The role of the social worker in adult mental health services

College of Social Work
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This paper examines how social work can play a role in improving adult mental health services and achieve better service user, family and community outcomes. It proposes five key areas of practice that should frame the deployment and development of social workers in adult mental health. Under each heading specialist capabilities can be developed which are further described in the main document. The five key areas are: enabling citizens to access the statutory social care and social work services and advice to which they are entitled, discharging the legal duties and promoting the personalised social care ethos of the local authority; promoting recovery and social inclusion with individuals and families; intervening and showing professional leadership and skill in situations characterised by high levels of social, family and interpersonal complexity, risk and ambiguity; working co-productively and innovatively with local communities to support community capacity, personal and family resilience, earlier intervention and active citizenship; and leading the Approved Mental Health Professional workforce. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
mental health care, mental health services, adults, social work, professional role;
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