This book traces the changing fortunes of radical and critical social work in the U.K., and examines the theory, context and application of such approaches. Radical social work of the 1970s declined as the rise of neoliberalism changed the nature of the welfare state along with what social workers do and how. A looser critical approach developed, although practitioner demoralisation and disillusionment led to the ‘second wave’ of radical social work in the late 2000s. Despite challenges, critical practice is both necessary and possible in the neoliberal world. Drawing on the author’s unique experience, core areas of practice with children and families are covered, including real life case studies, key point summaries and suggestions for further reading. The essential argument is for an emancipatory practice geared to meeting immediate needs, as well as having some vision of a future, more socially just and equal, society. The book will be invaluable to undergraduate and postgraduate social work students, experienced practitioners, educators, managers and policy makers.
"Rogowski...has come up trumps with this latest work which focuses on children and family work in the UK...the book is a useful compliment to the contemporary UK
radical literature in its attempt to bridge the divide between the academic standpoint of those works and the actualities of practice." British Journal of Social Work
"A valuable contribution to social work literature and is particularly timely in the current economic and social climate." Laura Davis, Senior Practitioner Social Worker, Emergency Duty Service
"Steve Rogowski provides an urgent, powerful and critical connection of theory and practice, set in its historical and political context by a real social worker about real social problems with real service users." Kevin Brown, MCI Management Center Innsbruck
"...a much needed contribution to social work knowledge." Journal of Social Policy
"Steve Rogowski has written an interesting history of radical and critical social work. Its focus on children and families draws mainly on developments in the UK, but it has resonance for those working in the difficult area of child-protection elsewhere. His calls for understanding the failure of neoliberalism to enhance well-being are crucial to the development of alternative forms of practice." Professor Lena Dominelli, University of Durham
"Steve Rogowski writes with characteristic commitment, clarity and vision. Here we have sharp analysis along with an invaluable guide to practice consistent with the emancipatory principles of modern radical social work." Mary Langan, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University
Dr. Steve Rogowski is a qualified social worker and has been practicing, mainly with children and families, for approaching 40 years. He has a particular interest in young offending having published in this area, as well as in the social work and social policy fields more generally. Recent work includes the book ‘Social Work: The Rise and Fall of a Profession?’ 2010, Bristol: Policy Press.
Introduction: critical social work and why we need it; Part One - Theory and Context: Critical social work: theory and concepts; Critical social work in the neoliberal world: challenging times; Part Two - Practice considerations: Child protection and looked-after children; Children in need and those with mental health issues; Young offenders and youth justice; Asylum-seeking and refugee children and families; Disabled children and families; Conclusion: critical social work and its future