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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2009): Social care - UK

Anti-oppressive practice in health and social care

V. Nzira and P. Williams

London: Sage, 2009

The book presents a distinctive holistic approach to developing anti-oppressive practice and demonstrates how an understanding of equality and diversity can affect interaction and intervention in a range of health and social care settings, and with a range of service users. The book begins with an account of the nature of anti-oppressive practice and goes on to explore the core theories, concepts, and strategies relating to it. Drawing on case studies and practice guidelines, the book proposes a range of strategies for students and professionals that will enable them to develop skills in cultural equality and anti-discrimination and apply them to their everyday practice.

Building the future workforce

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Apr. 9th 2009, p. 16-17

The number of students enrolling on social work and social care courses is stagnating. This article describes how universities and employers are introducing innovative schemes to encourage people to enter the profession and to make careers in these sectors more appealing.

English social work at the crossroads: a critical view

P. Stepney

Australian Social Work, vol. 62, 2009, p. 10-27

It is argued that English social work has reached a cross roads in its development. In England the universal welfare state has been replaced by a highly individualistic and consumer-driven mixed economy of provision. Social work has been caught up in New Labour's modernising policy discourse, which has recast social justice in terms of opportunity, inclusion and 'choice'. The modernising discourse has been extended by the introduction of a 'respect agenda' in reaction to a loss of community cohesion and rise in anti-social behaviour. In this context, social work faces the choice of either fitting into the modernising policy framework and concentrating on efficiency, cost containment and risk management or seeking critical responses to oppression and using elements of evidence-based practice in ways that are preventative and progressive to open up possibilities for more emancipatory change.

GSCC hopes for a Rosier regulatory future

R. Varley

Professional Social Work, Apr. 2009, p. 20-21

The new chair of the General Social Care Council calls on employers to actively report potential cases of misconduct by social workers to the regulator. She also recommends that GSCC's code of conduct for employers should be made legally binding instead of voluntary, and that post-qualifying training for young social workers should be made compulsory instead of being left to the discretion of managers.

Is the social work role being eroded?

C. Williams

Community Care, Apr. 2nd 2009, p. 10-11

The Putting People First programme to personalise care and support for adults in England was launched in 2008. The role of social workers in the transformed services is unclear, and there are concerns that they are being sidelined in favour of cheaper unqualified staff.

It's all weighted against adult care

A. Mickel

Community Care, Apr. 16th 2009, p. 22-23

There are serious shortages of social workers in both children's services and adult social care in England. Government is investing 73m in workforce development and a recruitment campaign for children's services, but much less money is being put into adult care, which sees itself as a 'poor relation'.

Practising social work: meeting the professional challenge

N. Thompson

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

Social work is a complex and demanding area of professional practice, requiring practitioners to be flexible and reflective, as well as confident and clear. This text provides a practical but theoretically informed foundation for meeting the challenges of social work practice. Its four parts address in turn the role of the social worker as a problem solver, thinker, manager and professional. The book contains:

  • Regular real-life examples to illustrate key points
  • Cameos of social workers' own experiences
  • A range of reflective questions and activities to aid learning
  • Suggestions for further reading

Raising the bar for care skills

A. Taylor

Community Care, Mar. 26th 2009, p. 26-27

This article introduces the work of the National Skills Academy for Social Care which will become fully operational in Autumn 2009. The Academy will direct employers towards social care training courses. It is also looking at creating a kite marking scheme for social care training to help employers judge the quality of a course. It will sponsor a new trainee scheme to identify future social care leaders and a training programme for employers of personal assistants.

Watchdog warns care homes not to cut corners in recession

D. Rose

The Times, Apr. 1st 2009, p. 15

In an interview with The Times Baroness Young of Old Scone, the chairwoman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) warned of the impact of the recession upon care homes - especially those run as family businesses - which may be inclined to cut corners in order to cover costs. The CQC will regulate the work of 2.8 million health and social care workers from today.

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