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Shame and Social WorkTheory, Reflexivity and Practice$
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Elizabeth Frost, Veronika Magyar-Haas, Holger Schoneville, and Alessandro Sicora

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447344063

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447344063.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

Claim, blame, shame: how risk undermines authenticity in social work

Claim, blame, shame: how risk undermines authenticity in social work

(p.163) 8 Claim, blame, shame: how risk undermines authenticity in social work
Shame and Social Work

Mark Hardy

Policy Press

Mark Hardy, author of this chapter, argues that the highly charged context in which practice occurs means that because of unrealistic expectations of infallibility social work decision-making has taken on an existential character. He elaborates on why this is so, accounting for how risk, blame and shame intersect both practically and emotionally, as well as the value of existential thinking in enabling practitioners to preserve the authenticity of their practice. Social workers themselves practice in a risk-averse climate, very much aware that ‘poor judgement’ can and does lead to disciplinary action, with all that this entails in terms of professional repute, social standing and continued employment. The author suggests some potential responses to questions regarding how practitioners might cope with the expectations organisations and service users have of them.

Keywords:   shame, blame, risk-averse climate, disciplinary action

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