Developments and origins of social work in britain Essay

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This assignment will discourse the historical developments and beginnings of societal work in Britain during the 19th century. An appraisal of the influence of external and internal forces within the 19th century peculiarly how these forces contributed to the building of the societal work docket will be carried out. In researching the developments and beginnings of societal work the functionalist and Marxist conflict positions will be used. Finally the assignment will reason with an rating on how the nineteenth century influences relate to societal work pattern today.

Deacon et Al ( 1997 ) , George ( 1998 ) and Barns et Al ( ) asserts that societal work exists chiefly within a social context from which it emerges. Even though today there are external influences such as globalisation and force per unit area to vie within the international economic market exercising force per unit area on how the societal policy is administered. The fact still remains that societal policy will be attached to a peculiar society or community and society it exists in. In seeking to understand the beginnings of British societal work it is of import to admit the social-political and economic clime prevailing at a given historical period. Harris and Mcdonald ( 2000 ) , Harris and Yueh- Ching Chou ( 2001 ) . This is shared by Jordan ( 1984:13 ) when he queries: ‘Is going a societal worker chiefly to be understood in footings of ”helping ” , ”caring ” or curative content of the occupation, or harmonizing to the functionary, bureaucratic, legal and even possible coercive powers and duties it entails.

Social work beginnings can be traced to the mid nineteenth century as one of the solution to undertake poorness during a period of Victorian plentifulness. The state as a whole was at the extremum of Great economic art from trade, industry, finance, agribusiness, forestry and fishing/ This prosperity brought pride and satisfaction among the successful elite citizens who claimed the accomplishment was through single difficult work. Henriques ( 1968 ) accounts that the being of poverty was non a concern and it was blamed upon an person. Poverty was barely noticed by jurisprudence and was described as ego inflicted and an unfortunate necessity. Historically the COS is viewed as the conceiver of societal work. One chief facet of COS was its accent and concentrate on single casework an attack still apparent in modern-day s/w humor grounds from Victorian London where it was evidenced that poorness, offense and imploring were monolithic. In these environments there were echt people in poorness needing aid.

Holman ( 1986 ) further addresses that the COS believed and noted that the hapless jurisprudence docket was unequal and really worsened the state of affairs of the hapless. Above all the monolithic growing of other charitable administrations duplicated responsibilities with the chief COS and had an impact on the hapless people. These two factors disillusioned and demoralized people to prosecute in emancipatory schemes. There was no differentiation between meriting and undeserving it led to people to be self-satisfied and they merely started working and depending on hapless law/charity for support than reinventing themselves to be independent. This resulted in weakening household constructions and this impacted on society at big as households were separated in the workhouse. Middleton ( 1971 ) cited in Holman ( 1986 ) affirms that the Poor Law did non merely destroy households but it struck the most of import unit of society ensuing in irreparable harm to personalities.

Welshman et Al claims that the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act and the Workhouse came into force as a step to reflect the alterations in society and introduced the rule of less eligibility. The old Poor Law was set up in Agricultural context based on local parishes alleviation and was turn outing inadequate and incompetent with the present social demands and demands. However Blaug ( 1963 ) contrasts by jointing that the Poor Law demoralized working category, promoted population growing and the more it relieved Poverty the more it encouraged the poorness it relieved. This was because of the displacement from agribusiness to Industrialisation and urbanization. Poor people were to be treated less favorably and harshly so much that if they were truly hapless they would voluntarily come in the Workhouse. Parry et Al ( 1979 ) affirms that the society which created the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act was a decentralized rural society derived from private and local bureaus bing in the Industrial revolution, with limited resources and techniques in the field of authorities and disposal. This affected their public presentation and quality of work as they lacked cardinal control, consistence and vision.

Jones ( 1971 ) accounts that the rule of less eligibility was reinforced through the ‘workhouse trial ‘ which would liase with the Poor Law Authorities holding the concluding say on whether persons seeking support were echt and would prefer to come in and see the abrasiveness of the workhouse. It is of import at this phase to foreground that the function of societal work was to assist the meriting helpable from those unworthy hapless destined to the workhouse. Wilson ( 1977 ) further argue that the gate maintaining function of societal work was created as a deterent to unregulated little charities which were emerging doubling functions and doing confusion within the charities. Woodroofe ( 1962 ) farther clarifies that the little charities were a menace as they undermined the echt philanthropic attempts in implementing subject that was desirable to be reinforced by charity. These little charities were accused of entertaining cagey paupers who took advantage of private philanthropic gift to avoid the workhouse. Thus the societal work concern came as a consequence of this transmutation of philanthropic gift from Charity Organisation society prosecuting with the workhouse government.

