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3.3 What to do about Sarah?

Activity 6

1 hour 45 minutes

Read the Case Study ‘Sarah's story: What to do about Sarah’

Keep in mind the analyses used in the previous reading, pay careful attention to the lang
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3.2 Analysing practice

Activity 5

1 hour 30 minutes

Read ‘Constructive first engagement: best practice in social work interviewing – keeping the child in mind’ (Cooper, 2008).

Author(s): The Open University

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3.1 Introduction

This section builds upon the previous two by encouraging you to critically examine the importance of language in constructing social work relationships. The activities highlight key messages about the power of talk in helping people to make sense of their experiences, take control and make changes to their lives. The ‘power of talk’ applies as much to social workers as to the service users with whom they work. However, the reality of social work practice suggests that ‘making sense, tak
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2.3 Objective conditions and subjective definitions

Activity 4

2 hours 0 minutes

Reread the story about the three baseball umpires, which you'll find on page 11 of ‘What do we mean by “Constructive social work”?’

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2.2 What is constructive social work?

Activity 3

1 hour 20 minutes

Read the following article: ‘What do we mean by “Constructive social work”?’

While you're reading, make notes on the theoretical and philosophica
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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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8 Perspectives

The LETSLINK UK  website provides information and news about LETS initiatives in the UK.

The American sociologist Robert Putnam has argued powerfully for the importance of social capital – something which is built up collectively through the voluntary activities of individuals participating in community organisations and other community activity – leading to a bonding of the member
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3.2 Clips 4 to 5

Clip 4

In this clip, we hear about the problems faced by those in the private rented sector, and find out about EAGA.


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2.2.1 Thomas Marnie

Figure 3
Thomas Marnie

At the time of recording, Thomas Marnie was in his fifties. He had worked in a jute, and later a polypropylene fibre factory
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1 Fuel poverty

The audio clips in this unit feature interviews about fuel poverty in Scotland.

Activity

Read through the information about each of the participants, and then listen to the clips in Section 3. As you read, and while you listen, m
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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 material acknowledged below contains Proprietary content which is used under licence (not subject to C
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5 Audio clip 2: Danny

Danny is 49 and sleeps rough in the city, as he has done for very many years. He was born and bred in Northern Ireland, and recounted some happy childhood memories. He became a civil servant in London, working for the Department of Health and Social Security, as a higher executive officer, but lost his job and his wife through drink. After sleeping rough on the streets of London for a while, he returned to Belfast. After robbing a chemist's shop, he was sent to prison for seven years, for rob
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4 Audio clip 1: John

In this first clip, Julia Johnson, from the Open University, talks to John, who had been sleeping rough in the city and living in an abandoned van in a car park for three weeks.

At the time of the interview, John was 43. He was born in a town near Swansea, but had spent much of his life in institutions. His childhood was spent in a large ‘mental handicap’ hospital, which has now closed. Some years after his discharge, he and his brother were arrested, and subsequently imprisoned for
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7 Moving to a positive paradigm

Aaron Antonovsky (1984) has called the emphasis on illness and disease the pathogenic paradigm and has stated that this disease-focused paradigm has dominated our healthcare system. He claims that there are five important consequences of this domination:

  1. ‘We have come to think dichotomously about people, classifying them as either healthy or diseased’ (p. 115). Those categorised as ‘healthy’ are normal, those categorised as non-healthy or ‘d
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3.5 People's views on health

Health accounts, as well as being based in the experience of health, also relate to health behaviour. People's accounts of health are likely to be different at different stages in their lives. Two health promotion researchers, Backett and Davison (1992), have investigated the perceptions of health at different stages of life. Their work is based on two qualitative studies conducted in Edinburgh and South Wales. In these studies, health was also linked to health behaviours. The stage of life w
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3.3 Health and ethnicity

Clearly ethnicity, religion and culture have a great deal of influence on the way people view health. It was noted in the introduction to Section 2 that most of the early work was on health beliefs and that it was anthropological, focusing on ‘other’ cultures. Britain is a multicultural, multiracial society, yet attention
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3.2 Health and the middle class

In contrast, a study which focused on white, middle-class men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 (Saltonstall, 1993) found that respondents' views of health were closely connected to wellbeing, and this condition of being was related to ‘capacity, performance and function’ (p. 8). Saltonstall reports that the respondents, both male and female, catalogued what he called a ‘health inventory’ which included things they felt they had and things they thought they were expected to do t
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3.1 Health and low income

Health is a very personal matter, but people's health is very much situated in their life experiences and so their perceptions of health are likely to reflect their social situation.

Bostock (1998), a health researcher, interviewed mothers who were managing on low incomes to find out about their perceptions of their health. She was struck by the difference between her respondents' self-assessed health status compared to that found by the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) which relat
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References

Badham, B. and Wade, H. (revised edition 2005) Hear By Right Standards for the Active Involvement of Children and Young People, Leicester and London: National Youth Agency and Local Government Association.
Leverett, S. (2008) ‘Children's participation’ in Foley, P. and Leverett, S. (eds) Connecting with Children: Developing Working Relationships, Bristol: Policy Press.
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Activity 2

Shared values for children’s participation

1 hour 0 minutes

In the extract you have read in Activity 1, Leverett identifies a set of shared values developed as part of the ‘Hear by Right’ standa
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