Relationship Skills in Social Work


Roger Hennessey

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    About the Author

    Roger Hennessey lives in a rural part of Norfolk. On leaving university a chance meeting caused him to abandon other career plans and start work in a children's home – leading to him training in social work at the University of East Anglia. While there he undertook an extended placement at Peper Harow – then a therapeutic community for adolescent boys in Surrey. The experience was formative in his thinking because in the community it was the understanding and practising of relationships that lay at the heart of constructive outcomes. There it was a form of love rather than sanction which exercised control – an approach to managing behaviour that taught and motivated residents to manage themselves in more constructive ways. On qualifying in social work he returned to residential childcare and, later, became a child and family social worker and guardian ad litem. Since the mid-1980s he has taught part time at the School of Social Work and Psychology at UEA and worked part-time as a counsellor in the Norwich diocese, where he also undertakes safeguarding work. His hobbies include riding and repairing his Royal Enfield, maintaining his bicycles and, most of all, cycling through Norfolk lanes and visiting its medieval churches. A few years ago he rode his bike to Santiago de Compostela and he is planning to ride from Canterbury to Rome.

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