Practising Welfare Rights
Neil Bateman, Routledge
STAR RATING: 5/5
I have a confession to make, that I probably should have mentioned when asked to review this book – I am listed in the acknowledgements because I commented on the rough draft of a few chapters of this book, writes Gary Vaux.
So having declared an interest, it’s only right that I should lead my review with what Sophie, a social work student on placement in my unit, said to me when she returned the book: “It was great – it really helped me with an essay”. It certainly provides a guide to the skills required to be an effective advocate.
If that makes Bateman’s work sound academic, it would be misleading. The book is actually a far-ranging treatise on the nature and practice of welfare rights advice work.
There are no more passionate advocates for welfare rights services than Bateman and this commitment runs like a thread throughout. That helps unite the book into being both a useful tool for individual practitioners and a powerful argument for having an independent and vibrant advice sector.
Whether you are setting up an advice service, working to assist claimants with benefit queries or wanting to consider some of the ethical and practical issues involved in advice work, this book will be both useful and interesting.
As part of the social work skills series, it is no less than essential.
Gary Vaux is head of money advice at Hertfordshire council and is Community Care’s welfare rights expert