Direct work downloadable resources
These resources for download have been developed to aim to give practitioners the tools to communicate, engage and support improved participation with those people we support in our direct work. It is hoped better communication leads to better relationships and a better understanding of what is important to the individual and /or carer.
Most social care professionals recognise that understanding the person we are working with is key to strength-based practice, but sometimes we may not have the tools or resources to hand to support communication and engagement with people.
So, we established a group to create a direct work toolkit which includes lots of downloadable resources such as worksheets, activities to explore feelings and worries alongside suggestions of things you may want to have in an actual toolkit.
We wanted this to be a shared set of tools and resources and to develop a shared language and understanding about direct work with adults. This will hopefully also help those who feel less confident by providing some different tools for supporting communication and engagement.
Claire Chapman, Social Worker, Transforming Care, All Age Disability Team explains why direct work is important in her practice and personal life.
"I have used my tools in both children and adult settings to promote engagement, to connect, to break down barriers, to have fun, to help understand and to illustrate an outcome. The outcome may be someone’s’ own wishes and feelings, needs or fears. It may also be about having shared time together, putting down the laptop and engaging in the lived world of the person you are supporting. Tools help for people who need to fidget in order to self-regulate and connect, they are great for breaking the ice and engaging without words. Tools can be made at home or with the person together but need to have purpose, they do not replace practice, they support and supplement it.
"From a personal experience as a mother of an adult child who has complex needs, I encourage professionals who come and meet him, to spend some time playing alongside him – sharing his toys and sharing a space with him. My adult son may not be able to answer verbally the objectives of the visit or even understand it, but at least the professional would go away with a sense of feeling that they have spent some real time with him and can feel that they have entered into a little of his personalised world."
Akinwale Odeneye, Social Worker, Assessment & Case Management (OP) team, explains how they used the toolkit in practice: “I was allocated to support an adult who had been discharged as part of a ‘discharge to assess’ pathway from hospital into a local nursing home. As part of the assessment process, I needed to visit to assess capacity and a decision, specific to the understanding and managing of finances. I explored the Adult Services Learning Hub and found a link to the Direct Work Toolkit and guidance to support practitioners when undertaking capacity decisions specifically for finance.
"These resources gave me a sense of direction and supported my understanding of what was required to support this assessment. I was particularly informed by the fact that practitioners should ensure that all practical steps have been taken to support the decision-making by the person. I shared money of different values including notes and coins to assess the person’s understanding of money and to encourage communication and engagement.
"This toolkit supported my practice and helped my communication and self-confidence. It provided a platform for using aids and alternative communication methods to support the assessment. I would not hesitate to recommend this toolkit to experienced and newly qualified social workers.“
Thanks to ‘Focus Independent Adult Social Work’ for allowing us to use resources they have already included in their own ‘Adult Social Work Toolkit’.