Journal Article

Social Work, Religion and Belief: Developing a Framework for Practice

Sheila Furness and Philip Gilligan

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 7, pages 2185-2202
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcp159
Social Work, Religion and Belief: Developing a Framework for Practice

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This article explores the need for a framework that will assist social workers to identify when religion and belief are significant in the lives and circumstances of service users and how to take sufficient account of these issues in specific pieces of practice. It outlines the Furness / Gilligan framework and suggests that such frameworks should be used as a part of any assessment, while also being potentially useful at all stages of intervention. It reports on feedback gathered by the authors from first and final MA Social Work students who were asked to pilot the framework. It analyses their responses, in the context of national and international literature. It concludes that such a framework provides the necessary structure and challenge to assist social workers in acknowledging and engaging with issues arising from religion and belief that otherwise may remain overlooked, ignored or avoided, regardless of how significant they are to service users.

Keywords: Religion; belief; cultural competence; framework

Journal Article.  6847 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work

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