Critical Practice in Social Work by Robert Adams

By Robert Adams

This social paintings textual content is conceived as a complementary quantity to "Social paintings: topics, concerns and significant Debates", even though it is usable as a stand-alone creation in its personal correct. targeting social paintings values, on parts of specific perform (ranging throughout paintings with teenagers, households and susceptible adults) and on administration matters appropriate to all social employees whether or not they are managers or no longer, it deals an summary either one of the practicalities of social paintings and the rules underpinning perform.

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The process of reformulation and development is indicated by empowerment, which extends self-determination in new directions. Their adaptation has also VALUES IN SOCIAL WORK 19 furnished them with slightly different meanings. For example, in becoming empowerment, self-determination has acquired a more active sense even though the clients’ rights to make decisions about their lives remain germane to both. And, as Jane Dalrymple and Beverley Burke remind us in Chapter 6, ‘empowerment is overlain by contrasting and conflicting aims and expectations’.

Research into this issue by Khan and Dominelli (2000) demonstrates how marketisation and globalisation have skewed professional priorities and contributed to practitioner disillusionment in their ability to deliver the best quality services in their organisations. Values seem contradictory and difficult to define. Yet most social workers claim to adhere to a discrete set of values that represent their commitment to certain principles that both guide their behaviour and can be used to evaluate their performance.

A skill is a capacity that has been developed and trained so that it is more clearly defined, can be used more flexibly and, in social work, can be applied to influence social situations. More widely, skills are practical, they are about how to do things in the best way. Hidden in that sentence, though, is a value-statement: an assumption that we know what is best. Also hidden there is the point that using skills implies using knowledge because knowing how to do something does not tell us what to do.

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