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Subject knowledge and awareness of current issues

You can tell us about how you have applied knowledge of current events to evidence that you have met standard 4.4

Subject knowledge of social work practice and awareness of current issues in society

You can tell us about how you have applied knowledge of current events to evidence that you have met standard 4.4

Having good social work knowledge is required for you to carry out good practice. It also provides reassurance to the people you support as well as the public.

Social workers need to be aware of diverse aspects of people’s lives to best support them. Changes in policies, guidance and legislation around health, care, justice, policing, housing, employment, benefits, and any number of other areas can affect and change the way you practice.

It’s important to be aware of developments and changes that may affect social work or the social work profession. This means you can prepare for and deal with those changes to the benefit of the people you work with.

What you could do

Make sure you keep up to date with changes in policy and legislation and take into account the social, political and economic climate when considering your practice.

Awareness of policies and legislation

Policies and legislation around social work, rights, privacy, information and many other aspects of social work practice can change. Be aware of any changes that have an impact on the way you practice, think about these changes, and adapt your practice accordingly.

Knowledge of current events

Over and above changes in social work, keep your knowledge of current events up to date. This includes the political landscape locally and nationally as well as societal changes that are relevant to social work. Develop that knowledge however you see fit to make sure you’re considering the potential impact of these changes on your practice. Some of the ways you can do this include:

  • reading online articles or blogs
  • listening to podcasts
  • following and engaging in discussions on social media

For example, thinking about the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19, you could consider the following questions:

  • What is the role of social work in the Black Lives Matter movement?
  • How is the Black Lives Matter movement relevant to the people you support, the community and country you work in?
  • What has the Black Lives Matter movement taught you about your personal and professional values and ethics?
  • How will the Black Lives Matter movement impact your practice in the future?
  • What aspects of your practice have been positively impacted by COVID-19?
  • What aspects of your practice have been negatively impacted by COVID-19?
  • Post pandemic, are there any changes in your practice that you will maintain?
  • What has been the impact on your resilience and wellbeing? You can explore this from an individual, team, organisational or community level.

Record what you’ve learned, how it may affect your practice, and what changes you may need to make to ensure you continue to work safely and lawfully.

Self reflection

How does CPD help you develop good subject knowledge, or help you develop your knowledge of current issues in society?

This question appears on the structured form, to help you explain how you meet standard 4.4. You could also use it as a starting point for your reflection on the unstructured form, if you wish.