• Alcohol screening in people with cognitive impairment: an exploratory study

      Randall-James, James; Wadd, Sarah; Edwards, Kim; Thake, Anna (Taylor & Francis, 2014-12)
      Objective: Alcohol misuse can coexist with and/or contribute to the development of cognitive impairment in the older adult population but continues to be underestimated and undetected in older people. This study aimed to examine the feasibility and acceptability of routine screening for alcohol misuse in a small sample of older people with cognitive impairment receiving services in memory clinics. Methods: This study employed a qualitative and exploratory design, using a convenience sample of individuals attending a memory clinic in England. Ten service users older than 65 with a diagnosis of cognitive impairment (i.e., mild cognitive impairment or dementia) took part in the study. Individuals who met inclusion criteria were invited to take part in an hour-long interview, which included the interviewer administering the alcohol screening tools. Interview transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Participants were able to engage with the screening tools and could, with assistance, complete them in a collaborative and timely manner without distress. All participants reported that these tools were acceptable as part of the clinic assessment. Administering the screening tools was not time-consuming or difficult, making their use feasible within the memory clinic setting. While there were some challenges (e.g., arithmetic, recall, language problems), these challenges could be overcome with the aid of the person administering the screening tool using standardized techniques for assessment administration. Conclusions: Routine screening for alcohol misuse in older people with cognitive impairment receiving services in memory clinics is feasible and acceptable. The process of completing alcohol screening tools with older adults receiving services at memory clinics may increase awareness of the potential impact of alcohol on cognitive functioning and provide practitioners with an opportunity to educate service users about the ways that their drinking is affecting their memory. Several techniques to facilitate completion of screening tools were identified. Future research should evaluate the reliability and validity of alcohol screening tools with older people through corroborating screening results with other assessment methods.
    • Are we making the most of learning from the practice placement?

      Domakin, Alison (Taylor and Francis, 2013-12-12)
      It is almost universally accepted within social work education that placements are a defining feature of training and ‘… have a more profound and lasting impact than classroom teaching’. Consequently the placement is regarded as the signature pedagogy in social work education. However, it is also asserted that universities pay little attention to this aspect of teaching and concerns about a ‘significant level of disjunction between academic and practice learning’ are expressed. The development of a new distance learning MA social work programme in which units are studied alongside part-time placements afforded opportunities for innovation in curriculum delivery, alongside increasing connections with learning on placement. Practice educators were invited to respond to an online mixed methods survey exploring their perceptions of the programme and views as to how greater integration of academic and practice learning can be achieved in social work education generally. Analysis of the results identified the important role which supervision with the practice educator can play in integrating learning on placement with the academic curriculum. The paper concludes that a greater focus on learning from practice may offer opportunities to maximise the learning potential of the placement as social work's signature pedagogy.
    • Building collaborative capacity for using and evaluating the impact of e-learning in social work education: the case of law

      Braye, Suzy; Marrable, Tish; Preston-Shoot, Michael; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2013-11-27)
      This article reports on a learning set designed to support educators teaching law to social work students in England to build their capacity, first, for engaging with e-learning resources and, second, for evaluating the outcomes of their use in teaching. A mixed methods approach was used, including recording and transcription of the content of seven learning set meetings with eight participants over 2½ years, repeat measures questionnaires to capture changes in attitudes and orientation to the use of e-learning, reflective diaries, and individual interviews with learning set members. The findings demonstrate increased self-perceived capacity in blending e-learning into teaching and in researching the outcomes. The learning set enabled e-learning to become embedded in the curriculum progressively over two years. Participation was experienced as a constructive and empowering experience. There were positive changes in attitudes, motivators and barriers to the use of e-learning, and in orientation to the use of IT resulting in improved confidence. Similarly, understanding of, and the ability to apply, evaluation techniques to track changes in student learning improved throughout the project, confirming the collaborative capacity building value of the learning set approach. The findings have broad relevance for social work education beyond the teaching of law.
    • Changing lives and changing minds: the experiences of adoptive parents from application to approval

      Dance, Cherilyn; Farmer, Elaine; University of Bedfordshire (Sage, 2014)
    • Changing practice in health and social care

      Davies, Celia; Finlay, Linda; Bullman, Anne (Sage, 2000)
      This is an ambitious book attempting to be relevant to a wide range of professionals in the health and welfare fields and to move from the macro policy context for change to the micro concerns of individual professional client relationships...There is much that will be of use and/or interest to both practitioners and researchers alike' - "Social Policy".Designed to lay sound foundations for continuing professional development in a world of rapid change, this Reader draws together key articles exploring the recent challenges facing professionals across the spectrum of health and social care. Topics examined include: accountability to service users, funders and communities; the skills needed for teamwork and collaboration; and ethical dilemmas of working in conditions of resource constraint, and engaging in questions of quality and performance review. The chapters reflect the similarities and differences between the NHS and social services. This a set book for the Open University course K302 Critical Practice in Health and Social Care.
    • Child maltreatment: how can friends contribute to safety?

      Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2015-01-12)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a study of support received by 60 young adults who experienced sexual, physical or emotional abuse and neglect in childhood. It is focussed on the support provided by friends in particular, and draws out relevant learning for child sexual exploitation (CSE). Design/methodology/approach – In all, 60 young people completed a questionnaire, complemented by a two hour follow-up interview to explore experiences of formal and informal support in disclosing abuse. In total, 13 young people were recruited on the basis of their prior participation in a larger, associated study of child abuse and neglect, with the remainder recruited via open invitation. Findings – There is rich information in the interviews about the ways that friends provided support to participants. Friends provided practical, moral and emotional support. They intervened to keep their friends safe. They offered emotional “escape” and a conduit to adults who could help keep them safe. Importantly, friends recognised that participants were in distress even when they did not know the participants were being abused. Practical implications – The results highlight that friends have a crucial role to play in helping children to keep safe and to feel safe, provided that they are equipped with information and knowledge of how to respond and where to seek help. Originality/value – The paper is original in considering the role of friends within a community safety framework. In addition, the study sample is larger than other studies of its kind, and considers a wider variety of child maltreatment experiences than previous studies, making clear links to CSE.
    • Community awareness raising on child sexual exploitation: possibilities and problems

      Dhaliwal, Sukhwant; D'Arcy, Kate; Thomas, Roma; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2015-01-12)
      Purpose – A number of reports on child sexual exploitation (CSE) have pointed to the importance of community awareness raising as a preventative measure, a means of extending the reach of CSE services and widening the scope of social responsibility to protect children. However, little has been said about how to undertake such activities; how to do this well and the potential pitfalls to avoid. The purpose of this paper is to draw out critical questions about the notion of community and highlight what can be learnt from historical debates about multiculturalist practice. While the paper does not focus solely on ethnic minority communities, the authors do take stock of pertinent points from that literature in relation to issues of engagement, power and representation and applicable learning for awareness raising around CSE. In the second half of the paper, the authors consider the issue of awareness raising within communities. The authors draw on the limited literature on community awareness raising in CSE, contextualising this with reference to relevant learning from other pertinent bodies of work, to reflect on implications for practice. Design/methodology/approach – This is a conceptual paper based on a review of various bodies of literature. The first half reviews the literature about community, community engagement, and multiculturalism as policy and practice. The second half draws evidence from the literature on forms of awareness raising on CSE and other sensitive social issues to discuss implications for practice arising from the authors’ reflections on the literature. Findings – The review produces three key findings. First, the need to transfer historic insights into the limits of “community” and multiculturalism and apply these to the emergent field of CSE. Second, despite theoretical distinctions between “community” and “society”, evidence from the literature suggests that the term “community” is being applied more generally to refer to a wide range of events and practices. Third, the authors conclude with some points about what may work well for CSE professionals developing work in this field; that is, clear aims and objectives, nuanced approaches and targeted messages. Research limitations/implications – This is an under-researched area where there are currently no published evaluations of community awareness raising interventions for CSE. Effective evidence-based strategies for engaging communities are urgently needed for CSE prevention work to be extended in positive ways which protect those affected. Originality/value – This paper is original in drawing insights from historical debates about multiculturalist practice to inform thinking on community awareness raising on CSE. It makes a valuable contribution by bringing together insights from a number of distinct bodies of literature in ways which can inform practice.
    • The development of employment-based education on substance use for social workers in England: embedding substance use training in frameworks of Continuing Professional Development

      Hutchinson, Aisha; Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2014-06-04)
      Service users in the social care sector affected by substance use need a workforce which is skilled at protecting and supporting them, and who are able to carry out their roles and responsibilities with confidence. Workforce/Learning Development departments in children's and adults' services in England play an important role in preparing social workers to engage effectively with service users and to develop as practitioners. Drawing on data from a survey of 94 Workforce/Learning Development departments, this article examines the development of employment-based education on substance use. Only 33% of these departments had a dedicated training strategy or series of programmes on substance use, although more than half (59%) provided tools for identifying and assessing substance use. A wide range of professionals were involved in the development of this training, particularly those in specialist safeguarding and substance use roles. Social work and substance use textbooks are the main source of materials accessed to support training development. A lack of strategic engagement with substance use in social care was one of the barriers cited to adequate training provision. Implications for social work education include the importance of embedding AOD education in post-qualifying training frameworks at both university and employer levels.
    • The development of problem-solving knowledge for social care practice

