The push for independent living could be one of the best things to happen to social work in decades. It could mark a return to core values, to the principles of empowering and inclusive practice that brought many of our readers into social work in the first place. But believing this requires a leap of faith.
As our recent survey showed, a quarter of social workers think that service users will be the only ones to benefit from the new approach. It is a sign that social work has become more defensive, and helps account for the “inherent resistance” to change identified by the government’s Office for Disability Issues. When the government finally spells out the “roles and tasks” of social work, the barriers may come down.
Power battle at heart of independent living
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