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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2015

Annie Hudson

The article seeks to analyse the potential contribution of social work to integration debates. Social work has tended to be seen as marginal to these discussions despite…

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501

Abstract

Purpose

The article seeks to analyse the potential contribution of social work to integration debates. Social work has tended to be seen as marginal to these discussions despite the potential of social work expertise and leadership to help forge effective approaches to joined-up care. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how social work is well positioned to help lead and support practice focused change across social care and health. It also seeks to show how professional leadership can be a powerful vehicle for changing professional and organisational cultures.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on practice and research evidence to demonstrate the proposition that social work can make a powerful contribution to debates about integration.

Findings

Three things could help build the cultural capital that is a pre-requisite to building integrated and joined-up approaches. First, the author needs to invest in developing the role of social workers and GPs working together as local professional and practice leaders. Second, there is a real risk that in any discussion about professional leadership and partnership, the author eclipses the singularly critical importance of engaging and involving users and carers in non tokenistic ways. Finally, the author needs to utilise better social work’s skills and knowledge in managing risk, building resilience and promoting social inclusion.

Research limitations/implications

Further evaluation and research is needed about the potential for GPs and social workers to develop joined-up approaches to care for and support older and disabled people.

Practical implications

Social workers need to be provided with the tools, support and space in which to develop their practice leadership role, including but not exclusively with GPs.

Originality/value

This paper does not purport to offer any specifically originally research but rather some reflections on how social work expertise might better contribute to integration debates.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Josh MacAlister

The purpose of this paper is to expose and dispel some outdated dilemmas and straw men that have drawn attention away from debates of substance in social work. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to expose and dispel some outdated dilemmas and straw men that have drawn attention away from debates of substance in social work. The paper presents what Frontline believes to be the substantive dilemmas facing the social work profession, as it looks into the future.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the insights and experiences of the past four years during which Frontline has been innovating in the field of social work education and leadership development.

Findings

Building a better social work system requires addressing several important questions, namely, whether social work; first, is a practical or intellectual task; second, is a generic or specialist profession; third, focuses on social or therapeutic change; fourth, requires bureaucrats or change agents; and fifth, involves measuring inspections or measuring outcomes.

Originality/value

The paper sets out the key dilemmas facing the social work profession, which must be debated and addressed in order to build a better social work system.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 12 no. 2-3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Kristina L. Guo and Jennifer D. Company

The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of the management skills and competencies required by a director of social work as they perform their multiple roles…

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2579

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of the management skills and competencies required by a director of social work as they perform their multiple roles and functions in order to effectively manage a medical social work team to better serve the needs of patients through the new hospital‐based case management model.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper that reviews the literature on managerial roles, management functions, and skills and competencies of directors of social work. Management frameworks that are applicable under the case management model are discussed. Interviews with five directors of social work and their perceptions are described.

Findings

Managing a department that is going through continuous changes is often difficult.

Practical implications

This paper has practical implications for general health care managers and specifically, directors of social work, to develop skills and gain competencies to be successful in today's evolving health care environment. This research also has practical implications for social workers to gain insight into productive and effective ways to collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary team.

Originality/value

This paper is original and of value to those working in social work and in the health care field to develop their skills and competencies as they perform new roles and functions in the complex health care environment.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Yitzhak Berman

Information technology is a facilitator in knowledge diffusion by enabling individuals to communicate directly in personal exchange. This includes interactive…

Abstract

Information technology is a facilitator in knowledge diffusion by enabling individuals to communicate directly in personal exchange. This includes interactive communications through newsgroups and discussion groups. Two discussion groups were analysed, the Social Work Discussion Group SOCWORK, and ABUSE‐L, a professional forum for child abuse issues. Three types of communication were identified: information transfer, requests for information and discussion of issues. The discussion of issues was the main type of communication in both discussion groups, followed by the request for information and then information transfer. Communications in the discussion groups were dominated by a small number of people. Policy issues were the main topic of discussion in both groups. The control of information technology by academics appears to limit the participation of social work practitioners in determining the agenda of the discussion group or the contents of the communications. Social worker practitioners have not increased their access to information even though the technology to make it accessible exists.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Robert Goemans

This paper aims to provide an analysis of the mental health social work role, its contribution to social inclusion, and its ability to translate this into practice.

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1275

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an analysis of the mental health social work role, its contribution to social inclusion, and its ability to translate this into practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper considers national policy, research and theory to consider the nature of social work and the mental health system.

Findings

While social work is ideally placed to challenge the biomedical model and promote social inclusion, organisational and other failings would appear to seriously undermine its ability to do so.

Originality/value

The paper considers some important issues facing social work and mental health, and raises points for thought and discussion.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2021

Richi Simon

This paper aims to understand the social work curriculum as perceived by the learners of the master’s degree programme. The study compares the perception as held by…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand the social work curriculum as perceived by the learners of the master’s degree programme. The study compares the perception as held by students’ originating from the same and different faculties regarding the curricular aspects of social work education in India.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a qualitative approach. It is a case study-based paper whereby the participants were selected using multi-phase sampling, universities were selected using purposive sampling and 106 students were selected using quota sampling. Semi-structured online interviews were taken using an interview guide and transcribed. Inter-coder reliability was tested using Cohen’s kappa. The paper used grounded theory to analyse data.

Findings

The study suggests a significant difference in the perception of curriculum between those originating from the same discipline and other faculty. It was found that the learners perceive the curriculum to be obsolete in addressing contemporary concerns and needs serious reframing.

