Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Creating a Global Future
Author: Mark Henrickson

European and North American notions of helping - or managing - poor and marginalised people have deep roots in religious texts and traditions which continue to influence contemporary social policy and social work practice in ways which many do not realise.

Bringing together interdisciplinary scholarship, Mark Henrickson argues that it is essential to understand and critique social work’s origins in order to work out what to retain and what must change if we are to achieve the vision of a truly global profession.

Addressing current debates in international social work about social justice, professionalisation, and the legacy of colonisation, this thought-provoking book will allow practitioners and scholars to consider and create a global future for social work.

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A Transnational History

This book explores the role and impact of the settlement house movement in the global development of social welfare and the social work profession.

It traces the transnational history of settlement houses and examines the interconnections between the settlement house movement, other social and professional movements and social research.

Looking at how the settlement house movement developed across different national, cultural and social boundaries, this book show that by understanding its impact, we can better understand the wider global development of social policy, social research and the social work profession.

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Implications and Opportunities for Practice

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed fresh light on the ways that social media and digital technologies can be effectively harnessed to support relationship-based social work practice. However, it has also highlighted the complex risks, ethics and practical challenges that such technologies pose.

This book helps practitioners and students navigate this complex terrain and explore and build upon its multiple opportunities. It uses real-life examples to examine how practitioners can assess the impact of new technologies on their professional conduct and use them in a way that enhance public confidence and relationship-based practice.

The authors explore how digital technologies can support multiple areas of service including social work with children, families and adults, mental health social work, youth justice and working with online communities. They also consider regulatory questions and provide a roadmap for good practice.

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Poverty-Aware Practice for Social Work

In this seminal book, Krumer-Nevo introduces the Poverty-Aware Paradigm: a radical new framework for social workers and professionals working with and for people in poverty.

The author defines the core components of the Poverty-Aware Paradigm, explicates its embeddedness in key theories in poverty, critical social work and psychoanalysis, and links it to diverse facets of social work practice.

Providing a revolutionary new way to think about how social work can address poverty, she draws on the extensive application of the paradigm by social workers in Israel and across diverse poverty contexts to provide evidence for the practical advantages of integrating the Poverty-Aware Paradigm into social work practices across the globe.

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Past, Present and Future

This collection charts the key developments in the social work field from 1970 to the present day and shows how by fully understanding social work’s past, we can make better progress for practitioners and service users in the future.

It brings together a broad collection of experts from across social work who trace how thinking and approaches to practice have changed over time, examine key legislative developments in the field, look at the impacts of major inquiries and consider the re-emergence of certain specialisms.

Providing students and practitioners of social work and social policy with a full picture of the evolution of social work, it also shares important insights for its future directions.

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Re-examining Two Decades of Policy Change
Author: Carl Purcell

Drawing on unique access to prominent policy makers including ministers, senior civil servants, local authority directors, and the leaders of children’s sector NGOs, Purcell re-examines two decades of children’s services reform under both Labour and Conservative-led governments.

He closely examines the origins of Labour’s Every Child Matters programme, the Munro review and more recent Conservative reforms affecting child and family social workers to reassess the impact of high profile child abuse cases, including Victoria Climbié and Baby P, and reveal the party political drivers of successive reform.

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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.

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Author: Ian Cummins

Taking a critical and radical approach, this book calls for a return to mental health social work that has personal relationships and an emotional connection between workers and those experiencing distress at its core.

The optimism that underpinned the development of community care policies has dissipated to be replaced by a form of bleak managerialism. Neoliberalism has added stress to services already under great pressure and created a danger that we could revert to institutional forms of care.

This much-needed book argues that the original progressive values of community care policies need to be rediscovered, updated and reinvigorated to provide a basis for a mental health social work that returns to fundamental notions of dignity and citizenship.

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The Impact of Neo-Liberalism and Austerity Politics on Welfare Provision
Author: Ian Cummins

This book offers a critical, sociological analysis of the domino effect of neoliberalism and austerity politics on the role of social work and wider welfare provision.

It argues that social work should move away from the resultant emphasis on risk management and bureaucracy, and return to a focus on relational and community approaches as the cornerstone of practice.

Applying theoretical frameworks to practice, including those of Bourdieu and the recent work of Wacquant, the book examines the development of neoliberal ideas and their impact on social welfare. It explores the implications of this across a range of areas of social work practice, including work with children and families, working with asylum seekers and refugees and mental health social work.

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In the last 20 years, state care in China has shifted away from institutional care, towards alternative care that recognises children’s rights to an inclusive childhood and adulthood. This book reviews changes in policy and practices that affected the generation of young people who grew up in state care in China during this time.

The young people themselves give their perspectives on their childhood, their current experiences and their future plans for independence. These insights, combined with analysis of national state care datasets and policy documents, provide answers to questions about the impact of different types of alternative care on young people’s experiences, the impact on their identity and their capacity to live independently, finding a job, a home and relationships.

All countries continue to struggle with how to improve the quality child protection practices and alternatives to group care. The results here provide evidence to researchers, governments and professionals to help to improve social inclusion by changing institutionalisation practices.

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