Relationship-based practice and intimacy in social work practice
- Ground Floor, Lecture Room G15, Muirhead Tower, Univerity of Birmingham
How social workers get close to children and families and help them
With Professor Harry Ferguson
How is social work actually done? What do social workers do when face to face with service users? What do they talk about? Where do they sit? Or stand? Do they move when on home visits and if so when, why and how? How close to children do practitioners get and where is the best place to see children if they are to reveal the truth of their experience and needs?
This presentation seeks some answers to these questions by drawing on ethnographic research in which practitioners were shadowed while doing the work and face to face encounters between social workers, children and families were observed and audio recorded, mainly on home visits. It focuses on the social work encounters where closeness and intimacy occurred, the relationships had depth and service users were helped. It draws out learning about how helpful social work occurs and can be developed.