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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2009): Social care - overseas

Art, creativity and imagination in social work practice

P. Chamberlayne and M. Smith (editors)

Abingdon: Routledge, 2009

Harnessing the inspiration available from the arts and the imagination brings to life sensitive and effective social work practice. Workers feel most satisfied while service users and communities are more likely to benefit when creative thinking can be applied to practice dilemmas. Drawing on contributions from Canada, England and Utrecht this book illustrates the transforming effect of creatively applied thinking to social problems. The first part of the book considers how use of the self can be enhanced by analytic reflection and application to difficulties facing individuals and communities. The second part shows psychodynamic theory to be a valuable aid when thinking about issues faced by social workers facing threats and accusations, therapeutic work with children and restorative youth justice. The third part of the book considers the implications of working with the arts in community settings - an ex-mining community in North West England, the Tate Gallery in London and the 'cultural capital' of Liverpool.

European challenges in delivering social services in rural regions: a scoping review

J. Manthorpe and L. Livsey

European Journal of Social Work, vol. 12, 2009, p. 5-24

This article presents an overview of the challenges facing the rural regions of Europe in delivering social services to citizens at a time of significant socio-economic and demographic change. The study was based on a review of the research literature in the English language published between 1996 and 2007. It is concluded that rural social services in Europe are not well supported by the existing evidence base. While the evidence is developing, it remains limited in extent, reliability and generalisability. The volume of dedicated up-to-date research on rural social services appears small when set against the size of Europe's rural populations and the impact of social change.

Supervision reviewed: reflections on two different social work models in England and Sweden

G. Bradley and S. Hojer

European Journal of Social Work, vol. 12, 2009, p. 71-85

This article presents insights into social work supervision in England and Sweden from the perspectives of social workers and managers in the statutory sector. In Sweden supervision is in the hands of an external consultant employed by a private firm who helps the social worker navigate among often competing priorities in a safe environment. In England the supervisor is normally the social worker's line manager, who would have the knowledge and experience needed to guide a new practitioner, but, due to pressure of work, may not be able to give the task the priority it deserves. This article considers the advantages and disadvantages of both models.

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