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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2008): Social care - overseas

Challenges in human rights: social work perspective

E. Reichert (editor)

Chichester: Columbia University Press, 2007

By using human rights as a guidepost, social workers can help create social welfare policies that better serve societal needs. However, in applying human rights to contemporary situations, social workers often encounter challenges that require thinking outside the box. By bringing together essays from a diverse range of authors, the book demonstrates how approaching social work from a human rights perspective can profoundly affect legislation, resource management, and enforcement of policies. Topics include the reconciliation of cultural relativism with universal human rights; the debate over whether human rights truly promote economic and social development or simply allow economically developed societies to exploit underdeveloped countries; the role of gender in the practice of human rights; the tendency to promote political and civil rights over economic and social rights; and the surprising connection between the social work and legal professions.

Critical thinking in health and social care

S. Jones-Devitt and L. Smith

London: Sage, 2007

The book is designed to equip practitioners with the knowledge and tools they need to critically examine practice in their own workplace. It presents a range of different approaches, which have particular relevance in the context of health and social care. Each approach is explained and grounded in practice using case studies, problem-solving scenarios and workplace examples. The practical tools which form the core of the book are contextualised by an exploration of what constitutes knowledge and evidence and the types of assumptions which are commonly held and which have a bearing on practice.

The state of social services in Britain, France and Germany since the 1980s: reform and growth in a period of welfare state crisis

T. Bahle

European Societies, vol. 8, 2008, p. 25-47

This article demonstrates that social services in the shape of childcare and care of the dependent elderly have continued to expand in Britain, France and Germany since the 1980s. There is no convincing evidence of welfare state retreat: service coverage rates are growing, services are becoming more closely integrated and state regulation is becoming stronger. It is argued that social services have expanded because the state and employers have needed them to enable women to enter paid work and because they have created a very large number of jobs, which has helped reduce unemployment levels.

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