This book examines how religion and related beliefs have varied impacts on the needs and perceptions of practitioners, service users, and the support networks available to them. The authors argue that social workers need to understand these phenomena, so that they can become more confident in challenging discriminatory and oppressive practices. The centrality of religion and associated beliefs in the lives of many is emphasised, as are their potentially liberating (and potentially negative) impacts.
In line with the "Social Work in Practice" series style, the book allows readers to explore issues in depth. It focuses on knowledge transmission, and the encouragement of critical reflection on practice. Each chapter is built around 'real-life' case scenarios using a problem-based learning approach.
This book is the first to deal with social work and religion so comprehensively and will therefore be essential reading not only for social work students, but also for practitioners in a range of areas, social work academics and researchers in the UK and beyond.
"This book makes a significant contribution to practice wisdom. Enhanced by thought-provoking case studies, it offers a strengths-based framework grounded in practice that will help social workers open some important doors." Bernard R Moss,
Professor of Social Work Education and Spirituality, Staffordshire University
"[Religion, belief and social work] will make you appreciate the need to consider these aspects in a more embracing manner. [There are] excellent case examples .. throughout the book. ... .the main thrust of this book is a plea for the integration of a consciousness of belief issues into daily social work". Roger Fowkes, 5% Review on Amazon
"This readily accessible book is most welcome. Written by authors who clearly understand the significance of spirituality and religious beliefs to social work, it provides both frameworks and insights to inform and develop sensitive and competent practice." Jan Horwath, Prof of Child Welfare, University of Sheffield
"At last: a courageous, sensitive and comprehensive book on the place of religion and belief in everyday social work practice. An indispensable resource for those committed to delivering culturally-appropriate services to users and carers." Siobhan E. Laird, Centre for Social Work, University of Nottingham
Sheila Furness is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Bradford, England. She has also worked as an inspector of residential care homes and as a teacher in the UK and Nigeria.
Philip Gilligan is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Bradford, England. He has also worked as a social work practitioner and manager, predominantly with children and families in the UK and Kenya.
Introduction; The requirement to consider religion and spiritual beliefs; Frameworks and models to develop cultural competence in relation to religion and belief; Religion, belief and social work with children and families; Older people, religion and belief; Child abuse, adult abuse, religion and belief; Mental health, religion and belief; Learning disabilities, religion and belief; Religion, belief, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers; Faith-based social work: contributions, dilemmas and conflicts; Concluding remarks.