Level of capability: social worker in an adult setting at the end of their first year in employment KSS 11

Last updated: 15 February 2021

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Photo: Marek/Fotolia

This page sets out the knowledge and skills listed under point 11 (level of capability: social worker working in an adult setting at the end of their first year in employment) in the Department for Health and Social Care’s knowledge and skills statement. Against this, we have mapped Community Care Inform Adults’ guides, research, learning tools and other resources to help social workers meet and evidence this part of the statement. The links to the resources are in blue; click to follow them to the page you’re interested in.

What the statement says Resources to help you
By the end of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment social workers working in an adult setting should have consistently demonstrated proficiency in a wide range of tasks and roles. For example, they will:

• Be able to complete assessments of need independently, which start from a perspective of the service users' desired outcomes.

• Have become more effective in their interventions.

• Be able to deal with more complex situations.

• Develop respectful and situation appropriate professional relationships, thus building their own confidence and earn the confidence and respect of others.

• Have a good understanding of risk assessment and positive risk taking and be able to apply this to practice to ensure person-centred planning approaches and individual rights are upheld.

• Have developed confidence in working within multidisciplinary settings, understanding their roles and be able to maintain and express a clear social work perspective.

• Have experience and skills in relation to a particular setting and user group.

• Be able to understand and work within the legal frameworks relevant to adult settings, in particular, the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act and the Care Act, and fully operate within the organisational context, policies and procedures.

• Be able to confidently undertake mental capacity assessments in routine situations.

• Be able to identify and work proactively and in partnership around safeguarding issues and have demonstrated the ability to work effectively in more complex situations.

• Seek support in supervision appropriately, while starting to exercise initiative and evaluate their own practice. For example, they should take responsibility for cases allocated to them, be proactive in identifying issues and recommending actions, but be aware of when to seek further advice and support in more complex situations.

• Be able to reflect on their practice and continue to identify learning and development to further consolidate their knowledge and skills.

• Have developed some resilience and leadership skills and be able to demonstrate sound professional judgment and will know how to argue for appropriate resource allocation to meet assessed needs.

The core skills knowledge and practice hub covers all the fundamental skills that social workers in adult social care need to do their job, such as conducting legally compliant assessments, and effective communication in different contexts. Includes guides, podcasts and webinars.

Guide to conducting effective assessments examines how to use a strengths-based, person-centred approach during assessments to ensure they are focused on outcomes.

The mental capacity, deprivation of liberty and best interests knowledge and practice hub covers assessing capacity and making best interests decisions, and guidance on how to do so in relation to cases involving sexual relations, marriage and contraception, birth and terminations, safeguarding, contact, residence and serious medical treatment.

Section-by-section guide to the Mental Capacity Act covers what each section of the act means for your role, referencing relevant regulations and the code of practice.

Case law and the process of assessing mental capacity includes advice on how to start from the presumption of capacity, tips on preparing for an assessment, and advice on distinguishing the fine line between unwise and incapacitous decisions.

Case study: a practical analysis of a mental capacity assessment contains an example of a good mental capacity assessment and how to reflect on your practice.

The Care Act knowledge and practice hub contains a wealth of content, including legal guidance, practice support, podcasts and webinars.

Section-by-section guide to the Care Act 2014 covers what each section of the act means for your role, referencing relevant regulations and the statutory guidance.

Financial assessments under the Care Act 2014 details the purpose of a financial assessment, when one should and should not be completed, and what is taken into account or disregarded.

Section-by-section guide to the Mental Health Act 1983 covers what each section of the act means for your role, referencing relevant regulations and the code of practice.

The safeguarding knowledge and practice hub contains content looking at what the legislation around safeguarding means in practice, what to consider when working with risk, and how to use professional judgment and make decisions confidently and appropriately.

Using professional judgment and decision making in safeguarding covers what it means to be professional in the context of adult safeguarding, what to consider when managing risk in safeguarding situations, and different approaches to and influences on decision making and how these impact on practice.

The continuing healthcare knowledge and practice hub details the process governing the continuing healthcare system in England and Wales, explains how to apply the primary health needs test for determining eligibility for continuing healthcare in practice, and outlines how social care practitioners can put across their side of the argument at each stage of the continuing healthcare assessment.

Guide to effective supervision outlines what effective supervision should look like, and how it can support professional development.

Critical reflection: how to develop it in your practice explores what it means to be a critically reflective social worker, the different methods and models you can use to reflect on your practice, and tips for writing a piece of critical reflection.

Developing emotional resilience and wellbeing in practitioners outlines the essential components to build resilience and what you can do to enhance your emotional resilience.

Links to resource maps for other parts of the KSS: