Contemporary Social Work 2008-2009
‘Give a critical account of a reflective practitioner model’.
This essay will critically analyse the significance of reflective practice in contemporary social work. It will do so by giving an overview of reflective practice and by discussing the advantages as well as the disadvantages. The essay will describe Kolb’s learning model and compare this with others, whilst showing how they can relate to reflective practice. The essay will commence with a definition of social work and the expectation of the social work role. Finally, it will give opinions from social workers currently in practice who have been on how they use reflective practice in their day to day work.
The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has defined social work as follows: ‘A profession which promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well being. Utilizing theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the point where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work’ BASW (2003). Whilst this statement shows that values and principles are central to the social work role, it is difficult to imagine how all of this can be achieved without thought and consideration of work practice. Therefore reflection can be a key skill to learn and a way to develop working practice which is anti oppressive as well as empowering for service users. As part of the GSCC (2005 p 16) requirements for the social work post qualifying specialist award (PQ), it is stated that social workers need to ‘use reflection and critical analysis to continuously develop and improve their specialist practice, including their practice in inter-agency contexts, drawing systematically, accurately and appropriately on theories, models and up to date research’. As...