Most local authorities have specialized teams of social workers who provide interventions related to specific problems or groups of people with specific characteristics. For example, a social worker might be part of a team that specializes in:
- Child protection.
- Children who have been excluded from school.
- People diagnosed with mental health problems.
- People with physical or learning disabilities.
- People affected by AIDS.
- Old people.
Some social workers take it upon themselves to respond to inquiries from those seeking help and then forward them to the appropriate specialist team. Recommendations can also come directly from other professionals who work with these groups, such as doctors, teachers or the police and courts.
Building a Relationship of trust with the user it is a very important part of the work of these professionals. The social worker needs to know the user’s situation very well and make decisions based on a careful analysis of all the information available to him.
It is important to emphasize that group social assistance systems have very complete resource referral systems. This means that the facilities are in constant communication to provide specialized care and direct users to the most appropriate resources according to their personal needs.
For example, the Child Protection Act gives social workers the legal responsibility to protect children who are exposed to “significant harm” (legal term). If a social worker determines that there is a risk of significant harm, they have the legal authority to remove the child from their home or any other situation where the child is considered at risk.
The decision to remove the child from the parental home has a huge impact on everyone involved, so it is important that the social worker is certain that he has made the correct decision based on his or her knowledge of the case and an in-depth investigation into the matter all the factors involved.
For example, a social worker may speak to the child’s teachers to learn more about the child’s family life, including the immediate family or another adult who is responsible for the child. You can then choose to interview the child at school in the presence of a parent or caregiver (but never in front of the person suspected of harming the child).
If the social worker determines that the child is at risk, he must inform the local police while the social work team conducts a full investigation into the …