2.3 Video activity: Discussion

A key aspect of this work is ‘partnership’. Service users are called ‘members’ at Redcar & Cleveland Mind and Jane spoke about their involvement as being integral to the service. Members may also be volunteers and have roles on the executive committee. For example, the co-chairs of the executive committee are also members of Redcar & Cleveland Mind. The service has evolved as a response to members and Jane likes to hear their views directly, as well as through colleagues. Jane conside
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1.1 All together now?

This unit focuses on some key questions about consultation. Whose views? What views? What services?

Activity 1

For this activity you will need to read the following four pages of this section. These concentrate on service users' view
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References

Cooper, B. (2008) ‘Constructive first engagement: best practice in social work interviewing – keeping the child in mind’ in Jones, K., Cooper, B. and Ferguson, H. (eds) Best Practice in Social Work: Critical Perspectives, London, Palgrave.
Glaister, A. (2008) ‘Introducing critical practice’ in Fraser, A.W. and Matthews, S. (eds) The Critical Practitioner in Social Work and Health Care, London,
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Summary

This unit has introduced you to some important and challenging ideas in social work theory and practice. We have developed the ideas of critical practice to demonstrate, through a constructive approach, that social work theory and practice are closely interlinked.

In a fine-grained examination of an interaction, theoretical perspectives can be ‘pulled’ from an analysis of ‘talk’ or the communication and language used in a social work interview, as the reading by Cooper (2008) i
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2.1 Introduction

This session has two activities. Both introduce you to some theoretical perspectives on an approach to practice known as ‘constructive’ social work. You will read and think about some provocative theoretical and philosophical ideas that have an important application to the key practice activities of ‘talk’ and, through talk, the development of working relationships.


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1.2 Hearing about critical practice

Activity 2

1 hour 0 minutes

Listen to the following audio clips, ‘Panel discussion on critical practice’, Part 1: Critical practice.


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1.1 Active reading and questioning

Activity 1

2 hours 0 minutes

Being ‘critical’ is a vital concept for both academic study and professional practice in this unit. This first activity combines both by asking you to read and act
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature and boundaries of personal and professional discretion and judgement in the delivery of social work services; recognising the complex tensions between personal and social processes in people's lives;

  • demonstrate an understanding of the complex relationship between justice, care and control and the practical and ethical effects of this relationship.


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Introduction

The unit explores what it means to become a critical social work practitioner by using a series of activities and readings to guide you through some new and important concepts. An understanding of ‘critical perspectives’ will help you take a positive and constructive approach to the challenging problems that arise in social work practice.

You will be introduced to a critical understanding of the nature and boundaries of personal and professional discretion and judgement in the deliv
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary and is used under licence.

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References

Putnam, R.D. (2000) Bowling Alone: The collapse and revival of American community, New York, Simon Schuster.
Stott, M. and Hodges, J. (1996) ‘Local exchange and trading systems, never knowingly understood’, Local Economy, November, pp. 266–8.
Taylor, M. (2003) Public Policy in the Community, London, Palgrave Macmillan.
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6 Limitations of LETS

Figure 3

5 Comment on the audio clips

The benefits mentioned in the clips included a skills outlet, developing organising and networking skills, improvements to the members' self-esteem, and better social contact than before. There were also practical benefits in terms of getting help with household, gardening and computing problems. Any disadvantages were hard to identify. People were enthusiastic about their experiences. Through involving someone like Jan Hurst, the disadvantages of self-help with its tendency towards rather cl
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4 Audio activity

Now listen to the audio clips. As you listen, make notes on:

  • what you think are the benefits and disadvantages of LETS schemes for their members;

  • to what extent these schemes fit with a community development approach;

  • what might be some longer-term outcomes for the schemes and their members.


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3 Peter, Roger, Rachel, Jenny and Veera

Figure 2

1 LETS: A community development

You will shortly be listening to a sequence of audio clips, which focus on the use of LETS as a community development tool. Should LETS come ‘from above’ or ‘from the grassroots’?

Principles of self-help and co-operation work well in neighbourhoods and communities where there are resources and supportive networks. However, even in strongly cohesive communities, some people may find it difficult to join in, for reasons of disability, age or marginal status. In communities that ar
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5 General points on assessment

Activity 5

Look at the notes you have made on the four clips, and decide what general points about assessment have been made.

Discussion

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2.2.2 Florence Foster

In 2000, Florence Foster was in her sixties. For a number of years, she had lived in a tenement in Dundee owned by a private landlord. As she describes in the programme, her accommodation was extremely damp and difficult to heat. There was green mould growing in the wardrobe in her bedroom, and all the window frames were rotten. She was dependent on electric fires for heating, which she had to pay for through a card meter. Her weekly income did not enable her to put sufficient cards in the me
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2 Background to the Annual Report of the Chinese Welfare Association (1998)

The first Chinese families arrived in Northern Ireland in the early 1960s. Since then the Chinese population has continued to grow in number and economic strength to become the largest minority ethnic group. There are approximately 8,000 people and over 500 Chinese businesses across Northern Ireland. Most of these businesses are family-run restaurants and takeaways. Working in the catering industry involves long, unsociable working hours and few opportunities for integration into the wider co
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