Adult social care in Britain has been at the centre of much media and public attention in recent years. Revelations of horrific abuse in learning disability settings, the collapse of major private care home providers, abject failures of inspection and regulation, and uncertainty over how long-term care of older people should be funded have all given rise to serious public concern. In this short form book, part of the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series, Iain Ferguson and Michael Lavalette give an historical overview of adult social care. The roots of the current crisis are located in the under-valuing of older people and adults with disabilities and in the marketisation of social care over the past two decades. The authors critically examine recent developments in social work with adults, including the personalisation agenda, and the prospects for adult social care and social work in a context of seemingly never-ending austerity.
Recent years have witnessed a number of 'child protection' scandals where children, often from the poorest and most marginalised communities, have been on the receiving end of violence, abuse and social harm. In this short form book, part of the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series, Paul Michael Garrett looks at the impact of marketisation of social work services in both Ireland and England. He argues that marketisation has had a negative impact on policy regimes, working conditions, social work practices and on the services for vulnerable children and young people. Leading researchers from across the globe contribute to the debate and provide additional evidence from a range of policy regimes that catalogue the negative impact neoliberalism has had on children's services.
Mental health social work is at an impasse. On the one hand, the emphasis in recent policy documents on the social roots of much mental distress ,and in the recovery approaches popular with service users seems to indicate an important role for a holistic social work practice. On the other hand, social workers have often been excluded from these initiatives and the dominant approach within mental health continues to be a medical one, albeit supplemented by short-term psychological interventions. In this short form book, part of the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series, Jeremy Weinstein draws on case studies and his own experience as a mental health social worker, to develop a model of practice that draws on notions of alienation, anti-discriminatory practice and the need for both workers and service users to find ‘room to breathe’ in an environment shaped by managerialism and marketisation.
Personalisation has become the policy buzz-word of the twenty-first century. Supporters claim it offers service users choice and services attuned to meet their specific needs, moving away from ‘one size fits all’ state services. In this short form book, part of the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series, Peter Beresford, one of Britain’s foremost social work academics, challenges the personalisation agenda and its consequences on service users. Although critical of ‘one size fits all’ services that deny service user voice, Beresford argues that personalisation turns service users into ‘consumers’ of services within a care market and hence reinforces the commodification of care which sees vast profits made by a small number of providers at the expense of good quality services for those who use them.
Neoliberalism and austerity have led to a growing inequality gap and increasing levels of poverty and social harm. In this short form book, part of the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series, Chris Jones and Tony Novak look at consequences of poverty and inequality and the challenge they pose to the engaged social work academic and practitioner. There are many studies of poverty that look at competing definitions (and some of the consequences) of poverty in modern society. Here the authors argue that, especially for a profession with a claimed commitment to values based on equality, social justice and meeting human need, poverty and immiserisation impose a requirement on social workers to speak out and not to collude with social policies that make the plight of the impoverished even harder and their lives even worse.