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Peter Beresford

March 2007

Social work in England underwent fundamental changes from the 1980s onwards, following broader ideological, political and economic developments. Service users and face to face practitioners played only a very limited role in these changes, which led to a greater focus in social work with adults on assessment and rationing. These changes limited the contact that adult service users had with professional social workers, pushed a new emphasis on market-based choice and impeded the possibility of services providing an holistic approach to responding to service users’ rights and needs. As part of a national review of the roles and tasks of social work in England, a literature-informed discussion paper was produced canvassing these changes, titled The Changing Roles and Tasks of Social Work. This paper was designed to be complementary to that paper, providing more detailed information about service users’ views about social work roles and tasks. Service users’ views had not been systematically collected or made widely available prior to this paper, and so this paper aimed to centre their voices in this policy discussion.
In partnership/with support of: N/A
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