Journal Article

Reflection and Resistance: Probation Practice and the Ethic of Care

Marilyn Gregory

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 7, pages 2274-2290
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Reflection and Resistance: Probation Practice and the Ethic of Care

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This article discusses the nature of practice in social work and criminal justice. Reporting on a small study involving fifteen experienced probation officers, it considers how they responded to an environment that has changed drastically from the ‘clinical’ mode of practice in which they trained to the ‘punitive managerial’ mode of practice in which they were working at the time of the interviews. The study concludes that experienced professionals use their abilities as reflective practitioners to resist the worst excesses of punitive managerialism. Continuing their commitment to balancing the demands of justice and care, they develop a practice that is not merely the straightforward application of technique, but is based upon their relational skills and abilities to develop constructive working relationships with service users.

Keywords: Care; reflective practice; nature of practice; ethics

Journal Article.  7291 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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