Research limitations/implications

As the study uses the case study method, it has been limited to four universities of Madhya Pradesh state of India to analyse the cases effectively. Further, only the domain of social work has been explored in the study. Thus, the results may lack generalizability. Further studies can also be conducted to test the propositions suggested. Even similar studies can be carried out with other disciplines. Also, the study being cross-sectional leaves scope for future comparative and longitudinal studies.

Practical implications

The paper presents some interesting perceptions of the student community, which can be used for redesigning and revising the social work curriculum. Such appraisals if done by every educational institute can bring significant reforms in the present education system of India and make it at par with the global standards and responsive to the contemporary needs of the society. Further, with such training, social workers can be true change agents.

Social implications

The study can play a significant role in the redesigning of social work education in India. Thus, directly or indirectly benefit the entire society.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the concern to include the current student community in curriculum design to ensure quality curriculum.

Details

On the Horizon , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2011

Helen Stewart

The purpose of this paper is to explore an Australian social worker's experiences of beginning work in the field of neurodisability in the voluntary sector in the UK.

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353

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore an Australian social worker's experiences of beginning work in the field of neurodisability in the voluntary sector in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper documents the social worker's experiences of the differences in practice between Australia and the UK; between working in the statutory and voluntary sector in the UK; and between different fields of social work. It also documents the social worker's initial thoughts about working in the field of acquired brain injury (ABI).

Findings

Through this journey, the social worker reflects upon their own development as a practitioner.

Practical implications

The social worker identifies points which may help other social work professionals who are new to this complex area of practice.

Originality/value

This paper provides an insight into a social worker's experience of working in different settings and in different countries. It also illustrates how for this social worker, varied experiences cannot always prepare you for working in ABI.

Details

Social Care and Neurodisability, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-0919

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Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2008

James A. Forte

SI offers a distinctive theoretical language for practice: a vocabulary and a grammar for identifying the personal troubles and joys of group members and for locating…

Abstract

SI offers a distinctive theoretical language for practice: a vocabulary and a grammar for identifying the personal troubles and joys of group members and for locating these experiences in shared symbol systems and in associated social arrangements (Weigert, 1995). SI can provide the ideal base for social work and sociological helping work (Forte, 2004a, 2004b). It is a coherent organizing language that can guide practitioner thinking, acting, and feeling especially when professional action is blocked.

Details

Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-127-5

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Book part
Publication date: 25 October 2019

Ariane Critchley

This chapter considers the mobilities of families subject to child protection involvement at the threshold of the birth of a new baby. The author presents data arising…

Abstract

This chapter considers the mobilities of families subject to child protection involvement at the threshold of the birth of a new baby. The author presents data arising from an ethnographic study of child protection social work with unborn babies. This study aimed to draw near to social work practice within the Scottish context through mobile research methods and included non-participant observations of a range of child protection meetings with expectant families. Research interviews were sought with expectant mothers and fathers, social workers and the chair persons of Pre-birth Child Protection Case Conferences. Case conferences are formal administrative meetings designed to consider the risks to children, including unborn children. This chapter focusses on the experiences of expectant parents of navigating the child protection involvement with their as yet unborn infant. The strategies that parents adopted to steer a course through the multiple possibilities in relation to the future care of their infant are explored here. Three major strategies: resistance, defeatism and holding on are considered. These emerged as means by which expectant parents responded to social work involvement and which enabled their continued forwards motion towards an uncertain future.

Details

Families in Motion: Ebbing and Flowing through Space and Time
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-416-3

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2021

Ndungi wa Mungai

The word Ubuntu has become widely known around the world as an African humanitarian wisdom that promotes international solidarity and Indigenous knowledge. The appeal of…

Abstract

The word Ubuntu has become widely known around the world as an African humanitarian wisdom that promotes international solidarity and Indigenous knowledge. The appeal of Ubuntu,as an African traditional philosophy is the emphasis on concern for fellow human beings. The primary aim of this critical literature review is to demonstrate the role Ubuntu can play in enriching social work and shifting the Euro-American foundations of the profession in teaching diaspora African students and practicing social work with diaspora African communities. The humanitarian values of Ubuntu, however, need not be limited to Africans.

This chapter explores how Ubuntu can be adopted in teaching social work and also enriching social work theoretical underpinnings. Social work has roots in Western philosophical foundations and cultural experiences, with a primary focus on supporting disadvantaged people in communities where it is practiced.However, there is a recognised need to expand this Western orientation to include other views as social work expands to be a global academic and practice profession.

An approach to learning and teaching based on Ubuntu has been described as ‘Ubuntugogy’ (Bangura, 2005). Ubuntugogy represents a holistic educational paradigm where education plays a role beyond an individual’s acquisition of knowledge and skills but instead aims at total development for the individual scholar, their community and their physical and social environment. Social work education is aimed at equipping students with the skills to contribute to the welfare of other human beings in the same way Ubuntugogy recognises the importance of mastering skills to transform individual learners and their communities. Both are therefore focused on practical education to create a world that meets the needs of the individuals and their communities.

Ubuntu approaches view education as a means for struggle for survival and liberation from oppression. There are similar approaches in education literature that emphasise the cultural and historical aspects of education (Lave, 2019). Ubuntu philosophy has roots in African traditions and history that also have clear echoes in other traditional societies that emphasise interdependence and relationships between people and their physical world in an intricate web of life.

Social work can learn from Ubuntu if it is to move beyond its traditional Western roots. Ubuntu and social work share the commonality of concern for human welfare. Ubuntu goes a step further in emphasising the intricate linkages between humans and nature in a non-hierarchical web. Social work can also enrich Ubuntu with its body of knowledge, accumulated since the late 19th century, in practical application of the identified Ubuntu ideals. This chapter presents an attempt at such a dialogue.

Details

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Context of Being, Interculturality and New Knowledge Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-007-5

Keywords

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