The chapter summarises the development of the idea of social work as a profession and describes the negotiations leading to the formation in 1970 of the British Association of Social Workers. It examines the considerations which led the Government to establish the Seebohm Committee on the personal social services, outlines the bold ambitions of the Committee’s Report, published in 1968, and describes the only partially successful campaigns of the various associations of social workers, acting mainly through the Standing Conference of Organisations of Social Workers (SCOSW) and through the Seebohm Implementation Action Group, for their implementation in the Local Authority Social Services Act of 1970. The Act also established the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work, and the disagreements within SCOSW about whether the council should be accountable to Ministers are also considered.
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.
2020 is the 50th anniversary of a turning point in the development of social work in the UK. It is half a century since the creation of a unified association of social workers, the development of a unified training for social workers regardless of the setting in which they worked and the passage of the Local Authority Social Services Act.