Social work has become increasingly depersonalised in an era of managerialism and performance management, many aspects of what were once known as the ‘Personal Social Services’ having been lost. This book is a timely reminder for social workers and other professionals that the personal, the individual, should still be at the centre of social work. The psychological complexities that lie beneath the presenting problems of families and individuals who find themselves on the caseloads of social workers are often neglected for reasons of time, targets and a lack of confidence in exploring such issues. This book is designed to encourage social workers to explore these individual complexities and depths, learning from colleagues in the field of social psychology.
The everyday news are full of social problems – another Panorama programme exposing institutional abuse of older people, another child death, another prison riot and a national child abuse inquiry plagued by difficulties of personality and organisational behaviour around issues of power, gender and the establishment.
Psychologists are increasingly called upon to advise and intervene on a variety of social issues within the emphasis on the impact that psychological knowledge and research has on society and practice. In the current climate of public engagement with psychology and psychologists’ engagement with public issues, the book will also provide a unique resource for applications of psychology knowledge in social work practice.
The book ‘Psychology and Social Work’ offers insights into the individual, family and organisational factors that lie behind our daily headlines and offers helpful pointers to better solutions, building on the insights and knowledge bases of psychology and social work.
Gabriela Misca is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Worcester and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
Peter Unwin is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Worcester and Council Member of the British Association of Social Workers