Journal Article

Social Work at the Crossroads

Mark Lymbery

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 31, issue 3, pages 369-384
Published in print June 2001 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2001 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Social Work at the Crossroads

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The contribution of social work to society has always been contested. Social workers work with some of the most psychologically damaged and socially disadvantaged people, and are susceptible to public devaluing of the services they provide. Indeed, social work has been subjected to an ever‐increasing volume of public debate and criticism, and its claims to professional status are under threat. Recent years have seen a constant attack on its values and principles, which has taken place at political, organizational and professional levels. Social work practice has been subjected to increased managerial control and social workers' levels of autonomy have been reduced. This has created a sense of crisis, which has been experienced particularly within social services departments (SSDs), the main source of employment for social workers. The paper will argue that its survival as a recognizable professional activity is dependent on the extent to which it can redefine its role within society, and re‐establish clarity about its overall purpose and function.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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