• Covid-19: changing fields of social work practice with children and young people

      Dillon, Joanne; Evans, Ffion; Wroe, Lauren; ; University of Sheffield; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Bedfordshire (Policy Press, 2021-02-12)
      Drawing on the theoretical work of Wacquant, Bourdieu and Foucault we interrogate how pandemic has weaponized child and family social work practices through reinvigorated mechanisms of discipline and surveillance. We explore how social workers are caught in the struggle between enforcement and relational welfare support. We consider how the illusio of social work obscures power dynamics impacting children, young people and families caught in child welfare systems; disproportionately affecting classed and racialised individuals.
    • From 'no further action' to taking action: England's shifting social work responses to extra-familial harm

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Lloyd, Jenny; Walker, Joanne; Owens, Rachael; University of Bedfordshire (Policy Press, 2021-07-15)
      In 2018, England’s safeguarding guidelines were amended to explicitly recognise a need for child protection responses to extra-familial harms. This article explores the feasibility of these amendments, using quantitative and qualitative analysis of case-file data, as well as reflective workshops, from five children’s social care services in England and Wales, in the context of wider policy and practice frameworks that guide the delivery of child protection systems and responses to harm beyond families. Green shoots of contextual social work practice were evident in the data set. However, variance within and across participating services raises questions about whether contextual social work responses to extra-familial harm are sustainable in child protection systems dominated by a focus on parental responsibility. Opportunities to use contextual responses to extra-familial harm as a gateway to reform individualised child protection practices more broadly are also discussed.
    • Social working without borders: challenging privatisation and complicity with the hostile environment

      Wroe, Lauren; University of Bedfordshire (Policy Press, 2019-08-19)
      Social Workers Without Borders is a UK social work charity established in early 2016 to provide direct support to migrant children and families, and to scaffold this through the development of social work education and activism reflecting the principles of human rights and social justice. Reflecting on Social Workers Without Borders’ model of practice, Lauren Wroe, co-founder and trustee of Social Workers Without Borders, discusses the charity’s recent campaign against Capita and the implications of privatisation for asylum-seeking and migrant families, as well as for the ethical value base of the profession. Positioning Social Workers Without Borders as a voluntary network that ‘fills the gap’ in state services, the author discusses campaign strategies to defend the profession, and the families it supports, from the rolling back of state welfare and the rolling out of state hostility through the deregulated outsourcing of social care services.