      Marsh, Peter; Fisher, Mike; University of Sheffield; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2006-12-13)
      The continuing modernization of social care in the UK has placed a high premium on evidence. However, there is a lack of investment in social care research in general, and in practice-based research in particular. The paper argues that there is a need to make better connections between research and practice if there are to be substantial improvements in services. The implications of these improved links include more efficient translation of research into action, and more embedding of research within the range of literature that supports service development. The necessary increase in research can be achieved by building on the substantial, albeit piecemeal, achievements of social work research, and by enhancing the practice literacy of the academic workforce as well as the research literacy of the practice workforce. In the context of a new strategy for social work research in UK universities, this paper examines the obstacles to achieving a voice for social work research and how these obstacles are being addressed.
    • Effective management

      Marshall, Mary; Preston-Shoot, Michael; Wincott, Elizabeth (British Association of Social Workers, 1991)
      "The papers in this book originate from presentations given at a summer school on "Effective management" organised by the British Association of Social Workers in 1988."
    • Employment-based training on alcohol and other drugs in England: bridging the gap

      Allnock, Debra; Hutchinson, Aisha (Taylor & Francis, 2014-06-19)
      The first of its kind in England, this study explored the extent and nature of employer-based training on alcohol and other drugs for social workers working in children's and adults' services. A national survey of workforce development departments was undertaken to find out how social workers are being prepared by their employers for engaging with people who use alcohol and other drugs. Based on a response rate of 46%, the findings show that a majority of departments (82%) provided training on these issues in the year 2011–2012. However, most of this training was not mandatory. These courses are targeted most often at those working in children's services rather than those in adults' services. Most courses are offered at basic or intermediary level, and content of training is covered inconsistently. These findings suggest a need to increase the priority of alcohol and other drugs' training across adults' services in particular and to make this training mandatory, as well as ensuring that staff have adequate time and incentive to attend. Effectiveness of social care practice for all social care practitioners around alcohol and other drugs use could be improved with more focus on training practitioners how to talk to service users about their substance use.
    • Exploring associations between perceived HCV status and injecting risk behaviors among recent initiates to injecting drug use in Glasgow

      Palmateer, Norah; Anderson, Niall; Wadd, Sarah; Hutchinson, Sharon; Taylor, Avril; Goldberg, David; Health Protection Scotland (Informa Healthcare, 2008)
      The aim of this study was to explore the influence of testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and perceived HCV status on injecting risk behavior. A cross-sectional, community-wide survey was undertaken at multiple sites throughout Greater Glasgow during 2001-2002. Four hundred ninety-seven injecting drug users (IDUs) consented to participate and were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to ascertain HCV test history and injecting risk behavior. The average age of participants was 27 years and the majority of the sample were male (70.4%). Participants had been injecting for an average duration of 2.5 years. Logistic regression analysis revealed no significant associations between having been tested and injecting risk behavior. After adjustment for potential confounding variables, HCV-negatives were significantly less likely to borrow needles/syringes and spoons or filters as compared with unawares and were significantly less likely to borrow spoons or filters as compared with HCV-positives. Due to the cross-sectional design of the study, it is uncertain whether this reduction in risk behavior could be attributed to perception of HCV status. Further research is recommended to consolidate the evidence for this relationship.
    • The extent and nature of practitioners, encounters with alcohol and other drug use in social work and social care practice

      Dance, Cherilyn; Galvani, Sarah; Hutchinson, Aisha; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2014-06-18)
      This article considers the extent and nature of social work and social care practitioners' experience of working with service users whose lives are affected by the problematic use of alcohol or other drugs (AOD). It draws on the findings of a national study of ‘working with alcohol and drug use’ which was conducted in England in 2010–2011. The study reported here comprised an online survey of front-line practitioners (n = 597), complemented by 12 practitioner focus groups and interviews with 21 key informants from participating local authorities and substance use treatment services. This paper focuses primarily on data from one element of the survey. Findings indicate that the great majority of staff encountered service users who are affected by AOD problems at some level, although there were differences between groups of practitioners in the extent and nature of AOD problems for different groups of service users. The differential experiences of staff according to their client groups underlines the need for education and professional development not only to provide training on working with AOD but to ensure that training is contextualised and relevant to practitioners across the range of social work and social care services.
    • Facilitating the development of social work in The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

      Forrester, Donald; Cocks, Alison; Al-Makhamreh, Sahar; Abuieta, Siham; Alaedein, Jehad; Sullivan, Mary Pat (2009)
      This article reports on a collaboration between Jordan and the UK to develop social work as a profession in Jordan. Reflecting on some of the less anticipated outcomes of the project and the mutual benefits of engaging with cross-cultural alliances, the article is contextualized within debates around post-colonialism and the indigenization of practice.
    • Finding the right match: a survey of approved adopters’ experiences of agency support in the linking and matching process

