Social Work And The British Welfare Society

2555 WordsJan 21, 201511 Pages
With reference to changes in government policy and ideologies of welfare, debate the significance of the shift from the Victorian ‘Mad pauper’ to the 21st century ‘Mental health service User’ and its impact on social work practice and values. Since the 19th Century, professional social work and state allocation of resources has gone through endless evolutions and revolutions, from deciding on the future of the Victorian’s ‘mad paupers’, those insane, idle, disabled or recipients of poor relief, (Thane, 1996), to supporting the ‘service users’ of today to take charge of their own care. This essay will explore this evolution of social work and the British welfare society, paying particular attention to the theories of Anti-discriminatory Practice (ADP) and Anti-oppressive Practice (AOP), two fundamental aspects of modern day social work; illustrated by the example of this shift in societal perceptions and treatment of the mad poor to the mental health service user and consider throughout whether social work has maintained, or lost its way from, its grounding philanthropic values. The origins of the social work as a profession is typically accredited to the Victorian 19th Century as a means of helping the those in need, whilst simultaneously easing the anxiety of social disorder at that time (Payne, 2005b); however, the practice of social work can be seen much earlier on. If social work is the compassionate response to an individual or group’s need, crisis or problem
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