Drawing on lessons from the recent history of social work to identify how and why it has lost its privilege and influence, this book challenges social work students to understand why social work has failed to maintain its position as a driver of social reform. Bamford looks forward to a new model of practice that places a commitment to put social justice back at the heart of professional practice.
The book contributes to the topical debates about social work education and the identity of the profession, encouraging critical thinking about organisation models, practice content and meaning of professionalism in social work. Students are asked to consider questions such as ‘why has social work found it so hard to define its role? ‘, ‘is the neoliberal tide irreversible?’, and ‘do the jibes of political correctness have any substance?’.
The book provides students of social work, history of social work and social policy, with a greater understanding of how social work became an unloved profession, whilst simultaneously charting a more hopeful course for the future.
"This book is a treasure trove of wisdom based on the experience of living the history which it recounts." The British Journal of Social Work
“In this meticulously researched book, infused by his 50 years of experience as practitioner, manager and policy advocate, Terry Bamford prods, pokes and throws light on some of social work's recurring dilemmas.” June Thoburn, University of East Anglia
“An exceptionally well-informed book. Bamford’s commitment as a champion for social work and social workers weaves itself through a text which is a pleasure to read. Whilst looking back it is right up to date and points the way forward.” Ray Jones, Kingston University
Terry Bamford has been active in social work for five decades. He has chaired the British Association of Social Workers, been a Director of Social Services in Northern Ireland and a London borough. He was a founder member of the General Social Care Council. He has chaired a Primary Care Trust and is currently Chair of the Social Work History Network and of Healthwatch in Bexley.
A brave new world: social work at its zenith;
Social work’s ambivalent relation with professionalism;
Child care and the loss of trust;
Neoliberalism and social work practice;
Education or training for social work;
The evolution of radical social work;
From mainstream to the margins: two case studies
The impossible dream: integration of health and social care;
Social work and devolution;
Social work in a changing world;
Afterword: Rotherham and beyond.