Blyth, Eric (2005) Children and Social Welfare: Recent Changes in England and their Implications for Social Work. In: Taiwan Social Policy Society Conference, 23rd May 2005, National Taiwan University, Taiwan. (Unpublished)

I began my social work career in England in the early 1970s shortly after a major
national reorganization of social work services. Formerly separate local authority
Children’s and Welfare Departments – the latter primarily dealing with adults in need of
social work and other welfare services - had been merged to form unified social work
agencies. For the last thirty years these Social Services Departments have provided the
main organizational basis for the provision of social work services for children. While
some NGOs provide social work services to children in the UK, their overall role in the
provision of social work services is considerably less than in Hong Kong. Other children’s
social work services are provided by the education welfare or education social work
services of local authority education departments, although the role of education
welfare officers or education social workers is largely confined to dealing with truancy –
and often in a law enforcement capacity - and there has been little success in
developing a wider school social work role as would be recognisable in other countries .
The main reason for sketching in this background is that this system is all about to
change, so children’s social work in England is currently in a state of considerable


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