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|Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
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|Changing Lives: Critical reflections on the social work change programme for Scotland
21st Century Review
|Ritchie A & Woodward R (2009) Changing Lives: Critical reflections on the social work change programme for Scotland. Critical Social Policy, 29 (3), pp. 510-532. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018309105182
|In 2004 the Scottish Executive commissioned an independent review of social work. Changing Lives, the Review Report, was published in February 2006 and described as the basis for 'the biggest overhaul of social work in Scotland for 40 years'. This paper examines the background to the Changing Lives Report, discusses its main findings and considers what has happened to social work in Scotland in the two years since its publication. It is argued that the Report reflects the problems that beset social work and offers ways forward that merit consideration. It is also argued that both the Report, and the ensuing change programme, fail to critically appraise the political and social forces that have undermined the status of welfare professionals and marginalized service users in recent times. The authors suggest that, as a result, the Changing Lives agenda is, as yet, unlikely to find full resonance with either practitioners or service users.
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