Collaboration in Social Work Practice

Book Cover: Collaboration in Social WorkEdited by Jenny Weinstein, Colin Whittingham and Tony Leiba.
Jessica Kingsley
ISBN 1843100924

“Collaboration” seems to be the new buzzword for “working in partnership”, and as the authors suggest, collaboration effectively means the “active process of partnership”. This book plots the emergence of the principle of collaboration as a fundamental value in health and social care, and explores how it can be achieved through a series of case studies, including service user and carer perspectives, writes Lynne Wilson.

This is a timely read. The issues around inter-professional working are the stuff of daily anecdotes in social and health care, but the contributors to this book offer critical explorations of what can hinder or support effective collaboration, with helpful bullet-point summaries. Common themes emerge, to the point of becoming repetitive at times.

While essentially optimistic, the authors offer some words of caution. Commitment at the highest levels is essential, as is continuing development of opportunities for joint training. Also, the benefits for service users and carers cannot be taken for granted, and these need to remain a clear focus for the future.

Lynne Wilson is senior lecturer in social work, University of Lincoln.

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