Policy Press

Working in group care

Social work and social care in residential and day care settings

By Adrian Ward


Nov 1, 2006

Page count

232 pages


2nd Edition

Browse the series

BASW/Policy Press titles




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Working in group care

Working in group care (ie residential and day services) is a challenging and complex task, demanding great skill, patience, knowledge and understanding. This book explains how best practice can be achieved through the focused and engaged work of individuals and teams who are well supported and managed. Detailed attention is paid to the value of everyday practice and its underlying principles.

The book brings together theory, practice and research findings from across the whole field of group care for all user-groups - including health, education and probation settings as well as social work and social care. 

The first edition was warmly welcomed as 'well organised and accessible ... and a valuable addition to the literature' (British Journal of Social Work). This second edition is updated and expanded, including substantial new material on the concept of 'opportunity led work'.

The book will be an essential text for all those involved in residential and day care practice whether as practitioners, students, managers or trainers. It argues strongly for seeing group care as valuable and skilled work and for a holistic understanding of good practice.

" ... for people studying in this field, this book is a must read ... The book remains a standard classic, and it will be of use to trainers and students preparing for work in day and residential settings for years to come ... " The Children Webmag

"Adrian Ward offers a useful theoretical and practical framework for analysing what happens in social work in a range of group settings and applies to this practice ..." Community Care

"This book is a rewrite of an earlier publication of the same name. Adrian Ward has updated the text to include the latest information on systems and structures. It remains a must read for practitioners, managers and proprietors and students who want to comprehend practice in action. Adrian Ward writes in a most accessible way that makes the reader feel he knows about life in residential and day care practice. He covers issues deeply and where there is more to be said, he provides helpful signposts to other writing. He displays a true commitment to people who use services and a fondness for the work. His writing does not only show academic robustness but a devotion to good outcomes for the people receiving care services and their aspirations being central to any notion of success. He often speaks directly to students but this understates the value of the work to the sector and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand more about group care." Nick Johnson, Chief Executive, Social Care Association

Adrian Ward is Senior Clinical Lecturer in Social Work at the Tavistock Clinic in London, and has previously worked at the Universities of Reading and East Anglia. He has written widely on group care and therapeutic practice and has substantial experience in residential child care.

Introduction; Group care: practice and principles; The contexts of working in group care; The Client's Stay; The Worker's Shift; The Team and its Task; Full circle: making group care work.