Critically evaluate the contested nature of theory for social work practice


Order Instructions:

Consider one of the following case studies and analyse the interplay of structural, organisational and legislative factors that shape the delivery of social work services; the social work role and tasks. You need to focus on older people) and draw on sociological concepts, social policy and legislation. Please ensure you meet ALLthe following learning outcomes in this assignment.

1. Critically evaluate the contested nature of theory for social work practice

2. Critically evaluate the impact of the socio/political context on welfare policy and social work practice

3. Critically explore of key aspects of the legal system in Britain including statutory duties, powers and guidelines shaping social work practice

4. Demonstrate the skills required to identify appropriate sources of law and critically apply these to social work.

5. Critically analyse the way policy and law promote or hinder service user and carer participation with particular reference to care and control

6. Critically appraise the core tensions and issues associated with the organisation and management of social work services

Case Study 3 – OLDER PEOPLE

Mrs Smith is 79 years old, and has lived in the third floor flat of a 19th century apartment block for the past 40 years. The property is owned by a Housing Association, and is located is an area of high social deprivation, which has inadequate local amenities and limited welfare services. Mrs Smith is very attached to the apartment and locality, but since her husband died five years ago, and her children (Jenny and Peter) moved out of the area, she has become increasingly isolated and lonely. Mrs Smith is physically active, but has been assessed as having a sight impairment, and is waiting for a hip replacement. These impairments are causing problems in her daily life, such as accessing and leaving her flat, shopping etc. She lives on a basic state pension and receives Housing Benefit.

Recently, Jenny has noted that her mother has become depressed and disengaged from social activities and networks. Mrs Smith has noticed that her short term memory is not as good as it was, but has found strategies to cope with this, such as writing things down. Jenny is keen that her mother consider moving into an extra care sheltered housing scheme in another part of the city, but her mother is unwilling at this stage to consider a move. Jenny has discussed this with the local GP, who suggested Jenny request a carer’s assessment for herself, and has referred Mrs Smith to the Older Adults Team.

Note: Please include current social policy, law personalisation agenda, dementia care strategy and National service framework for older adults

Sociology – labelling and inequality ageism, gerontology and functionalist perspectives

Bibliography & learning resources

Alcock P, Erskine A and May M (eds)(1998) The Student’s Companion to Social Policy. Oxford: Blackwell.

Alcock C, Payne S & Sullivan M (2004) Introducing Social Policy. Harlow. Pearson

Athill, D. (2008) Somewhere Near the End, Granta, London

Baldock J, Manning N & Vickerstaff S (2003((eds)(2nd Ed) Social Policy. Oxford. OUP

Bernard, M. and Scharf, T. (Eds) (2007) Critical Perspectives on Ageing Societies, Policy Press, Bristol,

Brayne H. and Carr H (2008) Law for Social Workers 10th Ed. Buckingham: OUP

Clarke J (2004) Changing welfare, Changing States. New directions in social policy.

London: Sage

Cunningham J & Cunningham S (2008) Sociology and Social Work.

Exeter: Learning Matters

Dickens J (2009) Social work and Social Policy. London: Routledge

Ferguson I, Lavalette M & Mooney G (2002) Rethinking Welfare. A Critical Perspective. London: Sage

Ferguson I & Woodward R (2009) Radical Social Work in Practice. Making a Difference. Bristol. Policy

Frost N & Parton N (2009) Understanding Children’s Social Care. Politics, Policy & Practice, London. Sage

Garrett P.M(2003) Remaking Social Work with Chidlren and Families: A critical Discussion on the Modernisation of Social Care. Maidenhead: OU Press

Garrett P.M. (2009) Transforming Children’s Services? Maidenhead:: OU Press

Harris J & White V (2009)(eds) Modernising Social Work. Critical Considerations. Bristol. Policy

Hendrick H (2005)(eds) Child Welfare and Social Policy. An essential reader. Bristol. Policy

Horner N (2009) (3rd Ed) What is Social Work. Context & Perspectives. Exeter.

Learning Matters

Hughes M & Wearing M (2007) Organisations & Management in Social Work. London: Sage

Jordan B (2006) Social policy for the 21st century. Cambridge: Polity

Kemshall H (2002) Risk, social policy & welfare. Buckingham. OUP

Kirton D (2009) Child Social Work Policy and Practice. London. Sage

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Llewellyn A, Agu L & Mercer D (2008) Sociology for Social Workers. Cambridge. Polity

Lymbery M & Butler S (2004)(eds) Social Work Ideals & Practice Realities. London: Palgrave

Marshall, M. and Tibbs, M. A. (2006) Social Work and People with Dementia: Partnerships, Practice and Persistence, Policy Press, Bristol

Means R, Richards S & Smith R (2008)(4th ed) Community Care Policy and Practice.3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave

Mcdonald C (2006) Challenging Social Work. The context of practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave

McLaughlin K (2008) Social Work, Politics and Society. Bristol: Policy Press

O’Loughlin M, & O’Loughlin S (2008)(2nd ed) Social Work with Children & Families. Exeter. Learning Matters.

Parton N (ed)(1996) Social Theory, Social Change and Social Work. London: Routledge

Phillips, J., Ray, M. and Marshall, M. (2006) Social Work with Older People, Palgrave / Macmillan, Basingstoke

Pilgrim D & Rogers A(2005) Sociology of Mental Health and Illness.London: McGraw Hill

Rogers A, Pilgrim D (2001) Mental Health Policy in Britain. London: MacMillan

Reynolds J et al (2009)(eds) Mental Health Still Matters. London: Palgrave

Sharkey, P (2007) The essentials of community care: a guide for practitioners 2nd edition, Basingstoke: Macmillan

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Warren J (2007) Service User and Carer Participation in Social work. Exeter: Learning Matters

Webb S.A (2006) Social Work in a Risk Society. Houndsmill. Palgrave


• British Journal of Social Work

• Children and Society

? Critical Social Policy

? European Journal of Social Work

? Journal of Mental Health

? Journal of Social Policy

? Journal of Social Work Practice

? Policy and Politics

? Policy Studies

? Social Policy and Administration

? Social Work and Society

? Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law

Websites (Dept of Children, School & Families) (Community Care journal) (Dept. of Health) (The Guardian) (Joseph Rowntree) (Social Care Institute for Excellence) (social policy virtual library) (SOSIG Social Science Information Gateway) (social work/social policy resources) (tutorial package)

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