Social Work Ideals And Practice Realities

Book Cover: Social Work IdealsEdited by Mark Lymbery and Sandra Butler.
Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 0333749766

Star rating: 5/5

This topical book considers whether the ideals of social work will survive endless reorganisations and whether a culture of practice will be forever wiped out by a pervasive culture of management, writes Anthony Douglas.

Most authors conclude we have entered a terminal phase for social work as it is generally understood. But other, more upbeat, chapters about the new hybrid forms of social work give the book a healthy balance.

Excellent chapters about particular services convey how social work ideals have driven new forms of person-centred care, which have helped to change the lives of people who lack a voice. Experience from those countries that lack a social work culture based on empowerment and personal growth shows how institutional models of care are less challenged as a result.

The way in which the social work profession is managing its own deconstruction and its reconstruction into new organisations like trusts is debated with great intensity. The closing chapter on the future of social work brings the arguments and the passions together superbly.

Anthony Douglas is chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

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