Chapter

This is the modern world! Working in a social services contact centre

Nigel Coleman

in Modernising social work

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9781847420060
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302827 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847420060.003.0003
This is the modern world! Working in a social services contact centre

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This chapter analyses the relationship between New Labour's modernisation agenda, managerialism, and information and communications technology (ICT), and then looks at the relationship between ICT and social work in a contact centre in the United Kingdom. It focuses on the experience of working in a contact centre as a social worker, and the role and identity of social workers in this context. The chapter also provides insights into how the contact-centre environment positions social workers in relation to service users and how the use of ICT affects work processes. Moreover, it considers what motivates social workers to work in this environment, their perceptions of occupational stress in this setting, and the effect of this model on their social-work skills. Finally, the chapter examines research in the public and private sectors to see what it has to offer in relation to the social-services context, before reflecting on the implications for social work in the future.

Keywords: United Kingdom; New Labour; modernisation; managerialism; ICT; social work; contact centre; social workers; occupational stress; social services

Chapter.  9768 words. 

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