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
This has not been primarily a book about social work practice, in the sense of a detailed account of how to assist and influence service users in face-to-face encounters. It has been more about the current dilemmas of an occupation which is half marginalized in a process of implementing a programme that is only semi-successful, but might evolve into one that is genuinely radical and pathbreaking. If the Third Way is to work, it needs something of what social work can offer; and if it succeeds, social work definitely needs to be part of it.
We have argued in some detail that social work should take a broader view of its remit, to include economic activity, social regeneration, community work and many projects ...