Decisions, Assessment, Risk and Evidence in Social Work

Decisions, Assessment, Risk and Evidence in Social Work

DARE 2018: The 5th Biennial International Symposium...

This fifth DARE symposium builds on the fourth symposium in July 2016 which brought together over 120 delegates from 12 countries including senior practitioners, managers, policy makers, researchers, regulators and social workers in education and training.

Decision Making

Decision making is of crucial importance to the social work profession.

Lives and liberty depend on decisions undertaken in crises and high risk situations.

Daily we support clients in more mundane, everyday, risk-taking decision making.

Professional judgments and recommendations have to be based explicitly on evidence and sound reasoning, utilising robust assessment tools and collaborative (and sometimes contested) decision making processes.

There are challenges in creating, synthesising and using best evidence to inform social work policy and practice.


This biennial DARE conference series brings together researchers, educators, policy makers and senior practitioners to share developments on these related topics of:

Professional judgement including reflective practice; cognitive judgement models; heuristics and rationality; use of knowledge; judgements in uncertainty; bias; regret.

Decision processes with clients, families, other professionals, systems and organisations; social work roles in court decisions; collaborative and contested decisions.

Assessment tools and processes, including screening, analysis and problem solving; assessing needs, strengths and risks; statistical and intuitive approaches to predicting harm; mitigating and moderating factors.

Assessing and managing risk, including conceptualisation, communication and legal aspects; organisational processes; positive risk taking; social care governance.

Evidence creation, synthesis and dissemination; the use of knowledge to inform policy, practice, teaching, management and regulation in social work.

Ethical, emotional and contextual aspects of decision making, assessment, risk and evidence, including relationship to professional, personal and societal values.


The conference series aims to:

Promote research, organisation development and teaching initiatives

To improve professional knowledge and skills for the ultimate benefit of clients, families and society

DARE is supported by the Institute for Research in Social Science at Ulster University.

Event info

This event has ended


Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick

Deborah Coey