Far from presenting a unified picture of social work in the region, the contributors show how varied practice provision can be, reflecting he importance of lessons that can be learned from within and outwith social care. They explore key differences in social work's role and character, and the legal systems and organizational structures in which it operates in the different regions.
Malcolm Payne is a social work writer based at St Christopher's Hospice in London and Opole University in Poland; he is in Poland three or four times a year.
He has worked in most kinds of social work. Among his jobs were setting up mental health residential and community care projects, coordinating community and third-sector work in Liverpool, which included a lot of work on unemployment. He also chaired a project developing advocacy for young people in care.
For a long time he was a senior academic in the UK, but gave that up in 2002 and moved to work at St Christopher's, where he writes a regular blog at http://blogs.stchristophers.org.uk about social work and palliative care policy. He says in the blog: why do people talk about tools in social work and healthcare? It's because they want to seem like practical people, but most so-called tools are just filling out forms.
He also does evaluation projects at St Christophers, and helps people with access to their care records and with family difficulties. For several years was responsible for clinical volunteers, spiritual care, day care and psycho-social care there.
He recently wrote a book with his wife Margaret Reith on Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care; it is dedicated to their granddaughters Allison, who is American, and Eleanor, who is British.
He edits textbooks on social work with Robert Adams and Lena Dominelli: they have long meetings where they argue over everything to do with social work.