If social work students are to flourish in their careers, and go beyond a basic sense of ‘competence’ in practice, it is essential to develop a sense of Professional Self. This book will help students develop critical understanding of their own social work practice, and the tools and skills required to become a professional social worker.

The new Radical Social Work Professional?

Gurnam SinghStephen Cowden

The new Radical Social Work Professional?

The new radical social work professional?
Gurnam SinghStephen Cowden


This chapter asks whether radical possibilities are still meaningful within professional social work in an age of neo-liberalism and ‘austerity’. More fundamentally, at a time when the post-war welfare settlement that was instrumental in the establishment of the state social work appears to be unravelling, one needs to ask what it means to be radical today. Many practitioners would largely agree that the predominance of neo-liberal managerialism has seriously stifled radical possibilities within state social work (Ferguson and Woodward, 2009; Garrett, 2012; Harris, 2003; Lavalette, 2011; Singh and Cowden, 2009). There is little doubt that for the social work profession as a whole the last decades have seen a ...

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