      Dance, Cherilyn; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-03)
      This research study was commissioned by Adoption Link to explore approved adopters’ experiences of agency support in their search for a child or children who they felt able to parent. The impetus for the research came from Adoption Link’s awareness, as a result of contact with their users and posts on various adoption forums, of some level of dissatisfaction with the ways in which processes for linking and matching were operating for approved adopters. By way of setting the scene for the study findings, this introduction looks briefly at the policy background as it relates to linking and matching in adoption; the current situation, particularly in England, regarding the numbers and profiles of waiting children and approved adopters; provision of adoption agency services and how links and matches are achieved. It is important to note that much of what is covered in this introductory section applies to England only. While there is some shared legislation across the four countries of the UK , each implements elements of distinct legislation and policy in relation to looked after children and adoption and up to date statistics for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are rather difficult to come by. Although the policy context in different parts of the UK might be distinct, adoption practice in relation to children in care is similar. The focus here on England is in part pragmatic – because information about the situation in England is easily available and in the public domain –it also reflects the fact that the majority of responses to the survey reported were from adopters in England and space precludes a detailed discussion of the similarities and differences between countries.
    • A framework for the analysis of the social processes in the adoption of disabled children

      Bunt, Sarah; University of Bedfordshire (Sage, 2013-03-22)
      Summary: There is a dearth of literature on the adoption of disabled children within the UK, and that which has been published is somewhat dated and often characterised by largely empiricist approach, which is perhaps surprising in view of the fact that the study of adult disability has benefited so greatly from an understanding of the social processes involved. Cousins (2009), for example, has suggested that disabled children are profoundly disadvantaged in the adoption process by the negativity associated with the social construction of disability. Findings: This article seeks to develop a framework that provides a theoretically informed and multidimensional approach to the understanding of the adoption of disabled children. It does so by drawing on Layder's delineation of different levels of analysis. This entails examining wider macro features that influence adoption processes, right through to the micro interactions between adopters and adoption agencies. The article also applies Bourdieu's concept of the habitus to assist in our understanding of how individual agents internalise the messages around them, which can influence and mediate their actions in adoption. Application: This framework indicates that adoption outcomes for disabled children can only be understood within wider social processes, which can affect not only individual adoptions themselves, but also the practice of adoption generally. This has implications for both research and practice, for if, on the one hand, it provides a more comprehensive framework for the conduct of research, and it also potentially enables practice to be informed by wider considerations other than those occurring in the immediate context of the adoption.
    • How do child and family social workers talk to parents about child welfare concerns?

      Forrester, Donald; McCambridge, Jim; Waissbein, Clara; Rollnick, Stephen (John Wiley & Sons, 2008-01-24)
    • How well prepared are newly qualified social workers for working with substance use issues? findings from a national survey in England

      Galvani, Sarah; Forrester, Donald (Taylor & Francis, 2011-06)
      There is limited research in the United Kingdom on how well prepared social workers are for working with substance use issues. This study set out to explore the views of newly qualified social workers on the extent to which their qualifying programme prepared them for practice with people using alcohol or drugs. It also sought to identify their future training needs and identify examples of good practice among qualifying programmes. A self-completion questionnaire was developed and disseminated via email to 2,914 newly qualified social workers in England; 284 questionnaires were returned. Findings suggested that most respondents considered themselves inadequately prepared for working with substance use and misuse issues. They reported having very little input during qualifying education and identified a range of future training needs. Few examples of good practice were identified. In light of these findings, social work academics and employers need to recognise this serious gap in knowledge and act quickly to ensure social workers are able to meet their service users’ needs confidently and competently.
    • Identifying and assessing substance use: findings from a national survey of social work and social care professionals

      Dance, Cherilyn; Hutchinson, Aisha; Galvani, Sarah; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2013)
      Social care practitioners regularly encounter problematic substance use among their service users. However, most social care practitioners do not specialise in substance use and there is limited evidence on their practice with it. This study aimed to explore the practice of social care professionals when they encounter substance use in the course of their work. This article focuses specifically on how they identify and assess substance use. A web-based survey was disseminated to 3,164 practitioners in adults' (AS) and children's (CS) social care in eleven different local authorities in England. Twelve focus groups were also held. AS and CS practitioners identified substance problems by their impact on their service user's ability to fulfil their responsibilities or perform daily functions. Differences in relation to assessment were found between AS and CS practitioners. CS practitioners asked questions more frequently and were more likely to state that asking about substance use was a legitimate task. Very few practitioners had practice guidance or tools to help them assess substance use. Substance use is being identified and assessed in social care but often at a late stage with little to no guidance on how to do so effectively.