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Open Access research that is better understanding work in the global economy...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Department of Work, Employment & Organisation based within Strathclyde Business School.

Better understanding the nature of work and labour within the globalised political economy is a focus of the 'Work, Labour & Globalisation Research Group'. This involves researching the effects of new forms of labour, its transnational character and the gendered aspects of contemporary migration. A Scottish perspective is provided by the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER). But the research specialisms of the Department of Work, Employment & Organisation go beyond this to also include front-line service work, leadership, the implications of new technologies at work, regulation of employment relations and workplace innovation.

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What can we learn about social work assessment from the textbooks?

Crisp, B. and Anderson, M. and Orme, J. and Green Lister, Pam (2006) What can we learn about social work assessment from the textbooks? Journal of Social Work, 6 (3). pp. 337-359. ISSN 1468-0173

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Abstract

Although often criticized for inadequacies, textbooks are both highly influential and a readily available source of information about contemporary thinking in social work theory and practice. As part of a series of studies about facilitating learning and teaching about assessment in social work, the authors have been conducting a review of how this professional task is presented in textbooks which are currently known to be used in programmes of social work education in the UK. Relevant chapters of each of the selected textbooks were subjected to an in-depth analysis in order to determine how assessment was understood, assessment processes, relevance to the UK practice context and evidence bases. What are considered the key issues in, and skills required for, social work assessment are contested, with considerable variety between textbooks as to the extent of detail and topics covered in relation to assessment. Some issues which are prominent in the policy context, such as the need to ensure the involvement of service user and carer perspectives, and multidisciplinary assessment, were hardly mentioned. Changes in emphasis over time and differences in emphasis between textbooks published in the UK and North America were found. Given the many differences in emphasis and depth of content between textbooks ostensibly outlining the same aspects of practice, it is essential that educators have a clear rationale for recommending particular textbooks.