An Introduction to Family Social Work by Donald Collins

By Donald Collins

AN advent TO relatives SOCIAL paintings, Fourth variation offers a robust starting place within the suggestions and talents it is very important achieve perform with households. The publication bargains enticing case experiences, end-of-chapter routines, illustrations, and photographs to familiarize you with the subjects to hand.

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The 1970s witnessed developments in residential schools in particular in both Scotland and England. In Scotland the development of the List D schools psychological service provided the former approved schools with a body of knowledge around assessment and care planning rooted within models of child development (Martin and Murray, 1976, 1982). In England the period saw a growth in therapeutic communities and a shift in terminology from approved schools to community homes with education (CHE). Social work ideas around treatment began to challenge those of moral guidance and control as the dominant paradigm governing the care of children.

It is remarkable what can be gleaned about policies, practices and beliefs extant at any point of time from the admissions records, punishment books and medical records of an establishment. It is fascinating just how extensive and varied some of their histories were. Understandings of the history of residential child care are at best provisional. In many cases they are partial, seeking, consciously or otherwise, to focus, especially in recent years, on where such provision has gone wrong in order to justify policy preferences intended to limit its use.

Belief in the widespread and endemic nature of institutional abuse can assume a ‘taken-for-granted’ status. Ferguson asserts that ‘it is beyond question that the entire industrial and reformatory regime was an abusive and cruel one’ (2007, p 124). A systemic review into historical abuse commissioned by the Scottish Government (Shaw, 2007) recounts views of former residents that are unremittingly bleak. Such negative views have been influential in informing public perception and policy. The whole 20th century can be presented as something of a dark age for residential child care.

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