Social Policy for Social WorkPlacing Social Work in its Wider Context
Social Policy for Social Work
Placing Social Work in its Wider Context
Contemporary social work cannot be understood without an appreciation of the broader context of social policy in which it takes place. Such an understanding is increasingly important as social workers are expected to work across institutional, professional and even national boundaries in new ways profoundly affected by the changing global context.

This insightful book examines how shifts in the dominant political ideology have affected the nature of welfare provision, the kinds of social problems addressed by policy, and the balance of responsibilities for well-being between individuals, the family, voluntary organizations, the market and the state. It explains the impact of these developments on the organization of social work and on relationships between social workers and service users. The book discusses contested concepts central to social work – such as justice, liberty, equality, difference, need and risk – and illustrates these through a range of examples.

The critical analysis provided in this book offers students of social work a crucial foundation for negotiating difficult and sensitive practice situations and defending their profession, providing them with the tools and knowledge to uphold key professional values.
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  • March 2016
  • 240 pages
  • 178 x 254 mm / 7 x 10 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9780745660820
  • Paperback $31.25
  • 9780745660837
  • Open eBook $25.99
  • 9781509506620
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Tracing the Roots of Welfare and the Evolution of Social Policy and Social Work
Chapter 2: Welfare Ideologies, Social Policy and Social Work
Chapter 3: Social Problems and Social Work
Chapter 4: Social Justice, Citizenship and Equality
Chapter 5: How Social Work is Organized: institutional arrangements and governance
Chapter 6: Social Work in Practice: the interface between the individual and the state
Chapter 7: Social Work and Globalization
Chapter 8: Conclusion and Bringing it all Together
About the Author
Lorraine Green is Assistant Professor in Social Work at the University of Nottingham
Karen Clarke is an Honorary Research Fellow and former Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Manchester
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"Beautifully written and informed by extensive scholarship, Social Policy for Social Work will be of value to a wide range of audiences. Students will find its accessible style most helpful, and academics will find it a vital reference point for teaching in this area. It is really excellent and I recommend it wholeheartedly."
Brid Featherstone, University of Huddersfield

"This book will be essential reading for social work students, practitioners and educators. It makes a uniquely thoughtful and analytical contribution to the knowledge base for practice, and offers a comprehensive introduction for social workers to contemporary thinking in social policy. A must read!"
Kate Morris, University of Sheffield

"Social work is intrinsically impacted and, in part, defined by its context of social values, social theories and social policies. This book brilliantly explores these interactions and also why social work is a profession which should be treasured and championed. I found it informative, illuminating and invigorating. I expect you will too."
Ray Jones, professor of social work at Kingston University and St George's, University of London

"Lorraine Green and Karen Clarke have produced a book that is well written, and in fact in places is exquisitely written. ... This really is a must book for social work students that are studying social policy."
British Journal of Social Work

This is a highly accessible, well-written and challenging book [. T]he authors have sought to locate social work within a context of social values, the wider social policy agenda and a recognition of the power of political ideologies, impacting at the individual, family, market and the state levels. [] The book provides an excellent introduction for social work and social policy students whilst reminding social workers of the need to uphold their professional values in negotiating the personal and the political.
Hugh McLaughlin, Journal of Social Policy

The book presents a comprehensive analysis of the challenges facing social work by situating practice within its wider social policy context. It is carefully argued, well-referenced and [] makes a positive contribution to the literature. Its recognition of problems outside the Global North strengthens its global appeal. [] The enduring quality of the book is that it demonstrates the complex relationship between policy and practice in the continuing search for greater equality and social justice.
International Journal of Social Welfare
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