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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2010): Social care - UK

A career in social work

E. Rogers

Children and Young People Now, Sep. 21st -Sep.27th 2010, p. 18-19

Social work is undergoing an unprecedented recruitment drive to help address perennial problems such as low morale and high caseloads. After a high-profile TV campaign the number of applications for social work degrees went up by 41.3 per cent from 2009. However demand for places on university courses hugely exceeds supply.

Cuts of 6bn could derail Burstow's vision, adult care leaders warn

J. Dunning

Community Care, Oct. 7th 2010, p. 9

The government is developing a new vision for adult social care in parallel with the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review. It is expected to combine the usual themes of personalisation, integrated working with the NHS, volunteering, and use of assistive technologies. However, the vision may be meaningless and impossible to implement due to massive cuts to council budgets expected under the government's drive to reduce public debt.

Involving users in commissioning local services

S. Schehrer and others

Joseph Rowntree Foundation with Age Concern, 2010

This study, based on a literature review and interviews with adult service users and commissioners, explored users' experiences and views on involvement in commissioning and the views of commissioners when involving users. The report does not end with recommendations but instead reflects a series of key challenges on user involvement in commissioning. It includes a diagrammatic representation of the key principles, pressures and components of systems for involving users in commissioning.

It will be a challenge to fund child protection

J. Sherman

The Times, Oct.22nd 2010, p.10

Frontline services including child protection and adult social care may have to be cut due to spending reductions for local authorities.

The National Skills Academy for Social Care: a values-based model of excellence in training and learning in adult social care

L. McSheehy

Journal of Care Services Management, vol. 4, 2010, p. 280-285

The National Skills Academy for Social Care was launched in October 2009. This paper looks at how it is targeting learning support and training on the 1.75m adult social care workers and 40,500 employers in England, especially in the areas of leadership, management and commissioning skills.

Personalisation

C. Parkinson and A. Ward (guest editors)

Journal of Social Work Practice, vol. 24, 2010, p. 247-349

This selection of original papers explores the meaning of personalisation in social care, along with its origins. A range of views, research and theorisation from authors with specialist knowledge of personalisation is presented. Included within the papers is a commentary on: how we may better understand and work with current organisational resistance to personalisation; the importance of social workers having sufficient thinking space and resources; the energy required to sustain a community initiative; the need for humanity in those who manage and commission services; and the questions raised by students of personalisation in the practice learning environment.

Social care with African families in the UK

V. Nzira

London: Routledge, 2010

This book promotes understanding of the complexities and diversities of African family life. It stimulates creative thinking about how social care professionals can develop meaningful relationships and engage confidently and effectively with African families they encounter within work contexts. The book will help students and professionals to develop specific knowledge and skills for working with African families, including refugees, asylum seekers, new and settled immigrants and people of dual heritage. Whilst acknowledging differences in terms of practices across the continent, the common threads and shared identities of these families can provide the building blocks for new and relevant knowledge which then informs anti-oppressive practice. Issues such as child discipline, officialdom, roles and responsibilities within the family, image and identity and the perception of others are discussed in chapters covering:

  • economic and social pressures
  • family structures
  • marriage patterns/partnerships
  • mortality and death
  • faith and spirituality

Social policy for social work, social care and the caring professions: Scottish perspectives

S. Hothersall and J. Bolger (editors)

Farnham: Ashgate, 2010

This book offers comprehensive coverage of the discipline of social policy and its central relevance to social work, social care and related practice in Scotland. Since devolution in 1999, social policy within Scotland has burgeoned. The Scottish Parliament has a range of powers in relation to key policy areas including social work, education, health, child care, child protection, law and home affairs, and housing. These powers and the existence of a distinct legal tradition in Scotland means that social work practice has developed a distinctive style, attuned to the particular needs of Scotland.

Spending review special

J. Dunning, V. Pitt and M. Samuel

Community Care, Oct. 7th 2010, p. 22-27

This special themed section focuses on the impact of the coalition government's anticipated cuts in public spending on adult social care. It examines the value of grants targeted on specific vulnerable groups such as AIDS or stroke victims, which are at risk of abolition, features an interview with the out-going head of the charity Counsel and Care, and looks at the likely impact of cuts on Birmingham Social Services, which have already embarked on a transformation programme that has started to produce savings.

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