Goal 1: No Poverty

SDG 1 aims to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. Browse books and journal articles relating to this SDG below and find out more on the UN Sustainable Development Goals website.

Goal 1: No Poverty

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Media and political attention relating to people seeking asylum has increased, particularly during the lead up to and now in the aftermath of Brexit. Practitioners are faced with the challenge of providing services to meet the needs of a more culturally plural service user group. This chapter deals with critical practice with children and families seeking refuge or having refugee status in the UK because of major threats to their welfare and lives in their countries of origin. It emphasises anti-oppressive care rather than control and reminds practitioners of the universal needs of children and families, including speaking out against the violation of human rights and thereby staying true to principles of social justice and service to humanity.

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This concluding chapter reinforces and build on a key message of the book: the relevance and value of theory to the practice of social policy as well as to the study of it. To do this it explores how theory can be used to understand and analyse the recent COVID-19 pandemic. It then looks at the relationship between theory and the pursuit of social change. The chapter concludes with an exploration of the theorisation of hope and its place within social policy analysis and work.

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This chapter highlights how practice with children and families, where there might be child welfare/safety concerns, has become more proceduralised and bureaucratised, with monitoring and surveillance often dominating rather than genuine help and support. It is a move from a concern with therapy and welfare to surveillance and control and involves completing bureaucracy speedily rather than relationship building. Such comments equally apply to the recent emergence of contextual safeguarding of children and young people beyond the family home. Nevertheless, critical social work possibilities remain in the form of ‘critical child protection’, a humane practice with children and families which addresses issues such as poverty and inequality which impinge on parenting.

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The precariousness of children and families’ lives associated with the neoliberal world means that practice with children in need and those with mental health issues faces considerable challenges. Practice with the former, in effect preventative social work, is increasingly less in evidence than it once was, while children with mental health issues have and are facing the brunt of austerity cuts to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. However, this is precisely why critical social work is much needed in both areas. Such practice involves being continually alert to, and attempting to counteract, the influence of wider socio–economic factors effecting children and families by, for example, utilising empowerment and advocacy strategies.

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This chapter explores the concept of citizenship, which has been central to key social policy debates. It also introduces two concepts related to citizenship: community and human rights. As citizenship is closely connected to membership of a community, this chapter also explores the concept of community itself as well as the meaning of membership. The chapter also discusses citizenship rights, together with human rights and the notion of citizenship as an ideal.

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This book provides an introduction to the key theories and concepts that are important in the study of social policy. It fleshes these out with insight from contemporary events, drawing on examples to show how theory matters and helps us in understanding everyday life. This updated second edition includes a new chapter, which explores disability, environmentalism and sexuality.

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Critical social work seeks growth and empowerment as human beings for people, development and social progress for the communities, and social justice and equality in societies. This includes feminist-based ethics of care which can be counter-posed to the work ethic associated with neoliberalism, the latter in turn being questioned by about what is to come after neoliberalism. Such thinking helps provide a basis for the future of critical social work, a practice which emphasises the caring side of the profession and aims for a future based on social justice and equality. This includes a critical/radical social policy and a critical social work with children and families that stresses urgent action to improve the welfare system by listening and responding to the real needs of service users so that people are put before profit.

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This chapter introduces some of the main theoretical perspectives that have provided critiques of dominant political ideologies as well as being critical analytical tools. It covers the main tenets of Marxist, feminist and anti-racist philosophies, which take social class, gender and ‘race’ respectively as their central analytical categories, and it explores theories that have sought to connect these approaches. It pays particular attention to what these philosophies say about the welfare state and their impact on social policy thinking.

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This chapter introduces three further theoretical perspectives that provide critiques of dominant political ideologies and analytical tools for change in social policy. It covers the main tenets of disability theory, sexuality studies and finally environmentalism. It pays particular attention to what the three theories say about the welfare state and their impact on social policy thinking.

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This chapter examines the rise of the New Right and neoliberalism in the 1970s and how this changed the welfare state and social work, followed by the ascent and impact of New Labour on such issues. Importantly, the rise and continued domination of managerialism is considered. The coalition and subsequent Conservative governments are then discussed in relation to the welfare state and social work. They have been preoccupied with issues such as austerity and continued with the neoliberal project, the overall changes having led to the speedy completion of bureaucracy, risk assessment and rationing dominating practice rather than genuine help and support. Despite the resultant challenges in pursuing critical social work, possibilities remain.

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