Working together: Using group relations theory to understand and rethink the interplay between administrators and social work practitioners

Owens, Rachel (2015) Working together: Using group relations theory to understand and rethink the interplay between administrators and social work practitioners. Journal of Social Work Practice, 29 (2). pp. 231-238. ISSN 0265-0533

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Abstract/Book Review

This essay attempts to explain and theorise observable tensions between the roles of social work practitioner and administrator. It uses the psychoanalytic concepts of primary task and authority to draw attention to this under examined area. Employing illustrative vignettes from practice, it argues that a lack of integration between the roles leads to worker dissatisfaction and weakens service delivery. The essay then suggests that the false split between the roles of social worker and administrator is symptomatic of wider political policy in which public sector budget control is set in opposition to service user need and/or professional judgement. Taking inspiration from the work of Clare Winnicott, it calls for an integrated managerial system in which both roles are enabled to work together to develop common, service user orientated goals and practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 20 Apr 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Work, Administrator, Primary Task, Authority, Group Relations, Clare Winnicott, Neoliberal
Subjects: Groups & Organisations > Groups/Institutions/Organisations
Groups & Organisations > Occupational Groups
Social Welfare > Social Welfare Personnel
Department/People: Adult and Forensic Services
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2015 13:26
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2016 10:28
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1032

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