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About this book

Having gone through 30 years of development, the new edition of this highly-regarded classic is the most trusted companion for understanding and promoting the potential for social work with disabled people. It offers readers a clear introduction to the core issues of disability alongside discussion and assessment of the social worker's role.

Written by an experienced and highly respected team of authors, the book reflects:
• the latest updates, developments and policy changes
• the broad range of areas needing to be understood for informed practice
• recent changes to the focus of social work education and practice
• the Social Model of Disability, encouraging debate about its role in social work
• developments for independent living
• the heightened importance of safeguarding issues, giving attention to the topical issue of disabilist hate crime.

Accessible to a broad readership and respected by disabled people themselves, this text is the foundation for effective practice.

Table of Contents

Introduction: setting the scene

Abstract
In the late nineteenth century the first hospital almoner was appointed from the Charity Organisation Society and it is from that role that social work with disabled people emerged. By the time World War II commenced social work had become a reserved occupation but, despite its development towards a profession — the gaining of university status for its training its proactive stance in terms of child and health care, and the influence of psychoanalysis on its practice — social work remained essentially concerned with administrating welfare on utilitarian principles. The state was concerned to ensure that welfare be distributed on the basis that it would act as a remedy to dependency rather than as a sedative. Theoretically, the role of social workers was to assess the behaviour and motivations of individuals in need, in order to determine how best to help them become self-reliant. In practice welfare agencies tended to retain control over the design and management of services as self-reliance and long-term need were seen as incompatible.
Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas

Chapter 1. Social work and disability: old and new directions

Abstract
Prior to 1970 help for disabled people and their families was really only available through the health service or voluntary organisations. The Seebohm Report (Department of Health and Social Security, 1968), local government reorganisation and the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 led to services for disabled people being established as a social services responsibility. The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 led to the reorganisation of adult social services, while the Children Act 1989 brought in separate provisions for disabled children.
Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas

Chapter 2. Impairment, disability and research

Abstract
Chapter 1 discussed how moving on from a using a purely individual model of disability to using a social model of disability opens up a different approach to and ways of alleviating disability. However the social model has been criticised for not paying enough attention to impairment and the personal experience of functional limitation. One of the earliest criticisms came from Morris (1991), who using a feminist approach and while not dismissing the social model, pointed out its limitations and stressed the importance of taking account of personal feelings and experiences in political analyses.
Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas

Chapter 3. Relationships and families

Abstract
Using the social model of disability can bring a useful and sensitising perspective in considering the implication of disability for family life. There are three ways in which the ‘disability relationship’ discussed in the previous chapter is important here. To begin with, an individual with an impairment may be disabled by the way he or she is treated by the family, for example family structure and stability may be adversely affected by one of its members acquiring an impairment, or second by a child being born with an impairment. However, it is important to note that such occurrences may strengthen rather than weaken familial ties in some situations (Clarke and McKay, 2008). Finally, there is the question of the way society treats families, through social policy provision, where there is a disabled member. These themes will be interwoven in this chapter, but to begin with the family in its appropriate social context is considered.
Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas

Chapter 4. Independent living and personal assistance

Abstract
During the 1970s disabled people became increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of choice and control in their lives, inevitably this involved dissatisfaction with the professionals who offer support. Over the decades disabled people have campaigned for and achieved an increase in their choice and control over personal assistance and receiving direct payments has made a major contribution to this. The campaigns and eventual support systems for those in receipt of direct payments has come through disabled people’s own organisations in the form of Centres for Independent Living (CILs) these organisations also offers support in other areas of Independent Living.
Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas

Chapter 5. Independent living: the wider social policy and legal context

Abstract
Earlier chapters have discussed issues of independent living which are mainly related to personal assistance — whether this is managed by the disabled person themselves, organised by a family (or informal) carer, or local authority in the form of domiciliary care or residential care. However independent living is about much more than this, as shown in the development of the 12 rights of independent living discussed in Chapter 4, but there are too many of these to cover in this book. In order to take account of disabled people in this wide-ranging context, a whole-system approach is required. This chapter covers several of these issues in relation to relevant legislation and social policy guidance.
Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas

Chapter 6. Independent living: vulnerability and safeguarding

Abstract
So far this book has promoted independent living, choice and control for disabled people. However there have been concerns expressed by professionals and family carers that some disabled people are at risk of coming to harm if left unsupported to manage their own care packages. There may well be a cultural view that disabled people should be protected and cared for, and there are systems in place for this to happen, yet:
The ways that disabled lives are not protected, safeguarded or sustained, and the lower priority frequently accorded to children and adults living with impairment, are and have always been hazardous for disabled children and adults wherever they live.(Clements and Reid, 2008: 8)
Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas

Chapter 7. Conclusion: future directions

Abstract
This final chapter brings together some of the issues thrown up by applying the social model of disability to social work as an organised professional activity. First, there are some theoretical and professional issues, then some organisational aspects and finally some strategies for the future.
Michael Oliver, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas
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