Our Social Work publishing features books and journals that help to address issues arising from poverty, inequality and social injustice.
The list includes monographs, textbooks and practitioner guides, series, including Research in Social Work co-published with the European Social Work Research Association, and the Critical and Radical Social Work and European Social Work Research journals.
Policy Press is the leading UK book publisher for books on child abuse, child sexual exploitation, child protection and children’s social work.
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Self-determination is a pathway by which individuals can safeguard as well as define their sense of safety. However, when an individual’s sense of safety is placed at risk, particularly within the context of community, safety can become illusive. Due to safety’s subjective nature, social workers and healthcare providers are invited to examine closely the roles they play to uphold a client’s self-determination, as well as manage risk as instruments of the healthcare programmes we represent, within the context of community and amid our clients’ challenging and oftentimes complex life circumstances. These ethical junctures offer practitioners an opportunity to examine how personal and collective ethical decisions are made, particularly through the lens of the ethics of care, which aims to place relationality at the forefront of the decision-making process. This clinical ethnographic narrative examines several ethical junctures I faced as the social worker to an elderly client diagnosed with schizophrenia.
This rapid review explores research that relates to trans people and social work, with the aim of investigating the experiences of trans people in social work. The article is concerned exclusively with research that platforms the voices of trans people, specifically, those whose input is in direct reference to their experiences in relation to social work. However, the exploration revealed no studies that reference the perspectives of trans social workers. Key recommendations include: the responsible inclusion of trans identities within educational and professional development materials; a visible commitment within social work to confronting transphobia; engaging with practice beyond a binary comprehension of gender; and renewed commitment to person-centred practice that promotes and understands the necessity for self-identification. Additionally, this review restates the need for further ethical research in this area that is more accurately representative and enables the voice and influence of trans people in social work knowledge production.
This chapter argues that a different road to reform is needed to secure political traction and public support. It considers that the experience of COVID-19 is unlikely to create the conditions for a ‘Beveridge’ moment to trigger lasting reform to social care, akin to the new welfare state in the 1940s. Instead, a fundamentally different approach is needed to the politics and processes of change, with four dimensions: a clear framing of the purpose of social care, setting out the full range of problems and challenges; agreeing key design principles for a better social care system; establishing a bottom-up, citizen-led and co-produced approach to policy-making, nurturing cross-party cooperation and using participatory democracy and the power of social movements to nurture public support; and adopting a temporal shift from short-term fixes to long-term approaches, such as cathedral thinking, so we can become ‘good ancestors’ when it comes to social care.
This chapter contains a short history of social care since 1948: its origins in the Victorian Poor Law; the omission of social care in the 1948 welfare state settlement; the dramatic changes in the nature and volume of needs since the end of the Second World War; improvements in life expectancy; the impact of changes in health care and the withdrawal of the NHS from long-term care; the implications of the growth in property ownership and personal wealth; the key social policy and organisational developments, including the Seebohm and Community Care reorganisations; funding changes; and the outsourcing of services.
What lies behind England’s crisis in adult social care, why has real change been so hard and what can be done?
Ensuring effective, sustainable and affordable care and support for people of all ages is an urgent public policy challenge. This vital book outlines a different vision of social care as an essential part of the country’s economic and social infrastructure that enables people to live good lives.
Drawing on the history of social care, international comparisons and lived experience, it sets out a different road to reform that will secure political traction and public support for change.
This chapter sets out the reasons why social care has become such an important issue as a result of social and economic changes since 1948. It offers an overview of the key problems, challenges and issues; explains why the book was written; and concludes with an explanation of the structure of the book and a high-level summary of each chapter.
This chapter looks at the experience of other advanced countries who have introduced major reforms to long-term care (LTC) funding, and draws out lessons that can be learned and applied to England. The arrangements in continental Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and Australia are discussed, in terms of how they work and how they were introduced, including the role of mandatory social insurance schemes in some countries. UK expenditure on LTC is compared with that in other OECD countries, subject to caveats about differences in definitions and data collection. The implications for England are identified and discussed. The chapter concludes by assessing pointers from international evidence about the very limited potential of private insurance as a funding solution.
This chapter examines the efforts of successive governments to reform social care. It summarises the timeline of various inquiries, commissions and White Papers, including Dilnot; the ‘death tax’ row in 2010; the false dawn of the Care Act 2014; and the ‘dementia tax’ controversy in 2017. It refers to the ‘Build Back Better’ plans to introduce a cap on care costs and the White Paper ‘People at the Heart of Care’ published in 2021 (assessed more fully in ).
The chapter identifies what can be learned from failures in funding reform and what needs to be different for reform to succeed. This includes clarity in framing the purpose of reform; the importance of timing in relation to the electoral cycle; the need for cross-party cooperation if not consensus; raising public awareness of social care; and the need for realism in not making the perfect the enemy of the good.
The final chapter examines the ‘Build Back Better’ plans for social care, concluding that bigger and more ambitious changes are needed. It sets out three building blocks of a new system, rooted in the belief that all advanced countries depend on good social care as part of their universal economic and social infrastructure, in the same way that they depend on education, skills and health care. They are: a new ‘social contract for care’ that sets out the mutual roles and responsibilities of individuals, families, communities and the state; a different model of design and delivery that gives people new rights and resources to shape their care and support arrangements, offers peace of mind, and secures a new deal for unpaid carers; a new funding settlement that positions social care as a major public service, on a par with other universal services such as education and health care.