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Modernising social workCritical considerations$
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John Harris and Vicky White

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420060

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420060.001.0001

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Modernising social work

Modernising social work

(p.1) Introduction Modernising social work
Modernising social work

John Harris

Vicky White

Policy Press

Over the last decade, New Labour's modernisation agenda for social work has produced a barrage of changes, the pace and scale of which have, at times, seemed to pose formidable challenges for everyone involved in social work, whether as service users, practitioners, or managers. Those changes have been part of a much wider reform project across the economy and society, driven by how New Labour sees the place of the United Kingdom in the contemporary world. The focus of New Labour's sweeping vision of change has been predominantly future directed; its appeal, or sometimes – more accurately – coercion, to get on board with the changes it has proposed, has been pitched around portrayals of desirable destinations to be reached. This book picks up on significant strands in New Labour's modernisation agenda for social work, organising them around three main subject areas: modernisation and managerialism, modernisation and service users, and modernisation and professional practice.

Keywords:   United Kingdom, New Labour, modernisation, social work, managerialism, service users, professional practice

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