• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book examines key sociological theories that have contributed to the understanding of the nature of social work, its organisation and delivery. It provides key sociological concepts and theories to help student social workers better understand the nature of their work and the social and political context within which they will be working. Taking a practical approach to social work, and focusing on the application of theory, the book also provides insightful discussions to important thinkers such as Douglas, Beck and Furedi, and how their ideas have direct relevance for understanding the risk averse nature of social work.

Risk and Social Work
Risk and Social Work

This chapter will explore one of the key topics that dominates debates in social work practice today, the concept of risk. Risk swirls around all areas of social work whether in terms of child protection where risks to children at the hands of adults have captured media attention and resulted in policy responses which have changed social work practice (Laming, 2003, 2009). Or, for example, in terms of mental-health social work where there are concerns about the failures of the health and social services to adequately support and protect people with mental-health problems who subsequently kill themselves and/or others (University of Manchester 2015). In the social work literature the ubiquity and importance of risk have been recognised ...

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