Risk and Risk Taking in Health and Social Welfare

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  • Supplemental Content;
  • Assessment and Management of Risk in Child Care and Child Protection | Pavilion Publishing.
  • Risk-taking behaviour in adolescents.
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His paper develops further some risk concepts outlined in his recent book Sicora Sicora, A. Reflective practice and learning from mistakes in social work.


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Bristol : Policy Press. These articles present a welcome and interesting range of study findings and perspectives on risk in social work. Our own professional social work approach to risk is only slowly emerging, through ideas in articles such as these. Our challenge is to integrate useful ideas from other fields — including communication studies, health care, law, military studies, organisational science, psychology and sociology — and develop our own conceptualisation suited to our professional role.

When the call went out for this special issue, abstracts were invited that related to both decision-making and risk.


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In the event, the number of high-quality abstracts received was such that the journal editors decided to allow two special issues: this one focusing more on risk, and one next year focusing on professional judgement and decision-making. So, journal readers have a second special issue to look forward to! However, the topics of risk and decision-making are closely linked such that both special issues will have relevance to both topics to some extent. One reason for the strong response to the abstract call is key networks that are growing on this topic area.

The last conference attracted over participants from 12 countries; the next conference is planned for July The creation of the European social work research association. Research on Social Work Practice , 25 5 , — European social work research association SIG to study decisions, assessment and risk. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work.

DARSIG is in its early stages of development, but already includes over 30 members from about 15 countries. If you are pursuing research, teaching or development of management or practice on some dimension of risk in social work, we would like to encourage you in your endeavours. But even if your interest is limited to reading this journal, we hope that you enjoy these stimulating articles. Skip to Main Content. Search in: This Journal Anywhere.

Advanced search. Submit an article Journal homepage. Pages Published online: 05 Dec Understanding Risk in Social Work. Data were derived from a cross-sectional study of adolescents in 22 welfare institutions located across Peninsular Malaysia in Using supervised self-administered questionnaires, adolescents were asked to assess their self-esteem and to complete questions on pubertal onset, substance use, family structure, family connectedness, parental monitoring, and peer pressure. SRB was measured through scoring of five items: sexual initiation, age of sexual debut, number of sexual partners, condom use, and sex with high-risk partners.

Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to examine the various predictors of sexual risk behaviour. The study showed that There were clear gender differences in predicting SRB. Thus, a gender-specific sexual and reproductive health intervention for institutionalised adolescents is recommended. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

In this article, Jo Croft explore the barriers to this behaviour in the care home and discusses the tool she uses to minimise hazards and maximise quality-of-life. Taking risks is a normal part of everyday life.

RACGP - Risk taking behaviour in adolescents

A person takes a risk every time they cross the road or get in a car. Children are taught how to tackle risks from a young age, gaining independence and freedom as they show their ability to manage them. As adults, many of us become increasingly adventurous, sometimes participating in seemingly dangerous, high-risk activities, such as skydiving, motorcycle racing and horse jumping.

Such behaviours are celebrated in the media and a spirit of adventure is viewed as laudable within Western culture. On the whole, society respects each person's decisions regarding risk-taking activities, and people expect to assert their independence and choice as a matter of course.

Risk and risk taking in health and social welfare

It seems an anomaly, therefore, that older people living in care homes are somehow subject to a different cultural attitude—one of protectionism and risk aversion. The feedback from the older people participating in the study highlighted the key aspects which they considered impact on a sense of personal identity and self-esteem.

These included:. Being able to choose how to spend their time—pursuing interests, dreams and goals, and who they spent their time with. Those speaking on behalf of older people with high support needs expressed low expectations of a fulfilling life and a lack of imagination. The debate report stated:. We can strive to reduce risk but it is inevitable that things will sometimes go wrong. The views expressed during the debate were that the issue of risk is cultural, and not simply about nursing, as the wider media often rely on sensational reporting of health care failures to drive public debate.

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Risk is often perceived to have only negative connotations; it is coupled with the ideas of danger, damage and injury. Despite risk being a commonplace part of health care, nurses may be discouraged from taking risks with innovative approaches to service delivery, fearing public criticism or condemnation should things go wrong. There is no doubt that the implementation of the Care Act and the debate at the RCN Congress have gone a long way to addressing this risk-averse culture by providing an additional statutory framework and further guidance to protect the rights of vulnerable people, in respect to decision-making.

The Mental Capacity Act includes a requirement to prove a lack of capacity for the relevant decision before professionals can interfere with, or go against, a person's wishes.

Social risk management

The rights of the older person when it comes to decision-making are, therefore, clearly protected within the law. It is incumbent on care providers to uphold these principles of law, in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice Department for Constitutional Affairs, This suggests that a reductionist view of care still persists, even though holistic care models have been discussed and actively promoted within the care home sector for decades. The possible reasons behind this are worthy of further exploration.

Risk-taking behaviour in adolescents

One possibility is the natural tension that exists between keeping residents safe and the undertaking of any activity with an element of risk attached. Care providers and health professionals have both a duty to uphold the basic rights and freedoms of their resident, and a duty of care to protect them from foreseeable harm. It is important to recognise that it is not possible to eliminate risk entirely, and that it is essential that residents are given the freedom of choice and the right to make their own decisions, on everything from how they want to be cared for, to how they want to spend their free time.

Furthermore, the balance of risk and benefit will be unique to each individual and each particular situation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and a balanced approach will only be achieved through discussing and exploring the resident's priorities and expectations. Morgan made the following observation:. It is not negligent ignorance of the potential risks … it is usually a very carefully thought-out strategy for managing a specific situation or set of circumstances. Not only does this help overcome the fear factor of being held to account if things should go wrong, but also there is a statutory and professional obligation for care providers and health professionals to document this decision-making process.

Dix and Smith stated that a defensible decision is one where:. Reliable assessment methods have been used and information has been thoroughly evaluated. Decisions are recorded succinctly and in line with the agency's recording policy, and related actions are communicated to all relevant parties with outcomes reported back as appropriate. Practitioners and their managers adopt an approach that is proactive, investigative and holistic.

All appropriate services are arranged to mitigate identified risk and meet the assessed needs of the individual concerned as far as that person is prepared and able to accept such services. Any occurrence of a risk event will lead to a review of the plan in relation to that risk. Policies and procedures have been followed and due adherence to statute and government and professional guidance is maintained.

These views align with the guidance issued by the DH, as expressed in its risk guidance for people living with dementia DH, , and apply equally to all residents, regardless of their capacity. Having a thorough knowledge and understanding of the risk management process and the skills to apply it are essential to the smooth and effective running of any care home.

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At the author's care home, risk assessment training skills and knowledge training is provided to all managers and senior members of the nursing and care teams. The importance of staff training cannot be stressed enough, as it helps to create and sustain a culture of positive risk management all levels, supported by care policies, procedures and documentation that underpin and facilitate the values and approach reflected in this article.

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The Colten Care Positive Risk Assessment PRA tool is used to inform complex decision-making and is an integral part of the individual resident's care plan. It incorporates the following key elements:. Description of the identified risk usually an activity which the resident wishes to partake in.

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