Diversities, Capabilities & the Fluidity of Evidence: Towards global understandings of social work assessments - a new problematic

Authors: Parker, J.

Start date: 1 December 2015

This paper seeks to ‘trouble’ some recent moves in international social work that seek to standardise practice. However, these developments often homogenise practice and thought around primarily Western ideas whilst at the same time lauding the development of local, authentic and indigenous forms of social work. This paradoxical ‘balancing act’ will be critiqued through an examination of assessment practices in social work.

After considering some of the developments in assessment practice and identifying some of the capabilities needed to undertake assessments, the drivers underlying these converged practices will be questioned and a situation ethic will be applied to constructing appropriate local approaches that utilize both external and traditional forms of practice to construct relevant and authentic twenty-first century approaches. Questions will be asked about who sets the agenda and the questions and calls for constant reflexivity will be made. Understanding these complex areas is central to person-centred, social justice practices which, themselves, acknowledge the political nature of social work wherever she is practised.

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