Where have all the feelings gone? Developing reflective and relationship-based management in child-care social work

Ruch, Gillian (2011) Where have all the feelings gone? Developing reflective and relationship-based management in child-care social work. British Journal of Social Work, 1-18. (doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcr134).


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The past five years have witnessed a growing recognition of the importance of management and leadership in the social work profession. The Social Work Task Force Report has underlined the need for ‘dedicated programmes of training and support for frontline social work managers’ and the Social Work Reform Board is tasked with taking this recommendation forward. Central to these developments is the question of how such ‘dedicated programmes’ are defined and developed. Developing a reflective management model that holds in a creative tension both the reflective and relationship-based dimensions of management and the positive aspects of managerialism offers an effective way of responding to these challenges. The paper considers the contribution of psycho-dynamic theoretical perspectives to this model of management. The capacity of these perspectives to equip managers to more effectively respond to issues of risk, uncertainty and anxiety is illustrated with examples drawn from case discussions undertaken with social work managers in the context of a post-qualification social work programme. The paper concludes by outlining how complex reflective management practice is facilitated by reflective organisational contexts which embrace diverse knowledge sources, promote relationship-based skills and found themselves on reflective values

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcr134
ISSNs: 0045-3102 (print)
1468-263X (electronic)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Social Work Studies
ePrint ID: 199121
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
5 October 2011Published
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 12:15
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:45
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/199121

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