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How has social work changed over the years? What are some of the best social work teams doing differently to meet the complex practical and emotional needs of service users? What practical tools and approaches can social work managers implement with their teams? Dr. Judy Foster examines good social work practice and the supporting factors that are essential to underpin social work teams – coherent policies; well qualified and motivated staff; good management support structures; delegated autonomy and discretion for social workers; and mental space to allow reflective and creative problem solving.
She illustrates the dilemmas and rewards of social work relationships through personal stories from her own career as a social worker, manager and teacher - and interviews with social workers and managers. These examples show the relationship between ‘doing’ something for someone and ‘being’ emotionally present to empower a service user to manage better. The book is intended to help social work managers improve the support environment for their teams and hence their effectiveness – and to inform students and others in related professions interested in learning more about social work. It will also have a wide appeal to an international social work readership.