Caring and Coping: A Guide to Social Services

By Anthony Douglas; Terry Philpot | Go to book overview

Chapter 1

From charity to social work

A history

A time traveller to the classical world would find himself or herself able to call on the services of an engineer, architect, lawyer and doctor. Social work is a latecomer among the professions (if, indeed, it can be called a profession at all). It emerged, fitfully, from the tide of nineteenth-century philanthropy and then largely as a voluntary activity, often undertaken by women. Social work is a product of industrialised, urban societies, dealing with the personal consequences of social dislocation. And while Britain is one of the societies in which it can earliest be identified as a discrete activity, its forms differ from society to society according to the political and social culture and historical traditions.


ORIGINS OF SOCIAL WORK

In the UK social work has developed, within a century, from its primitive, philanthropic origins to a highly professionalised activity undertaken (or at least overseen) by large public sector agencies. It is not difficult still to detect its beginnings—Dr Barnardo’s, The National Children’s Home and Orphanage (the present-day NCH Action For Children) and the NSPCC, are only three of the charitable organisations with their roots in Victorian philanthropy and social concern. Yet today they continue with large professional staffs, offering often unique services, while also sometimes mirroring local authority activity, when not actually working in partnerships with local councils or even directly funded by them.

Residential care, in particular, derived from the successive Poor Laws of the last century. Only now have we wrested ourselves from the grip of the large-scale institutions which became an increasingly prominent feature of state provision from the seventeenth century

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Caring and Coping: A Guide to Social Services
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - From Charity to Social Work 6
  • Chapter 2 - On the Statute Book 21
  • Chapter 3 - The Nuts and Bolts of Care 37
  • Chapter 4 - For the Child’s Sake 57
  • Chapter 5 - Does the Community Care? 94
  • Chapter 6 - Whose Service is It, Anyway? 138
  • Chapter 7 - Home from Home? 150
  • Chapter 8 - Something Special 160
  • Chapter 9 - More Than a Piece of Paper 172
  • Chapter 10 - The Manager’s Tale 180
  • Chapter 11 - Acts of Charity 195
  • Chapter 12 - All in It Together 208
  • Chapter 13 - Across the Borders 218
  • Chapter 14 - Conclusion 231
  • Notes 236
  • Bibliography 242
  • Index 247
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