Social Work in a Changing Scotland  book cover
1st Edition

Social Work in a Changing Scotland

ISBN 9781138295032
Published February 16, 2018 by Routledge
200 Pages

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Book Description

Scotland has changed, politically and culturally, in recent years, with persistent demands for independence culminating in a referendum in 2014. On this fluid political landscape, social welfare can be co-opted towards a wider ‘nation-building’ project. As a result, social work in Scotland is increasingly divergent from the rest of the UK. This book offers a comprehensive, critical and timely account of the profession in these changing times, charting its historical development, current practice and future directions.

Bringing together a range of academic and practice experts, it considers social work as it is currently but also as it might be. Divided into three parts, the first part sets a context, identifying historical, philosophical, policy and legal influences on current practice. The second part picks up on current themes in policy and practice, addressing key issues of professional identity in an increasingly integrated policy context. The final part contains chapters on current domains of practice, identifying key areas of legislation, policy and practice.

Social Work in a Changing Scotland is essential reading for social work students, offering an accessible yet critical overview of the profession. It will also inform current practitioners to understand better the changing contexts within which they practise, while prompting further academic debate about Scottish social work.

Table of Contents


List of abbreviations

List of contributors

Introduction (Mark Smith and Viviene E. Cree)

Part I. The context

Chapter 1: A history of social work in Scotland (Viviene E. Cree)

Chapter 2: Social work in a system of multi-level governance (James Mitchell)

Chapter 3: Ethics for Scottish social work (Mark Smith)

Chapter 4: The legal context for social work in Scotland (Jean Gordon and Roger Davis)

Chapter 5: Scottish social work in a global context (Iain Ferguson)

Part II. Themes and Issues

Chapter 6: Social work identity (Martin Kettle and Maura Daly)

Chapter 7: Social work as transitional practice (James Cox)

Chapter 8: Integrated working (Andrew Eccles)

Chapter 9: Social work education in Scotland: A (hi-)story in two halves (Trish McCulloch)

Chapter 10. Social education: A paradigm for social work in a changing Scotland? (Bill Whyte)

Part III. Practice with service users

Chapter 11. Social work with children and families (Gary Clapton)

Chapter 12. Looked after children (Janine Bolger)

Chapter 13. Social work with older people (Julie Christie)

Chapter 14. Criminal justice social work (Steve Kirkwood)

Chapter 15. Social work and disability (Jim Elder-Woodward)

Chapter 16. Mental health services (Gillian MacIntyre)

Chapter 17. Social work and substance misuse (Peter Hillen)


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Viviene E. Cree is Professor of Social Work Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Before becoming an academic and researcher, she worked as a social worker in both statutory and voluntary settings, predominantly with children, young people and families. She has written extensively on social work and social workers.

Mark Smith is Professor of Social Work at the University of Dundee, having held previous academic positions at the Universities of Strathclyde and Edinburgh. He has extensive practice experience in residential child care settings, an area in which he has published widely. Other interests are in social work ethics and in exploring the role of social work in the changing political and cultural landscape in Scotland.


'What a wonderful book! Not just essential reading for anyone interested in social work in Scotland, but a thought provoking set of insights into how social work could and should be. A book that should be read across the UK and beyond.' - Donald Forrester, Professor of Child and Family Social Work, Director, CASCADE - Centre for Children's Social Care Research and Development