Wilson ( 1977 ) remarks that the transmutation of philanthropic gift was seen as a necessity as there was pandemonium and misguided rules within charity. There was an inspection and repair of operations and an debut of alleviation distribution rules guaranting the deserving hapless would utilize aid to reconstruct their lives up. Woodroofe ( 1962 ) affirms that technically it was the COS purpose to allow the Workhouse operate harshly and efficaciously so that those paupers categorised for charity would be passed to the COS and those for the workhouse passed to the workhouse. This ensured remoralisation of the paupers and control reinforced by the Poor Law and altruists.

Parry et Al ( 1979 ) references that COS ‘ being depended on rank which had strict methods and values which resulted in the development of societal work. Besides the emerging professional elite influenced difficult work and attempt and adopted professional processs. This stance of the elite shaped and determined the operations of the COS. Appraisals were introduced based on moral character and behavior. Checks and questions on the life style, personal history, fortunes and an appraisal of bing aid and any other recommendations for extra aid as a possibility. All this information was submitted to the local Charity Organisation Society Committee to pull up an action program for the Caseworker to implement. The action program could include a referral to a sister charity, reappraisal, a referral back to the Poor Law, single visits or reformative intercession.

There was a transmutation of philanthropic gift from unskilled responsibility to an organized professional activity. Shave ( 2009 ) further high spots that the societal work attack was rebranding people to accommodate the new capitalistic society they lived in. This evidently brought tenseness with faith and political relations. The COS argued that it was important to seperate the causes of single troubles and place single problems with the person in order to step in more straight with their lives. This attack continued until the 2nd World War when the province straight intervened and provided for Social work intercession.

Walsh et Al ( 2000 ) further holds that Britain experience of major societal, economic and political alterations in the 18th and nineteenth century resulted in the outgrowth of new societal jobs, new economic dealingss, new political establishments and statute law which were masterminded by the authorities as a necessity to guarantee stableness and societal control. The chief factors in the nineteenth century were the addition in population, urbanization and alterations in employment. These can be associated to external forces in relation to societal work but they had a immense impact on its beginnings.

Industrialization changed the household structures from subsistence work and household to mill work and household. As machinery was invented occupations were relocated from farms to mills. Peoples were attracted to work in mills and relocated to urban countries in hunt of work doing overpopulation. This besides changed the employment industry as Agriculture, forestry and fishing declined as a consequence of the emerging fabrication, excavation and industry hence urbanization. Walsh et Al ( 200 ) . Consequently this contributed to the impairment of populating societal conditions in which people lived in. Housing deficit, destitution, offense, overcrowding, sanitation jobs, disease eruption, development of workers, widespread poorness and deceases. The hapless people could non afford to look after themselves. Children were malnourished, abused and exploited. Taylor ( 2008 ) acknowledges that it was put offing to observe that kids were denied childhood and destitute. Some worked long hours in mills to supplement household income.

In add-on to societal alteration there was a displacement in political power from a few elect persons to a more democratic political orientation. The elect few who held power used this power to protect their involvements at the disbursal of protecting the general population and deciding societal issues impacting the general public.. The elect few were besides concerned with keeping jurisprudence and order at place and external security of the state. All this changed when the P arliamentary Reform Act 1832 brought a democratic parliament. A farther challenge came from the emerging category of enterprisers and industrialists which threatened the traditional authorization. This meant different subdivisions of the population began to have drawn-out political power. Walsh et Al ( 2000 )

As political power spread through society the authorities attack refocused displacement from keeping jurisprudence and order and the economic system to a more engagement in societal public assistance issues. Despite the displacement authorities function merely extended to modulating and commanding societal job countries instead than advancing societal alteration ; a function described as that of a ‘nightwatchman ‘ Driver and Martell ( 1998 )

The above reveal that there are different attacks to construe and explicate the growing and beginnings of societal work as an organized and regulated profession. Seed ( 1973 ) identified three basic stages in societal work development. These are: Individual casework which originated from COS Woodroofe, ( 1962 ) . Lewis ( 1995 ) . Social disposal followed which was involved in poorness alleviation linked to the Poor Law but aligned to the COS. Finally Social action which promoted the colony motion in Britain and America.Parry et Al ( 1979 ) .The three stages will be explained separately but they interrelate and have invariably resurfaced in the full history of societal work in different signifiers.

