Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/20157
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Sense-making in a Social Work Office: An ethnographic study of safeguarding judgements
Authors: Helm, Duncan
Contact Email: duncan.helm@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: assessment
child protection
child welfare
empirical research
ethnography
Issue Date: Feb-2016
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Helm D (2016) Sense-making in a Social Work Office: An ethnographic study of safeguarding judgements, Child and Family Social Work, 21 (1), pp. 26-35.
Abstract: Social workers are routinely required to make finely balanced judgements on matters defined by subjectivity and uncertainty. Often, these judgements have to be made on the basis of information which is incomplete, inconclusive and contested. The way in which social workers make sense of such information is a crucial component of effective assessment and intervention. This ethnographic study of judgements in a social work office describes some of the practices which practitioners employed in making sense of information about children and young people's needs. The findings suggest that initial statements in dialogue may potentially act as signposts for preceding intuitive sense-making. Observations offer insights into the way in which individuals construct professional responsibility. The study also suggests that sense-making is not necessarily an individual activity but can be an activity which is shared between people and across teams. The findings indicate the importance of emotional intelligence and intersubjectivity in social work judgements.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/20157
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12101
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Social Work CPD

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