Breakthroughs in Practice

Theorising critical moments in social work

Edited by Lindsey Napier and Jan Fook

Price: GBP£ 39.95
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ISBN: 978-1-861770-32-5
Categories: Human Services, Social Work
Published: December 2000
229 x 152 x 17 mm
240 pages
Publisher: Whiting & Birch Ltd
Professional practice is in crisis. The formal theoretical knowledge on which practitioners base their practice is often outstripped by rapid changes in the contexts of this practice. The unpredictability of workplace and broader contexts often renders existing traditional practices irrelevant or ineffective. How can practitioners develop new ways of working which are flexible and responsive?

The reflective approach, whereby practitioners draw out their theories of action directly from their own practice, is becoming increasingly popular as a new approach which enables breakthroughs in practice impasses. Yet reflectivity is often difficult to teach and learn because it challenges traditional, often unquestioned, paradigms of knowledge development. Therefore, rather than simply arguing for a reflective approach, this book makes a unique contribution by actually modelling the use of the reflective approach in practice. Students, educators and practitioners are able to read illustrations of how individual social workers used a reflective process to break through specific dilemmas in their practice. Thus, they are enabled to understand a reflective approach by gaining in insight into their experience of it.

Contributors to this volume come from Australia, the United Kingdom and North America. Their personal backgrounds are diverse. They report on seminal experiences in a wide range of settings, from community work in the Gorbals, to hospice care in Sydney, from child protection to work with addictions.

The book will appeal to:
  • Trainers and managers in social work, social care and health
  • Social work students and trainees
  • Social work academics
  • Professional and vocational educators generally who are interested in gaining practical insights into the development of reflective understanding.
Reflective practice in social work Lindsey Napier and Jan Fook
They took my baby Shiela Sims
Changing the system through casework: A critical incident analysis
Silvia Alberti
‘Just doing referral’: Creating social work subjects Cathy Peut
Introducing a culture of reflective learning in a non-statutory social work agency: An action inquiry Nigel Hinks
Dedicated to the memory of Susan Andrew Lowth and Michael Bramwell
‘When the labels are off’ Molly and John Harvey
A new look at self-determination May-Kwan Wong
Shifting positions: Making meaning in social work Narda Razack
Learning to practice with the tensions between professional discretion and agency procedure Mark Baldwin
A casework journey: The search for directions Rachel Balen
You can’t teach somebody something that they don’t already know: Developing a practice theory of community crime prevention Chris Shipway
Life and death matters Lindsey Napier
The lone crusader: Contructing enemies and allies in the workplace Jan Fook
Some notes on the government of death John Drayton
From dilemma to breakthrough: Retheorising social work Jan Fook and Lindsey Napier
Lindsey Napier
Lindsey Napier is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Sydney. ... read more
Jan Fook
Jan Fook is Professor of Social Work, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia. ... read more
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