Social policy is central to social work practice. This textbook is designed to help students, practitioners and academics think critically about the relationship between policy and practice; particularly in how policy both structures and informs practice. Reflective questions help critical thinking and links to websites of substantive information across the UK and internationally help keep you up-to-date with policy developments. The authors’ experience and skills in working with different service user groups combine to provide a constructive and critical approach to working with social policy in an era of welfare retrenchment. Key topics include: discretion and practice; social work training and education; safeguarding children; responses to the needs of looked after children; personalization in adult care; ‘race’ and welfare policy; domestic violence; mental health and capacity; and comparing social work and social care internationally.

Introduction: Policy and Social Work
Introduction: Policy and Social Work
Tony Evans

Introduction

An underlying theme of this book is a sense that the relationship between social policy and social work does not appear ‘out of the blue’ – it has a history, and this history has a continuing relationship with the way policy concerns are understood, the policy roles social work can take on, and social work’s evaluation of current policy for practice – positive, negative or at various critical points in-between.

In this introductory chapter, I want to provide an overview of the local history of social work and social policy as a way of exploring the interaction between the concerns and operation of social policy and the role and opportunities for social work practice. A sense ...

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