A striking new feature of the welfare systems in many Western countries is the extent to which market relations have permeated social services.
Conceptions of 'risk management' now dominate the way parents and children are responded to, while new technologies aim to 'measure' their relationship with state service providers.
Bureaucratic control is increasing, while resources are reduced.
These factors have led to the demise of the traditional role of the social worker as one who engages with the client in a supportive encounter.
Professional competence within social work is increasingly tied to 'mastering' scientific knowledge and new technical skills. The result of collaboration between authors from Canada, Britain and Australia, Social Work in a Corporate Era offers a critical overview of these developments and their implications.
It provides a re-evaluation of the assumptions and practices of the critical social work tradition and explores the possibility of rebuilding an 'emancipatory' social work.
The authors aim to disentangle the debate between Marxism, feminism and anti-racism, in the context of both postmodern challenges and the corporate restructuring of the welfare state.
Calling for the development of a new politics of social work practice, this book addresses many of the urgent issues facing welfare state practitioners in health and social services today.