Martin C Calder (ed), Russell House Publishing
If you are looking for a light read, give this one a miss. However, there is some excellent material in this book on a subject that challenges all child care practitioners: how do we work with service users who don’t want to work with us?
The book ranges from the theoretical to the practical in responding to this question, which makes moving between chapters challenging for the reader. In addition, the international context of some sections is of academic interest but not always transferable to a UK context. As well as the theoretical and practical chapters, there is a useful literature review and a chapter on the changing landscape of social care which puts the work in context.
There is also a look at research on how apparently good engagement affects workers’ perspectives. This raises significant questions, such as how you can know when a client is going through the motions or is positively engaged, and should be compulsory reading for child protection in the light of the baby Peter case.
The most useful chapter is Martin Calder’s, which offers a very useable framework for working with involuntary clients. This chapter would offer busy practitioners some useful tools, while the rest of the book is probably more useful for students or academics.
Linda Naylor is an independent trainer with Training Matters