November 25, 2011
“Reclaiming Social Work has completely redesigned who does what within the child and family social work system.”
People enter the social work profession with the intention of making a positive difference to people’s lives. They expect to be working face-to-face with people, building supportive relationships and protecting societies most vulnerable. But for many, the endlessly increasing red tape and administration has taken the social out of social work. It is time for social work to be reclaimed.
Having practised, managed and led statutory social work services for a number of years, authors Steve Goodman and Isabelle Trowler came to the conclusion that social work as a profession had lost its way, lacked confidence, expertise and gravitas and has become over-bureaucratised. Nationally, and on a daily basis, delivery organisations, Local and Central Government, and most importantly children and families, have had to grapple with the consequences of this.
Steve Goodman and Isabelle Trowler decided there was another way and set about designing a new model for social work that would enable social workers, and re-invigorate the profession. The results of their incredibly successful Reclaiming Social Work model, pioneered in Hackney in 2008, can be found in the new publication Social Work Reclaimed (RRP £22.99, ISBN: 9781849052023, Jessica Kingsley Publishers).
By ending the traditional social work team system, keeping the best practitioners on the front line and giving the administration to the administrators this new model privileges direct work with families and the results have been impressive:
“Definitive positive outcomes included a reduction in overall costs, a very significant reduction in the number of children coming into public care (40%), a 50% reduction in staff sickness levels and a reduction in the use of agency staff from 50% to 7%.”
As councils struggle with the ever tighter constraints on their budgets and social workers bend under the weight of a population increasingly in need of their help, a model of social work that reduces costs, increases positive results and empowers social workers cannot be ignored.
If you would like to speak to the authors, or would like a press copy of the book please contact Ruth Tewkesbury on 020 7833 2307 or email email@example.com
Notes for editors:
• In the Government’s newly published Munro review of child protection, this model was described as a best practice design and featured in 19 pages of the report.
• Steve and Isabelle have recently set up their own social enterprise, Morning Lane Associates, to promote the RSW model at a national level.
• A book launch for Social Work Reclaimed is being held at the House of Lords on 9th December 2011
• The authors are also holding a large conference on the subject of the book for practitioners, cohosted by the British Association of Social Work
• Steve and Isabelle are happy to be interviewed about the RSW model and what it has achieved so far