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A Very Damning Account: An examination of the statements behind the question—‘Can social work survive?’

  • David McGee (a1)
Extract

A very damning account of the social work profession has been written by Brewer and Lait, a profession which the authors perceive to be a ramshackle collection of idiosyncratic practitioners who clumsily bump and grind their way through the least fortunate sections of our society, doing untold harm. It would be gratifying to dismiss what they say; but social work after just over ten years in its present form is sorely in need of critical examination. We cannot ignore our critics, and it is imperative that we should put our house in order. Should social work survive is the real question being asked here—a political statement of a quite contentious nature.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1 Brewer, C. & Lait, J. (1980) Can Social Work Survive? London: Maurice Temple Smith.
2 Winckless, F. (1981) Social work one foundation. Community Care, February 5.
3 Seed, P. (1973) The Expansion of Social Work in Britain. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
4 Kennedy, I. (1980) Unmasking medicine. Transcripts of The Reith Lectures in The Listener, November to December.
5 Fischer, , (1978) Does anything work? Journal of Social Sciences Research, 1–3, 215–43.
6 Berg, I. et al. (1977) Truancy and the courts. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 18.4, 359–66.
7 Berg, I. et al. (1978) The effect of two randomly allocated court procedures on truancy. British Journal of Criminology, 18.3, 232–44.
8 Pritchard, C. (1980) What is social work trying to do? Community Care, December 11.
9 Cooper, B., Harwin, B. G., Depla, C. & Shepherd, M. (1975) Mental health care in the community: An evaluative study. Psychological Medicine, 5.4, 372–80.
10 McGee, D. (1980) In practice. Community Care, November 13.
11 Goldberg, D. & Huxley, P. (1980) Mental Illness in the Community. London: Tavistock Publications.
12 Scott, R. D. (1980) A family oriented psychiatric service to the London Borough of Barnet. Health Trends, October 12.
13 Gibbons, J. S., Butler, J., Urwin, P. & Gibbons, J. L. (1978) Evaluation of a social work service for self-poisoning patients. British Journal of Psychiatry, 133, 111–18.
14 Creer, C. & Wing, J. (1974) Schizophrenia at Home. London: Institute of Psychiatry.
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A Very Damning Account: An examination of the statements behind the question—‘Can social work survive?’

  • David McGee (a1)
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