The role of social workers working with adults KSS 2

Last updated: 15 February 2021

Female social worker visiting older person at home

Photo: Monkey Business/Fotolia

This page sets out the knowledge and skills listed under point 2 (the role of social workers working with adults) 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
• The Care Act 2014 puts the principle of individual wellbeing and professional practice of the individual social worker at the heart of adult social care and signals a move away from care management as the overriding approach to working with adults.

• Social workers need to apply a wide range of knowledge and skills to understand and build relationships, and work directly with individuals, their families and carers to enable and empower them to achieve best outcomes. This should include undertaking assessments, planning care and support and making the best use of available resources to enable people to have better lives.

• Social workers should enable people to experience personalised, integrated care and support them to maintain their independence and wellbeing, cope with change, attain the outcomes they want and need, understand and manage risk, and participate in the life of their communities.

• Social work should focus on the links between the individual, their health and wellbeing and their need for relationships and connection with their families, community and wider society.

• Social workers in adult social care must understand and be able to explain the role of social work as part of the system of health and welfare support to individuals and families. They must understand the impact of poverty, inequality and diversity on social and economic opportunities and how these relate to people’s health and wellbeing as well as the functioning of their families, particularly in connection with child protection, adult safeguarding and also empowering individuals who may lack mental capacity.

The core skills knowledge and practice hub provides resources to support social workers with the core skills required for practice, including how to: conduct legally compliant assessments in different contexts; cope with difficult conversations arising from assessments; and develop resilience.

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

Guide to care and support planning covers how to meet your legal duties and gives advice on overcoming challenges in support planning.

Guide to self-directed support and personal budgets explains the core skills needed to work with someone using self-directed support, and the challenges that practitioners face in doing so.

Learning disability and health inequality: lessons from research looks at why people with learning disabilities experience poorer health than others and how social workers can play a key role in supporting their general health.

Learn on the go podcast: poverty and child protection discusses, among other things, how the deprivation of the area a child lives in affects how likely they are to be looked after or on a child protection plan.

Links to resource maps for other parts of the KSS: