First published in 1998, this book sets out to shed sociological light upon the much under-researched realm of day-to-day child care practice. The text broke new ground when first published in 1987 and there have been few, if any, similar books that adopt an ethnographic approach to statutory child care practice. A second edition would still 'speak' to this rarely analysed occupational world. However, it would enjoy greater resonance when up-dated with practitioner viewpoints on the extent to which the findings remain pertinent today - which is likely to be the case. The book offers no conclusions other than it demonstrates that the 'invisible' world of practice cannot be readily understood or changed unless grasped through an interactionist sociology. The book is aimed at a social work/social welfare market as well as a sociology of profession/organization readership.
Table of Contents
1. Preface to the Second Edition and an Introduction to the Study. 2. The Area Office: Boundaries and Identities in an Occupational World. 3. Making Social Work Visible: Official Indices and False Trails. 4. Issues of Visibility and Colleague Relationships. 5. Supervisory Relations and the Discreet Art of Assessment. 6. The Client: Common Sense Theory and Everyday Practice. 7. Telling the Case: Social Work Made Visible.
’In the first edition of his book, Andrew Pithouse took us behind the scenes of a busy child care team in a Social Services Department and gave us a fascinating insight into how social workers create relationships with their departments, their colleagues and their clients. Ten years later, a return to the same department and a new edition of the book gives us not only the original sharp observations of the sociologist but an intriguing historical perspective on the changing landscape of social work.’ Professor David Howe, University of East Anglia, UK ’The experienced and novice child protection social worker will nod and smile at some of the descriptions of supervision and case discussions in the practice context...This is an accessible work, available to a wide audience, and one that provides descriptive insights rather than analytic into the juxtaposed experience of two generations of British child protection social workers who find practice meaning through storying their cases.’ Social Work Review