Placing Social Work in its Wider Context
Contemporary social work cannot be understood without an appreciation of the broader context of social policy in which it takes place. Such an understanding is increasingly important as social workers are expected to work across institutional, professional and even national boundaries in new ways profoundly affected by the changing global context.
This insightful book examines how shifts in the dominant political ideology have affected the nature of welfare provision, the kinds of social problems addressed by policy, and the balance of responsibilities for well-being between individuals, the family, voluntary organizations, the market and the state. It explains the impact of these developments on the organization of social work and on relationships between social workers and service users. The book discusses contested concepts central to social work – such as justice, liberty, equality, difference, need and risk – and illustrates these through a range of examples.
The critical analysis provided in this book offers students of social work a crucial foundation for negotiating difficult and sensitive practice situations and defending their profession, providing them with the tools and knowledge to uphold key professional values.