(Re) Shaping Social Work: An Australian Case Study

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McDonald, Catherine
Chenoweth, Lesley
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2009
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Abstract

Contemporary policy development via various nationally contingent processes of welfare reform poses significant challenges to social work. This paper explores the initial impact on one group of generalist social workers in working in the Australian income support agency-Centrelink. Positioning welfare reform within a theoretical framework of institutional change, the authors suggest that the associated policy developments have the capacity to seriously destabilize social work, particularly in that they promote values and rationalities at odds with those assumed by the profession. These assumptions are explored through exploratory empirical engagement with the Centrelink social workers, the results of which suggest that all social workers in those national contexts experiencing the same policy orientation have significant reason to be concerned.

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British Journal of Social Work

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39

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Social work

Sociology

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