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What Is Social Work?: Context and Perspectives (Transforming Social Work Practice) Paperback – 22 Sep 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Learning Matters (22 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903300827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903300824
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"Brilliantly written, presenting complex issues with insight and clarity and giving readers an enlightened overview of the history and evolution of social work in Britain." (Lecturer, University of Northampton.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

It is timely that the title of the book is posed as a question because the professional arena is currently engaged in a protracted debate about the future of social work. Can we define social work in terms of what social workers do? Who defines what social workers do? Is it themselves, or other agencies, or the government, or the law?

These are the questions raised in the book, and various answers are offered. There is no single answer on offer, because social work is complex and there are competing ideas about its role, purpose and function.

I believe that it is essential that potential and current students of social work have an understanding of how social work has evolved in the context of British welfare. We need to acknowledge that formations of social work practice are historically and culturally located. After all, social workers now undertake a significant role in working with people with learning disabilities within the community. Yet an historical perspective enables us to acknowledge that, until very recently, those same people were incarcerated in long – stay hospitals. How did the changes come about, and what impact have the changes had on the role and purpose of social work?

These questions are considered by way of a TARDIS approach: the book follows four characters over the period from the 18th century to today. They are Jack, an infant, George, a 25 year old man with learning disabilities, Mary, a 40 year old woman with mental health problems, and Hannah, a 70 year old woman who needs help and support.

The book considers current debates about social work from the perspectives of practitioners, managers, service users and carers, and offers some pointers towards future developments in the sector.

Finally, readers are invited to consider how current social work will be seen with the benefit of hindsight. We need to be able to imagine what issues will tax the minds of future practitioners and anticipate the changes needed.

I hope the book will serve as a helpful introduction to those considering a career in social work, to those studying related courses in health, human services and education, and to those already embarked on their qualifying professional studies in social work.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kim Betts on 29 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a social work student and I purchased this book at the beginning of my degree. It is very informative as to how social work began in this country. The information contained within the book is readable and set out in such a way that its easy to comprehend when you are just starting out on a degree. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Finch on 25 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This textbook does not go into much detail at all. I know it is designed as a very basic overview and the book does give you this, but I feel it's worth putting the money towards a more substantial textbook. The layout is good, as with all the learning matters series. I think it would be more suitable for someone considering a degree and career in social work, or for someone who has been accepted onto a degree programme to read before they start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pezz on 8 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
Gave me the information and insights into social work to help me in my decision about my direction in higher education
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By Tiffany Hughes on 15 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i bought this for an ex so they could use it while at college it contained a lot of useful information that helped but i had to get them another one to get all the information they needed
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I purchase this book for my daughter who is looking to train as a Social Worker. I can only give her feedback in this regard. She has told me several times now that the book is 'amazing'. It is the perfect introduction to what is involved in becoming a Social Worker and she is thrilled with it. She is totally happy with the book and intends to hold onto it as a good reference guide.

The book was required at very short notice and I can say that the book arrived very promptly and in lovely condition. So thank you very much!
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By hellobelgium on 28 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good for basic knowledge in SW but a lot of changes happened since its publication. Overall good historical information given.
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