Edited by Toyin Okitikpi and Cathy Aymer
It is rare to find a social work textbook that you can’t put down, but this is one. At the core is the belief of the contributors that, despite the demands of new managerialism for evidence-based social work practice and objective measures of positive outcomes for service users, the true art of social work and helping people improve their circumstances “is also about building and sustaining relationships”.
Not only is this argument comforting for the many social workers who feel chained to computer screens, while longing for direct work with service users, but each chapter offers persuasive arguments from different areas of practice as to why this model of practice can be so effective.
The contributors are experienced practitioners and academics who do not dwell on the past but, with feet firmly in the present, suggest innovative and practical ideas about how and why the intuitive, inter-personal skills and values of social work can be reclaimed and developed.
Lynn Baxter is a senior lecturer in social work at the University of Greenwich