Social Work Theories in Action

By Mary Nash; Robyn Munford et al. | Go to book overview

Introduction

This final section completes the integrated framework with its macro, meso to micro perspectives, fixing our attention on attachment work with individuals and their families. Following on from the strengths-based perspective, it continues with the theme of hope. People are resilient and social workers can work with them to achieve their clients' goals in reworking relationships.

The chapters in this section explore some key aspects of attachment theory, developing them with examples taken from work with adults, adolescents and children. The opening chapter presents key concepts, arguing that how parents and children relate in the early months and years is crucial for the development of trust and the ability to relate successfully to people. The following two chapters discuss attachment issues and practices drawing on research and practical experience.

In 'Working with Adults who are Parenting' Nicola Atwool takes the reader into the world of social work with families where children's difficult behaviour has brought them to the attention of social workers. She shows how parents can be helped with opportunity to heal and strengthen their own and their children's internal working models. A key theme in this chapter is the significance of thorough assessment for successful intervention. Nicola provides excellent ideas for intervention with parents and caregivers.

In the next chapter, Nikki Evans and Marie Connolly explore issues of attachment specifically in the context of adolescent work. Drawing on their research, they discuss the formation of internal models of attachment. They show the relevance of attachment theory to practice within the residential placement setting, including family work following transition from residential care. Issues for practice are considered, with particular reference to crosscultural issues.

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