An understanding of social policy is vital for engaging practically with social work values, and dealing with political and ethical questions about responsibility, rights and our understanding of ‘the good society’. This textbook provides a comprehensive introduction to social policy, tailored to the needs of a social work audience.
The new edition of this popular and accessible text analyses current policies and policy themes relevant to social work, and locates them in the context of fundamental social policy principles and debates. It discusses the nature of social policy and its relationship to social work, and covers essential themes such as:
- service user participation and involvement
- the balance between individual, societal and state responsibility for people’s wellbeing
- the interactions of the state, the private sector, voluntary organisations and the family
- the relationships between needs, rights and choices
- the purposes and challenges of professional social work
- the meanings of ‘equality’, ‘prevention’ and ‘personalisation’.
Each chapter ends with activities for reflection and analysis, and suggestions for further reading. Social Work and Social Policy is invaluable for students undertaking social work qualifying courses, all of whom are required to demonstrate an understanding of the social policy contexts of practice.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1: Core Models 1. What is Social Work For? 2. What is Social Policy About? 3. The Role of the State Part 2: Key Issues 4. Needs 5. Poverty 6. Rights 7. Inequality 8. Participation 9. Regulation Part 3: Current Topics 10. Prevention and Personalisation 11. Commissioning and Integration 12. Funding and Spending 13. Conclusion
Jonathan Dickens is Professor of Social Work at the University of East Anglia, UK. He is the author of another book in the Routledge Student Social Work series, Social Work, Law and Ethics.