Concluding reflections on the nature and future of critical best practice

Jones, Karen; Cooper, Barry and Ferguson, Harry (2008). Concluding reflections on the nature and future of critical best practice. In: Jones, Karen; Cooper, Barry and Ferguson, Harry eds. Best Practice in Social Work: Critical Perspectives. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 286–292.



The central approach of this book has been to produce accounts of theory and practice which focus in a sociologically critical way on what actually gets done well in social work, why and how it gets done, and with what consequences – a CBP perspective. We hope that the chapters can help to promote discussion and open up processes of critical reflection on best practice amongst groups of practitioners, managers, academics and students. The book has shown that CBP perspectives are concerned with the short and long-term processes of intervention, as well as with what makes up the components of practice at each stage of the intervention process, from referral, assessment, through to longterm work and the organisational structure, culture and processes which enable (best) practice to go on. In a variety of ways the book has demonstrated the practicalities of how the organisational context, inter-agency structures and rules and resources within which social work goes on are drawn upon by practitioners in their work. The chapters have been situated at the inter-face between organisations and service user’s lives and have sought to sensitise readers to the legal and procedural realities of social work while focusing on how they are turned into practice – on the detail of what can and needs to be said and done in particular situations; on how social work is performed.

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