Social work is under unprecedented pressure as a result of funding cuts, political interventions, marketisation and welfare transformations which, combined, are dramatically reshaping the relationship between individuals and the welfare state.
A wide range of distinguished academics provide a comprehensive analysis of the evolving challenges facing contemporary social work, reflecting on both the existential and ideological threats to the profession. As well as the chief practice areas of child protection, adult care and mental health, contributors also examine practice issues surrounding older people, neoliberalism, neo-eugenics and the refugee crisis.
This book offers concrete policy proposals for the future of the profession alongside valuable solutions which students and practitioners can action on the ground.
“Social workers face challenging times. What is to be done? Read this book, take up position, in and against the neoliberal social work labour process, and collectively engage!” Guy Shennan, Chair of the British Association of Social Workers, 2014-18
“Creates a whole new category in social work literature. In a largely fragmented, ahistorical and technocratic profession, this book succeeds in reimagining the profession’s future, connecting the dots through the development of a holistic, well-informed and radical approach.” Vasilios Ioakimidis, University of Essex
"A contemporary critical text that explores a range of evolving challenges facing social work. The contributing authors are distinguished academics and the range of material covered is comprehensive. It locates social work in its wider political context and discusses proposals for future developments. It is a 'go to' text for students, practitioners and academics." Alisoun Milne, University of Kent
Michael Lavalette is Professor in Social Work and Head of the School of Social Sciences at Liverpool Hope University. He has published widely on radical social work and contemporary social movements. He is co-editor of Critical and Radical Social Work journal.
Foreword ~ Peter Dowd
Introduction: what is the future of social work? ~ Michael Lavalette
Austerity and the context of social work today ~ Michael Lavalette
Contemporary developments in child protection in England: reform or reaction? ~ Brid Featherstone
The slow death of social work with older people? ~ Mark Lymbery
Mental health social work: the dog that hasn’t barked ~ Iain Ferguson
Learning disabilities and social work ~ Jan Walmsley
Social work by and for all ~ Peter Beresford
Anti-oppressive social work, neoliberalism and neo-eugenics ~ Gurnam Singh
From Seebohm factories to neoliberal production lines? The social work labour process ~ John Harris
Social work and the refugee crisis: reflections from Samos in Greece ~ Chris Jones
Conclusion: the road to an alternative future? ~ Michael Lavalette