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

Anti-racist social work. 3rd ed.

L. Dominelli

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

Racism continues to plague contemporary society. Anti-racist social work has never been more relevant. The third edition examines changes in anti-racist practice since the first edition, situating its narratives within the globalizing world. The book considers racism in its three forms - personal, institutional and cultural - to show how it impacts upon personal relationships, policies and professional practice in social work.

Key issues explored include:

  • Islamaphobia
  • inter-racial adoptions
  • anti-racist practice with asylum-seekers and refugees
  • terrorism and the 'war on terror'

A class act to follow

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Sept. 4th 2008, p. 20-21

The government is keen to improve access to services by co-locating social workers in schools. In a school environment social workers can do more preventative work with children and develop joint assessments with fellow practitioners while teachers can focus on their core responsibility of teaching.

Confused on conduct

D. Hayes

Community Care, Sept. 4th 2008, p. 18-19

In Summer 2008, Community Care surveyed nearly 300 social workers to try and understand the full extent of the confusion surrounding professional boundaries. The findings highlight differences of opinion among social workers about relationships with clients, and underline the need for the General Social Care Council to provide greater clarity on what is and is not acceptable.

Co-production and personalisation in social care: changing relationships in the provision of social care

S. Hunter and P. Ritchie (editors)

London: J. Kingsley, 2007

Co-production is an innovative approach to service development and practice that brings together service users and practitioners in a collaborative relationship, drawing on service users' strengths and abilities in the problem-solving process. This book explores the theory and practice of this model in social work and related fields. It gives examples of methods and services designed on co-production principles, including housing initiatives where the users, rather than professionals, provide support to each other, the development of local area co-ordination as a service response to dilemmas of geography, and whether restorative justice can provide a better direction in re-integration than traditional criminal justice.

Not throwing out the partnership agenda with the personalisation bathwater

H. Dickinson and J. Glasby

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 16, Aug. 2008, p. 3-8

The personalisation agenda currently appears as a key strand of the government's approach to health and social care services. On the face of it, this offers an exciting future where service users drive the way that services are joined up. There is some suggestion that in the future any talk about partnerships will be about this citizen-state interaction, rather than one between health and social care agencies. However, this paper argues that there is danger in suggesting that the personalisation agenda negates the need for health and social care agencies to work together in partnership. It suggests that the personalisation agenda not only changes the nature of debates about partnership working, but also makes the effective interaction of health and social care services more vital than ever.

The Protection of Vulnerable Adults List: an investigation of referral patterns and approaches to decision making: final report

M. Stevens and others


This research looked at the factors leading to people being placed on the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) List, which bars social care staff from working with elderly and disabled people. It found that the vast majority of staff suspected of harming vulnerable adults are not banned from working in social care. Out of a sample of 3,418 completed referrals from July 2004 to November 2006 only 11% were placed on the POVA List and on average it took panels almost six months to make a decision. It was concluded that guidance on making referrals to POVA and the new vetting and barring scheme that will replace it in 2009 may need revision to ensure that better referrals are made.

Social work and power

R. Smith

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

Social workers constantly struggle with the idea of power and what it means it their work. They often experience themselves as powerless, yet are seen as having a powerful impact on other people's lives. The book introduces important theories of power in order to show the value of these perspectives for understanding the social work role and its intrinsic challenges. The book:

  • Critically reviews the main conceptual positions and the debates these have provoked
  • Looks more closely at the power dynamics that affect social work - for example, what impact organizational and structural contexts have, and how professional discretion is exercised.
  • Concludes by looking at a range of ideas for enabling practitioners to negotiate more equal and collaborative relationships with service users and carers.

What comes around goes around: on the language and practice of 'integration' in health and social care in Scotland

K. Bell, T. Kinder and G. Huby

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 16, Aug. 2008, p. 40-48

'Integration' is a cornerstone of current Scottish health and social care policy, and good practice in 'integrated' service development and provision is viewed as important in delivering the policy. However, for practitioners and managers engaged with service development and quality improvement, the rhetoric of 'integration' fails to connect with practice. This makes implementation of 'integration' policies difficult in practice. The authors conclude that high level policy announcements envisaging service integration need to be accompanied by detailed and locally relevant specifications of what is to be done in different settings to enable project planning. This needs to include the resources and time for localised communities of practice to negotiate its meanings in each context.

When is a team not a team?

H. Dickinson and J. Glasby

Community Care, Aug. 14th 2008, p. 30-31

It has been suggested that some of the difficulties health and social care organisations experience in working together are, to some extent, a product of the design of these systems. More effective team working is seen as a way of overcoming these problems and providing more seamless services. In order to realise the full benefits of team working, good and supportive relationships must be forged between team members, and between the team and the wider organisation.

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