This guidance is designed to be used by adult social workers specialising in dementia at all levels, from front line practitioners to senior social workers, social work supervisors and managers, to support them to deliver the best outcomes for the people with whom they work with.
Social workers are increasingly at the forefront of developing asset and strengths-based approaches to working with people across adult social care, preventing and delaying the need for services and ensuring resources and support are in place. This places an ever greater emphasis on their ability to lead across and beyond their professional boundaries, working with the person, their carers and communities to achieve the best outcomes, including enabling citizenship and inclusion.
Legislative changes, such as the implementation of the Care Act 2014 and increased requirements relating to Mental Capacity Act judgements, are also increasing demands on social workers in their practice with people who are just beginning to experience the effects of dementia or related conditions and their families and carers.
This guidance will help social workers keep up to date with practice in relation to dementia, not just within social work but developments and innovation across the wider health and social care landscape. It is designed to assist its readers with the very practical and sometimes complicated issues that they may experience in their practice with adults who have different types and stages of dementia. It aims to assist the reader to reflect on what they do know, start to fill the gaps in the areas that are new to them and is a resource directory for the reader to use and inform their practice in supporting people living with dementia.
The over-arching ethos of the Care Act 2014 is embedded in this resource. There is deliberate emphasis upon person-centred, strengths-based social work which is in keeping with the clear message from the workshops about working towards and with people’s strengths and abilities. Social workers practice should be in keeping with an ethical value-base, but also with the principles running through the Care Act and its statutory guidance, which is why each section identified the relevant Care Act principles.