Empathy and neuroscience: powerful tools for social workers

Neuroscience has revealed that social work skills can help rectify developmental damage to children’s brains. Professor David Shemmings explains

It is a well researched fact that social workers attain better results with families when they demonstrate a willingness to see things from everyone’s perspective but manage to maintain authoritative practice.


In other words we need to empathise with a family before we are able to help them resolve some of their own problems which might otherwise lead to a child being taken into care or harmed.


While social workers might think they are showing empathy, research by Professor Donald Forrester at the University of Bedfordshire in 2008 demonstrated convincingly that professionals were struggling with this particular skill.


by David Shemmings