Using student-friendly features such as case studies and a glossary, this textbook provides an introduction to the concept of agency and how it can usefully inform social welfare practice. It considers how agency and power inter-relate and how it can inform new ways of thinking about the individual and society.
Tracing the origins of agency and exploring the contributions of key thinkers from sociological and social policy perspectives, the book demonstrates a model of achievable change and in doing so represents an optimistic view on social work's potential to contribute to this.
It is essential reading for students and professionals training in social welfare, social work and education.
"Excellent additions to undergraduate social work education." Julie Williams
"With new local permissiveness on organisational arrangements and with sector led improvement the new mantra, this is a timely and important contribution to understanding the contribution social work can potentially still make." Peter Dwyer, Director of Adults, Children and Education, City of York Council
"A readable, wide-ranging and very topical exploration of the concept of agency which demonstrates its real potential for developing theory and practice in social work and social welfare more generally." Nigel Parton, University of Huddersfield
"At once bold, clear, straightforward and radical, this closely observed account puts relationship and agency at the heart of social work: offering the possibility for active participation in the creation of lives lived with meaning and purpose." Leonie Hilliard, Principal Adult Psychotherapist, South West Yorkshire NHS Trust
Liz Jeffery has had a long career in social work, working primarily with families and children, including young offenders, in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. She also worked as a guardian ad litem and taught on the social work course iat Leeds Metropolitan University. Most recently, she was employed as Strategic Officer at Leeds Children's Fund. Now happily retired, she continues her interest in children and young people through voluntary work.
Introduction; A theoretical introduction; Social workers and service users; Service users as co-producers of services; Agency and structure: individuals in society; Conclusion; Afterword.