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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2008): Social care - UK

The big picture

M. Clune

Professional Social Work, Dec. 2007, p. 10-11

The British Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics requires professionals to work to change the structural causes of inequality and injustice in society. Since the breakdown of the social-democratic consensus and the ascendancy of individualism, inequality in society has increased. However, in practice social workers focus on addressing the problematic behaviour of individuals and teaching the disadvantaged how to cope, not on changing social structures.

Developing cultural competence as a framework for anti-heterosexist social work practice: reflections from the UK

H.M. Charnley and J. Langley

Journal of Social Work, vol. 7, 2007, p. 307-321

Significant gains in challenging discrimination against sexual minorities in the UK have been made over the past 15 years through human rights and equalities legislation. This exploration of sexual orientation as a dimension of culture suggests that cultural competence has much to contribute in reducing the social exclusion of sexual minorities through the recognition of different forms of citizenship and acknowledgement of the strengths of diverse and different forms of family and community support networks. Development of such cultural competence needs to be actively promoted during social work training, reinforced by professional and regulatory bodies and supported by social work agencies.

Inspecting for improvement in Scotland

B. Duncan

Journal of Care Services Management, vol. 2, 2007, p. 17-27

This paper examines the changes to the inspection regime for residential care homes in Scotland that will come into force from April 2008. These changes are designed to encourage providers to deliver empowering and personalised services. They aim to promote greater involvement of service users and carers, self-assessment by service providers, and the publication of quality grades for services.

RDB star rating

S. Brand

Journal of Care Services Management, vol. 2, 2007, p. 47-53

This paper looks at the RDB star rating system which is an independent, rigorous programme of client-focused assessment of the quality of care provided by residential homes. RDB awards between two and five stars for the care and services provided by the home, not taking the property into account. The scheme is regarded as complementary to statutory inspections by the regulatory body.

Reflective practice in social work

C. Knott and T. Scragg (editors)

Exeter: Learning Matters, 2007

Reflective practice is a key learning and development process on social work courses. This book looks at the concept of reflection and reflective social work practice from a more critical stance than previous texts, and in accessible ways involving case material and practical tasks. Divided into three parts, the book starts with a broad exploration of reflective practice, drawing on some of the key texts that have informed its development ands some of the processes that can be adopted. The main section of the book examines some of the more difficult and radical applications of the concept - for example emotionally intelligent workers, dangerousness, men in social work and inter-professional leadership. The final section explores how a reflective approach to practice can be maintained and enhanced in the workplace.

The SNP government and social care: the story so far

Professional Social Work, Dec. 2007, p. 12-13

Six months after the formation of the first Scottish National Party government in Edinburgh in 2007, social care leaders give their views on its performance to date.

A very poor show

R. Jones

Public Finance, Nov. 30th-Dec. 6th 2007, p. 15

Social care today owes much to the old Poor Law, with its locally determined, discretionary and rationed services. The author argues that the present locally run system should be replaced with national rights-based entitlements for all older and disabled people.

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