Social Work in Europe: Education for Change
Edited by Karen Lyons and Sue Lawrence, Venture Press
STAR RATING: 4/5
Developments in Europe since the 1980s have provided fresh opportunities for social work professionals to exchange ideas about the role of social professions, writes Trish Hafford-Letchfield.
The emergence of European social work journals and European and international social work organisations has enabled debate about whether a common identity for social work professionals is achievable within the context of different European welfare regimes.
This book is unique in how it attempts to bring these themes together under the umbrella of education.
The authors, clearly knowledgeable and experienced in this field, draw comparisons between the different national traditions, cultures, and changing political and socio-economic influences contributing to how social work is practised throughout Europe. They consider how European and international perspectives can inform more effective practice and service developments by drawing on themes explored in the book such as race and social relations in Western Europe and the role of research.
Not for the faint-hearted, it is a specialist read. Building on examples of social work programmes operating in this new challenging environment made me think how inward-looking and less forward-thinking some of us might remain without them.
Trish Hafford-Letchfield is senior lecturer in social work, London South Bank University