1st Edition

Interpreting Residential Life Values to Practise

By James S. Atherton Copyright 1989

    First published in 1989 Interpreting Residential Life raises questions like – a) what makes residential establishments tick, b) what is going on beneath the surface of the daily routine, c) why is change so difficult to create and even more difficult to sustain, and d) how can residential social workers evaluate their work?

    James Atherton provides a set of tools to enable residential workers to answer these questions in their own establishments. Simply and directly, he provides a framework which shows how policy and practice relate to each other and reinforce or hinder each other, in crises as well as in routines. He examines the whole residential establishment as a social system, concentrating on daily life within it, and demonstrating how values are implicit in all aspects of practice. He draws on the experiences of residential staff at all levels to uncover the working myths and offers ways of understanding how establishments function and indicates the pathways to change. This is an essential read for students of social work and sociology.

    Acknowledgements General Editor’s Foreword Introduction 1. Systems Thinking 2. Communication in the Residential Setting 3. The Residential Establishment as a Self-Regulating System 4. Hierarchy of Concerns in Residential Establishments 5. Of Sisyphus and Snowballs 6. The Working Myth 7. More about Myths 8. Of Skeletons and Shells 9. Across the Boundaries 10. Application and Change Bibliography Index


    James S. Atherton