Social work theory, research, policy and practice - challenges and opportunities in health and social care integration in the UK
Author: Barnes H, Green , Hopton J
Journal: Health and Social Care in the Community, 2007
Volume/pages: Vol 15(3), pp191-194
About the study
This paper examines the links between research, policy, theory and practice in social work and the challenges these links present within the wider context of health and social care. It also considers the historical and theoretical context as well as the media portrayal and public perception of social work and the implications this has on health and social care integration.
The paper suggests that social work is poorly understood by the general population and, by virtue of its focus on working in stigmatised fields such as addiction, homelessness and mental health it has even, as a profession, been â€˜demonisedâ€™. High profile failures such as in the case of Victoria ClimbiÃ© have added to the poor public perception. The authors also found that the very broad base from which social work originally grew has given the profession a huge contribution to make to health and social care integration while at the same time opening it up to criticisms of lacking clarity.
- Misconceptions about social work arise from a bias towards health-based models of care, theory and research.
- Social works traditions are both wide-ranging and contested but they bequeath a unique, holistic, theoretical and empirical legacy that could enhance integrated working.
- The social work profession has encountered a range of barriers to the further development of this legacy.