Social Work Education and the Transformation of Welfare. JSWEC Conference July 10 th 2008 Andrew Cooper [email protected] Social Work Education and the Transformation of Welfare. What is happening to our welfare state?
July 10th 2008
What is happening to our welfare state?
What does it mean for service users, social workers, and educators?
What are the dilemmas and how do we position ourselves?
There were now three situations taking place, any one of which demanded thoughtful care. Leroy’s ability to contain the anxieties of carers, service users, and staff was a major factor throughout the afternoon. The ability to prioritise accurately and think carefully was essential faced with a hysterical mother, a brain damaged alcohol dependent man, and a destitute mother and child – all needing mindful attention…There was also a sinister undertone to the work. Why had Mr Z refused anyone admission to the house? What was his relationship with his wife? The primitive notion that his heart attack was some sort of retribution crossed my mind. Again, Will was a chronic alcoholic with brain damage. The red alert on his file indicated that he was potentially violent and abusive with it too.
This team’s service users had difficulty thinking for themselves. They either had a long term condition that affected their cognitive and emotional thinking such as Parkinson’s disease or had brain injury through accident or alcohol. A third group who had trouble in thinking were those with a personality disorder. These service users often had difficulties in establishing and maintaining reciprocal relationships with neighbours, family and agency staff. Many of this group had developed personality disorders due to extremely deprived and abusive childhoods which led to difficulties in forming attachments.
“Bush and Blair, however, are among the first market state political leaders. They appeal to a new standard – whether their policies improve and expand the opportunities offered to the public – because this standard reflects the basis for a new form of the State.” (Bobbitt, 2003: 222)
‘Poor outcomes’, for example, of children in care are explained by the presence of a series of barriers to opportunity. The policy task set out in the green paper and the bill is the removal of these structural barriers and the substitution of new structures, systems and opportunities that will release these children and young people’s obstructed potential, leading to improved outcomes