This article explores possibilities and responsibilities for social work to further a social justice and human rights agenda in a neoliberal context through the prism of ethical practice. We draw on examples from a progressive social work programme that places critical theories at the centre of curricula and links them explicitly with the distinct value and ethical base of the social work profession. We demonstrate how critical reflection facilitates students’ commitment to the values and principles of critical social work, and the ways in which this fosters resistance to the colonisation of social work by neoliberalism. We conclude with some examples taken from our research that illustrate the emancipatory possibilities of critical reflection to enhance ethical practice in critical social work.
Christine MorleyUniversity of the Sunshine Coast, Australia