This book traces the changing fortunes of radical and critical social work, and examines the theory, context and application of such approaches. Radical social work of the 1970s declined as the rise of neoliberalism over subsequent decades 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. Core areas of practice with children and families are covered, including some 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.
"Social work can play a very important role in [the] future and Rogowski's analysis is a wise foundation for making sure we don't forget the lessons of the past." David Barnes in Professional Social Work
"He brings together his long experience in social work with children and families, his record of academic achievement and the critical spirit of radical social work in this highly readable account of the current crisis of social work." Mary Langan in British Journal of Social Work
'...this book is a highly readable overview of the key issues and I have put it on my reading list for social work students. I know that those who have read it have found it thought-provoking and useful.' Jonathan Dickens in Journal of Social Policy
"... I can heartily commend Rogowski’s eminently readable and highly informative book." Kevin Brown in Forum
"This ambitious and thoughtful book ranges from social and political theorisation to fine-grained analysis of policy and practice, and, importantly, critical reflection on the author's long experience as a social work practitioner." David Smith, Professor of Criminology, Lancaster University
"Steve Rogowski is always worth reading. He is a rare breed: an informative - and radical - commentator on the evolution of social work who remains located within the turbulent world of practice. His new book on the transformation of the profession will be of interest to social workers, academics, students and many users of social work services." Paul Michael Garrett, National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland
"Good social work is based on a combination of values, theory and experience. So are good social work books, but often these three essentials aren't all in place. This book is an important and must-read exception, written by a committed practitioner with a clear value base." Peter Beresford, Centre for Citizen Participation, Brunel University
Dr. Steve Rogowski is a qualified social worker and has been a practicing, mainly with children and families, for approaching 40 years. He has a particular interest in young offending having published widely 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: the rise and fall of social work? The beginnings of social work to its 1970s zenith; Thatcherism: challenges and opportunities; New Labour: new challenges and (fewer) opportunities; The professionalisation of social work?; Managerialism and the social work business; Conclusion: The changing face, or the fall of social work?