Cardinal figures like Octavia Hill can be linked to both the COS and the colony motion and the development of societal public assistance. She emphasised individuality and the importance of preparation which is still influential in understanding societal jobs. However some unfavorable judgments emerged in the attacks and legitimacy of giving occupancy to hapless people and roll uping rent from them. Power issues have been highlighted in the fortunes Wohl ( 1971 ) . Canon Bannett originally supported the COS before set uping the Tonybee Hall in East London in a move to advance and reenforce societal alteration. This meant they had the function of social workers, group workers and reformists. Poor Law and charity was of import for the effectual and smooth running of COS. In some instances hospital medical social workers worked as social workers every bit good as fiscal decision makers. Wilson ( 1977 )

Webber ( 2001 ) high spots that the COS introduced constructions and systems that guaranteed their mission and rules. One of the chief undertakings was to organize with the altruist to avoid confrontation and competition among charities. It emerged the COS managed to win an apprehension with public assistance, charity and the hapless jurisprudence. It was believed charity would go the first topographic point to seek for aid and so in the worst instances they would volunteer for w/h.

Another precedence for COS was to set up an organizational structural model which was systematic and consistent to assist those who qualified as in demand. The COS original purpose and function was non to be a supplier of charity, but a coordinator of other charitable administrations. However with developments COS territory commissions became good established and took the function of supplier themselves. The COS had a major important undertaking to supervise and supervise the procedure of opinion to see whether persons qualified or did non measure up for support “ the deserving/undeserving eligibility standards. This once more can be the roots of s/w pattern today. Parry ( 1979 ) The procedure of probe, information assemblage and the well organized scrutiny of single fortunes are still today prevalent in s/w in appraisal which led to a judgement/ determinations ensuing in eligibility standards in today ‘s pattern assorted types of support apart from fiscal charity were available such as researching ways that would empower/ emancipate people ‘s wellbeing at the same clip advancing independency. Although all these steps were put in topographic point still there was the quandary of non assisting those who most need aid, but were non recognised as destitute Webb ( 2001 )

The work of the COS has met its demerits and defects in that it was said to be rough, did non pull off to separate need/ undeserving accurately and the aid dispensed was non adequate and unequal to battle demand. This is propounded by Webb ( 1926 ) when he mentioned “ the disposal of the hapless jurisprudence… supplemented by charities assistance harmonizing to the renters of the COS… had following to no consequence either on the poorness or on the wretchedness of the hapless.

Finally the COS acknowledged the demand for systematic preparation programmes which today is one of the important properties of societal work. Besides there was a general sense of realization that public assistance provided was a affair for the province every bit good as the household and single duty. The influence of the COS and single casework came to a hard in footings of different positions and thoughts. This was a consequence of the enlargement of societal work into different social countries like psychopathology and infirmary casework which sought different attacks to the traditional COS attack. Parry et Al ( 1979 )

Social work as disposal dates back to the period before the formation of the COS in the work carried out ry Poor Law Relieving Military officers whose responsibility was to administrate the responsibilities outlined by the Poor Law Act of 1601. Their function was farther stimulated by the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 when they ensured the construct of ”less eligibility ” which was approved by the Report of the Royal Commission on Poor Laws. Military officers had to guarantee alleviation in whatever signifier was less attractive than the lowest paid worker. Boardss of Guardians administered the Poor Law at local degree coverage to a cardinal Poor Law Board which controlled workhouses and modulating issues associating to Poor Law nationally. As the Poor Law Officers needed to transport out appraisals, exercising opinion, an apprehension of human needs/problems and fiscal disposal their quality of work was reported to be of hapless quality and inconsistent. It is argued that they would hold been better of with some preparation. In response to this a National Poor Law Offficers Association was formed in 1884 to better the position of these officers. This did non alter the attitude of the populace they served.

Parry et Al ( 1979 ) claims that societal work as societal action can be traced in the colony motion established by Canonm Bernett in the 1880s. The motion shared a figure of beliefs underpinned and congratulating the COS. Although they practiced otherwise in rule they both shared the same moral rules which was a belief of instruction. They all believed fiscal aid was non plenty to eliminate poorness within society but authorization through cognition and instruction within persons and communities. They believed that the privileged had an duty to back up the less privileged. They embarked on preparation classs and university chances to raise consciousness of poorness, its causes and impact. As highlighted by Gilchrist and Jeffs the motion had three basic thoughts ; Scientific research development into the root/ causes of poorness, the importance of instruction as emancipation to wider skylines and chances for hapless people to better their lives and the sweetening of local communities through leading.

