider a care arrangement for this child as the child was removed from the mother’s care by the father. In line with the amendments to regulations because of the pandemic, I have kept up to date with the Amendments and the Critique via Article 39.

I concluded that this clearly is a parental alienation dominated story. I used direct work tools such as Three Houses in-order to ascertain the child’s wishes and feelings. Throughout my intervention with the child, I have been very cautious as to not intervene in any manner that enables the child to re-experience the emotional trauma.

While doing the exercise, the child was able to demonstrate that he has a good bond with both his parents. As part of the risk assessment, I have followed the child protection procedures and it has established that no further action was taken due to lack of evidence.

“Findings have shown that alienating parents are psychologically maltreating their child as they attempt to form a pathological alliance with the child and an inability to separate the child's needs from their own.” (Lavadera, Ferracuti & Togliatti 2012 and Baker & Darnell 2006).

This is some of the research I have implemented in this case. Protective factors through direct work were assessed as a part of the assessment where I was able to include legislative and policy context in the assessment. Following this, I have submitted a statement to the court which was appreciated by the District Judge. Based on my findings and my statement, the judge has made the decision that the child should go and live with the mother with immediate effect under the Child Arrangement Order which is Section 8 of the Children Act 1989.

During supervision, my manager and I had a reflective discussion based on the signs of the safety model. She was satisfied with my planning and further risk management strategies during the assessment period. Since this is a private law matter and there is no legal representation for the local authority, we then discussed this in the subsequent supervision as there was a requirement from the court for me to attend. My learning needs were discussed regarding how to deal with challenging situations such as restraints from parents especially in this case from father. I have used the study of an Evaluation of Signs of Safety a research report published by the Department of Education, July 2017.

I am confident that my practice has improved since I attended the PQ modules, hence the reason I was able to do direct work with the child. I was aware of the various tools and narratives and I have used the Signs of Safety model to establish the child’s worries, wishes, and feelings. Work was carried out to see what we should be concerned about, for example, the father making allegations against the mother, what is working well, contact between both parents, and what needs to happen, as there were no safeguarding concerns raised by the child. The child was able to return to his natural environment, which is at his mother’s house. Direct work with the child and information gathered from partner agencies helped me to prove my hypothesis. I am quite confident in making decisions for the child. I was able to do a coherent report to the court and as a result, I was able to achieve the best outcome for the child.

Regarding the Attachment Theory, the child was talking about both the parents and their families. It was observed he had secured attachments with both of his parents, this was stated in the Bowlby (Attachment Theory) clearly the child was loyal towards both his parent which may have an impact on his emotional behaviour.

Following the completion of my B Phil course, thorough research and applying this to my practice has given me a lot of confidence to conduct it safely. I was able to educate a student as a part of my course who is now a qualified social worker. I have had positive feedback from my young people who are now successful in their careers and their lives. I have also managed to use supervision and reflected on the pros and cons which enabled me to do my job in a planned and safe manner.

By completing a coherent welfare court report the District Judge was able to decide on returning the child back into the mother’s care safely. I engage well with clients by demonstrating respect and empathy. I consider the individual’s strengths, weaknesses and feelings with my goal being to enable and empower them in order to make and sustain positive changes.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed are those of the social worker. We have not edited the content in this CPD record. It should not be viewed as best practice. Instead, it illustrates one of the activities which you could record as CPD to help you learn, improve and reflect on your practice. 

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