This book traces the changing fortunes of radical and critical social work, and examines the theory, context and application of such approaches. Radical social work of the 1970s declined as the rise of neoliberalism over subsequent decades changed the nature of the welfare state along with what social workers do and how. A looser critical approach developed, although practitioner demoralisation and disillusionment led to the ‘second wave’ of radical social work in the late 2000s. Despite challenges, critical practice is both necessary and possible in the neoliberal world. Core areas of practice with children and families are covered, including some real life case studies, key point summaries and suggestions for further reading. The essential argument is for an emancipatory practice geared to meeting immediate needs, as well as having some vision of a future, more socially just and equal society. The book will be invaluable to undergraduate and postgraduate social work students, experienced practitioners, educators, managers and policy makers.
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