The three rules differed from the COS individualistic attack but instead envisaged Community and group instruction as paramount to work out poverty and human jobs to better life. Cannon introduced the thought that educated people be linked within hapless communities and engage with the hapless to hold a feel and acquire first manus experience from the hapless. This would make common land and enhance community development. Although the colony motion expanded dealingss and support from the COS deteriorated. Professionalism subsequently changed the original thoughts of Pioneer colony motion and it was assimilated into other professions. Forsthe and Jordan ( 2002 )

Critics have identified that the single casework practiced in the nineteenth century was pathologising and faulting the person non looking at the broader image ignoring disadvantage and poorness. The other concern argue that societal work was uneffective. Brewer and Lait ( 1980 ) assets that societal work was fanatic and encompassed a wide scope of functions and maps alternatively of being narrow and more focussed and defined. Furthermore Woorton ( 1959 ) questions that societal work does non merit a professional position as it merely carried out and still carries out instructions from the traditional wellness and public assistance bureaus. The incrimination on societal work being disorganised was shifted to the deficiency of instruction and preparation. This argument has widened due to recommendations from the Barclay study which advocated for a more broad engagement in societal action.

Having explored the beginnings of societal work it is of import to model them into a manner frontward model for future pattern. Mullaly ( 1997 ) suggested that societal work demand to assist disfavor people either to set to societal demands or to amend these constructions to run into the single fortunes. Payne ( 1962: 2 ) farther suggested that societal work demand to incorporate three basic elements which are: individualist-reformist, socialist-collectivist and reflexive-thereaupitic. However Mullaly ( 1997 ) argues that even if a societal worker adopts a progressive attack they will automatically prosecute in back uping the model of society, the statute law and statutory demands. This is supported by Pinker ( 1982 ) when she mentions that societal workers have no authorization to work against the system that employs them and it is unjust to utilize service users jobs to transform the political relations of public assistance.

Basically there are two accounts that I have used to explicate why province public assistance emerged in the nineteenth century as mentioned earlier. The functionalist attack advocators for societal policies that solve societal jobs and advance stableness. This compliments with the events in the 19th when the authorities intervened and involved in public assistance as a step to run into and turn to the demands of Industrialisation and urbanization. The authorities had to step in to run into to decide the unmet needs that contributed to societal jobs in the population. Walsh et Al ( 2005 )

While shiping on deciding unmet societal demands critics explain that the authorities did non gain emerging societal category relationships ensuing in category struggle. The industrialization and urbanization procedure brought Marx ‘s struggle position. This struggle upset the societal order and societal dealingss in Britain. As mentioned earlier there was a tradition of an elect few protecting their ain involvements. This minority group of people had the privilege of having the agency of production i.e mills and other productive establishments. The remainder of the population were the workers who produced goods that were sold to do a net income controlled by the elect few employers. In return the workers got small rewards insufficient to prolong their well-being. This system is called Capitalism. The capitalist employer and the worker are engaged in a struggle due to the unjust balance of power and distribution of net incomes. Therefore the public assistance province emerged as a consequence of the conflict.The emerging capitalist economic relationship rendered the employer more powerful and the worker powerless. Finally the workers organised themselves into Labour motions and Unions which challenged the position quo therefore the debut of the proviso of public assistance. Walsh et Al ( 2005 )

As Anderson ( 1990 ) described the period as ‘decommodified ‘ period in a capitalist province. This emerged from the fact that Capitalism turns all facets of life into ‘commodities ‘ that can be packaged, brought and sold. The handiness of lodging, wellness, instruction and leisure became commodified as entree to them depended on single ability to pay for and purchase them. Thus the thought of strong labor motions led to many facets of public assistance to be free and decommodified. The province comes under force per unit area to supply public assistance and intervene for its citizens. The struggle attack believes province intercession should be decomodified in order to avoid farther category struggle. This brings about a redistribution of wealth and resources as public assistance fund is funded by revenue enhancements on affluent people. This was witnessed largely at the terminal of the nineteenth century.

The essay has explored the history and development of societal work foregrounding the chief forces that have influenced modern-day pattern. As identified internal and external forces have surfaced within the treatment such as addition in population, riural-urban migration and the Industrial revolution. Within the societal work context three cardinal rules emerged- Individualistic/thereaupitic, administrative and leftist. These still exist today as the footing of pattern. Having explored the influences to the development of societal work it is of import to admit that the field is determined and controlled by the social-economic and political docket bing at a given period in clip. Above all the nineteenth century is remembered for the important development and beginnings of societal work.

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