Working with adults is another major arena for social work practice. The bulk of these are older people who have been incapacitated through disease and physical infirmity. They constitute the major ‘client’ group covered in this chapter. Adults, unless they are disabled or mentally ill, are not normally expected to receive assistance from the social services (Zucchino, 1997). Rather, they are expected to meet their own welfare needs, although they may be instrumental in seeking help for children or older dependents.’ In Britain, working with older people has traditionally been considered a Cinderella area because the work has low status and is done by women with little or no qualifications. Additionally, men wishing to rise rapidly through the ranks of practice have used residential care for older people as a springboard to child care and from there to rise up the career ladder to management (Howe, 1986).
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