Social Workers' Experiences of Covert Workplace Activism
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The contemporary context provides challenges for social workers discontent with service delivery influenced by neoliberal ideology. Research reports on a range of barriers to activist practice that have contributed to a dominance of technical practice models and an accompanying loss of structural, activist approaches. This article discusses a study that utilised semistructured in-depth qualitative interviews to explore the motivations and behaviours of 15 social workers employed in statutory workplace settings who declared they undertook covert activist activities. Findings from this research inform current discussions on the relevance of radical practice methods in challenging the contemporary welfare model and the role of social workers as agents of change. Conclusions drawn from this study are that these activities need to be acknowledged by the profession, with discussion on the appropriateness or otherwise of covert activism and exploration of how best to support practitioners to manage organisational-professional conflict and the challenges that arise from it.
Australian Social Work
© 2014 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Australian Social Work on 14 Aug 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0312407X.2014.940360
Social Work not elsewhere classified