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Asking the Customer: Exploring Consumers' Views in the Generation of Social Work Pratice Standards

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 17:45 authored by Robert BlandRobert Bland, Laragy, C, Giles, R, Scott, V
The present paper reports on the application of consumer participation principles in the development of social work practice standards. The Australian Association of Social Workers Practice Standards Committee consulted with 48 consumers of social work services from four different practice areas about aspects of social work practice. Participants were asked their expectations of social workers. Their responses emphasised the importance of the social worker–client relationship, confidentiality, practical support and client-empowering practice. The consultations contributed to the development of the Standards and the attributes cited were incorporated and are explicit in sections dealing with areas such as mutual engagement and good communication skills. The process of developing a relationship, and its importance, remains integral to the Standards and all outcomes specified are dependent on forming good social worker–client relationships. The consultations were useful in developing the Standards, but they were restricted in number because of a commitment to paying participants while having limited resources and they used opportunistic rather than representative sampling. © 2006, Australian Association of Social Workers.


Publication title

Australian Social Work








School of Social Sciences


Routledge Journals

Place of publication

Oxfordshire, UK

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Pacific Peoples community services not elsewhere classified

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