Transforming social work identities: towards a European model?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    In this chapter I chart the decline of social work in Scotland from its optimistic beginnings in the Social Work (Scotland) Act (1968) to the present where it is described as a ‘profession lacking in confidence in its own skills and unclear about its distinctive contribution’ (SE 2006a: 14). I focus on social work with children and families addressing the retreat from a welfare discourse to one of neoliberal consumerism – a shift which is made manifest in fragmented discourses around children and how best to respond to their needs and which has also impacted on social workers’ professional identities. Declining trust in welfare professionals, spawning rafts of regulation and scrutiny has, I suggest, contributed to the air of pessimism that permeates state social work across the UK polities. Against this backdrop, I discuss the possibilities offered by European models of social pedagogy as providing an alternative paradigm for work with children and families. Ideas at the core of such European models, I argue, resonate with Scottish welfare traditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Transformation of Children's Services
    Subtitle of host publicationExamining and debating the complexities of inter/professional working
    EditorsJoan Forbes, Cate Watson
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherTaylor & Francis
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781136735998
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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