Families and Social Workers examines the origins, development and impact of Family Service Units (FSU), a voluntary social work agency that, during the post-war period, exercised an influence on the development of social work practice and training out of all proportion to its size and resources. Originating in the activities of conscientious objectors in Liverpool, Manchester and Stepney during the Second World War, FSU’s innovative methods of working with poor families led to the establishment of units in towns and cities throughout Britain. This study shows how FSU met the challenges and opportunities presented by the introduction of state-run social services; evaluates its successes and failures in terms of the aims that units set themselves; and examines the conflicts that arose between FSU’s commitment to independence and innovation and its dependence on local authority funding.
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