Transforming Community Care: A Distorted Vision?

By Helen Gorman and Karen Postle.
Venture Press
ISBN 18617780591

Essentially this book argues that the care of community care has
been replaced by its management. As evidence, the authors report on
the views of social workers whose change of title and role has been
greeted uneasily.

This book looks back with nostalgia to when relationships between
social workers and their clients were less centred on resources and

Even so, the authors are aware of the dangers of looking back on
the past through rose-coloured spectacles.

With an eye turning to the future, the authors observe that
community participation might be a way of steering care management
back to meeting needs and quality imperatives.

Little, unfortunately, is said about the path to community
engagement, other than emphasising the role of training.

The strength of this book lies in its reporting of practitioners’
views and its analysis exploring decision-making and user
empowerment. Additional value is given by the merging of the
authors’ doctoral studies into this small text.

More reflection of the comparison between the two studies might
have provided lessons to others conducting locality studies.

Jill Manthorpe is professor of social work at King’s
College, London.

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