Interprofessional collaboration in social work practice

Crawford, Karin (2011) Interprofessional collaboration in social work practice. Sage Publications, London. ISBN 9781849204286, 9781849204279

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Item Type:Book or Monograph
Item Status:Live Archive


The book sets out the context of collaborative working practices in the ‘helping professions’ looking at and critiquing the historical, legal, policy, political and social frame within which changes and developments to practice are occurring. Threaded through the text are analyses and discussions about the underpinning research knowledge that has provided models to explain, and models on which to develop, effective collaborative working practices. Similarly the contribution of theory to our understanding of the complexity of collaborative working is analysed with some examples of particular theoretical perspectives being drawn upon throughout the chapters. Following this underpinning contextual material, the larger, second part of the book directly address the implications for professional social work practice; particularly the position and experience of service users and carers in the collaborative environment; the implications for the individual practitioner; the implications for the profession of social work; and the organisational context of collaborative working.

Examining collaborative working practice from a social work perspective, the book is structured into two main parts or sections. The first of these is largely contextual, abstract and academic, providing a basis for the second, more substantial section of the book which builds upon the foundations of the first part to consider the implications for practice, from a range of perspectives; service users and carers; practitioners; the social work profession; and organisations. The first chapter of the book serves not only as an introduction to the whole book, setting foundations by laying out the importance of the contribution of social work to the collaborative relationship, but also clarifies issues of terminology and discourse related to collaborative working in the ‘helping professions’, as transparency in this regard is a crucial foundation. This is also supported and summarised through the inclusion of a glossary of terms and abbreviations at the end of the book. Each subsequent chapter commences with a chapter summary and an introduction and closes with a conclusion. The introductions set out the structure of the chapter and summarise the overall aim of that chapter. The conclusion acts as a chapter summary and enables consolidation of learning, giving a succinct overview of the core elements of the chapter.

The book helps readers to understand and develop the knowledge, skills and values required for working in the complex multi-agency, multi-disciplinary, inter-professional care and support environment. Whilst its focus is on ‘what this means’ for social work practice, it acknowledges, uses examples and makes reference to the fact that collaborative working is not only limited to health and social care, but can involve a vast range of ‘stakeholders’. Thus it considers different service contexts across the book, using examples, activities and reflective opportunities to draw out the similarities and differences in different practice contexts.

Keywords:social work, interprofessional practice, collaborative practice, theory in practice
Subjects:L Social studies > L500 Social Work
L Social studies > L510 Health & Welfare
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
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ID Code:3215
Deposited On:13 Aug 2010 10:09

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