Social work in England at a watershed - as always: From the Seebohm report to the social work task force

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The final report of the Social Work Task Force in 2009 described social work in England as being at a ‘watershed’. The term has been used for an earlier period of scrutiny and reform, the 1968 Seebohm report and the subsequent creation of local authority social services departments and a unified social work profession. This paper draws out messages from that the earlier period for the current reform programme, focusing on the political and organisational aspects. It argues that the nature of social work is that it is always ‘in the middle’. Whatever the proposals and promises, they will not, cannot, solve the fundamental challenges of the job. Social work's complex, sometimes contradictory roles and tasks mean that change is always work in progress, never a task achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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