Client and Agency: Working Class Responses to Casework

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-08-30
  • Publisher: Routledge
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It is a startling and somewhat disturbing fact that socialwork researchers-as well as research psychiatristsand psychologists-have rarely explored the treatmentsituation from the standpoint of the client. Client andAgency, first published in the 1960s, explores by means offree-fl owing interviews, a close-up picture of the client’sexperiences at a social work agency.There has been a growing awareness of the importanceof consumer opinion in the social services following thewide spread impact of consumer groups, particularlythose concerned with educational and medical services.Social work agencies have hesitated, uncertain about theresearchers and their methods, and fearful of the outcome.But it is desirable that they incorporate the viewsof consumer groups because client opinion is one way ofchecking the effectiveness of their work.The practice of social work requires the application ofknowledge derived from a variety of sources and academicdisciplines. It is frequently difficult to relate conflictingevidence and diverse theories about human behavior foruse in day-to- day work with acutely troubled and deprivedpeople. It points to the need for more extensive studiesof both consumers and suppliers of social work servicesbecause it raises many pertinent questions. In Client andAgency clients of a Family Welfare Association discussthe kind of help they expect to receive, their impressionsof the social worker and the treatment process, and theways they felt they were helped or not helped.

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