Remaking Social Work with Children and Families provides a sustained examination of the 'modernisation' of this area of social care. It analyses some of the key themes introduced by the administrations of John Major and Tony Blair and provides a critical exploration of contemporary policy initiatives and issues. These include:
· the Looking After Children (LAC) materials
· The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families
· 'working together' to protect children
· the mainstream approach to 'race' and ethnicity in social work
· the implications for social work of the emergence of 'personal advisers', mentors and related professionals.
The author argues that political and ideological factors need to be taken into account in order to understand the dominant discourses and evolving practices of social work with children. Potential fixation with ensuring that young people are able to 'fit' into their allotted roles in a market economy and an overarching concern about children and criminality have been crucial in this respect. He concludes that while social workers and educators should be prepared to embrace change, they need to be critical agents in the process of change, recognising the ever present need to promote and foster democracy within the sphere of social welfare.
This timely book will be helpful to all students, educators and social care professionals who are seeking to develop their theoretical and practical understanding of a changing profession.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Thinking Critically About Social Work with Children and Families in the Early Twenty-First Century 1. Part One: Major Departures? Social Work with Children and Families 1990-1997 1. The 'Blueprint' for Change: The 'Looking After Children' (LAC) System 2. Examining the 'Product Champions: LAC and its Continuing Role in the Remaking of Social Work with Children and Families 3. 'Working Together' to Protect Children? Part Two: Things Can Only Get Better? New Labour and Social Work with Children and Families 4. Social Work and the Third Way: The Assessment Framework, New Labour and More New 'Tools' for Social Work with Children and Families 5. An 'Eye Catching Initiative': New Labour and Child Adoption 6. Viewing the World Through a Monochrome Lens: Social Work with Children and Families and the Dominant Approach to 'Race' and Ethnicity 7. Social Work with Children and Families in a World of 'Emergent New Professionals' Conclusion
‘A book for those who want to understand the immediate past, in the hope that it might enlighten the future for children’ - Chris Hanvey, UK Director of Operations, Barnardos in Community Care magazine
‘This is an excellent text for opening discourse between academics and researchers on data-gathering methods, which will truly assist social workers in their day-to-day work with clients, while simultaneously providing accountability. The text also facilitates teaching critical thinking to students’ - The British Journal of Social Work
‘The account is a passionate and thorough one…this makes a real contribution to critical writing on statutory social work in the UK, or more specifically, on social work with children and families in England and Wales. Garrett builds his analysis from the basis of current social work methods and, and in doing so, opens a window on the discourses which underpin social work practice today’ - European Journal of Social Work