The New Labour government in the UK is committed to a programme of reform of the welfare state that will pull away safety nets and replace them by trampolines, to bounce citizens back into active participation. Its regime of 'tough love' will make more demands on those claiming benefits and services, as well as clamping down on dependencey, fraud and crime. This will be done by changing the culture of welfare agencies, towards promoting achievement and independence, as well as meeting 'genuine need'. In Social Work and the Third Way, Bill Jordan provides an accessible and lively analysis of the tensions between 'toughness' and 'love' in the Third Way's political philosophy, and the problems of implementing New Labour

Introduction: The Central Themes of the Book

Introduction: The central themes of the book

This book is about the implementation of New Labour's programme of reforms of the welfare state. The UK government is strong on values, aspirations, goals and targets, but weaker on how to implement them. We will show that weaknesses in the implementation process reveal muddles, inconsistencies and gaps in the reform programme itself. Using a series of real-life case examples and case studies, we will illustrate the damaging unintended consequences of new policies, and suggest alternative methods. This introduction provides an overall orientation, context and summary of our main themes.

Throughout the book, we will try to balance our account between appreciation of the strengths of New Labour's approach, and criticism of the ...

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