Effective communication is an essential component of traditional social work activities, e.g. providing basic care, giving advice, making assessments, counselling, writing reports and acting as clients’ advocates. It is equally necessary for social workers to have effective communication skills if they are to promote self-help and empowerment. Finally, while the language of community care planning, with its emphasis on care management, brokerage, the purchaser/provider split and devolved budgets sounds technocratic and impersonal, care managers and providers will have to use a range of communication and interpersonal skills if community care is really to mean care, choice and empowerment for users.
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