Tagged / Centre for Social Work

Congratulations on academic paper by BU PhD student Orlanda Harvey

Congratulations to Orlanda Harvey, PhD student in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences on her PhD publication “Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Scoping Review into what they want and what they access” in the Open Access journal BMC Public Health [1].  Since there is a paucity of research on support for people using Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS), this article searched and synthesised the available evidence in this field. Gaining an understanding of the support both accessed and wanted by recreational AAS users will be of use to professionals who provide services to intravenous substance users and also to those working in the fields of public health and social care, with the aim to increase engagement of those using AAS.

This systematic scoping review identified 23 papers and one report for review, which indicated that AAS users access a range of sources of information on: how to inject, substance effectiveness, dosages and side effects, suggesting this is the type of information users want. AAS users sought support from a range of sources including medical professionals, needle and syringe programmes, friends, dealers, and via the internet, suggesting that, different sources were used dependent on the information or support sought.

The authors argue that AAS users tended to prefer peer advice and support over that of professionals , and access information online/specialist fora, reflecting the stigma that is experienced by AAS  users. These tendencies can act as barriers to accessing services provided by professionals.  The paper concludes that support needs to be specific and targeted towards AAS users. Sensitivity to their perceptions of their drug-use and the associated stigma of being classified in the same sub-set as other illicit drug users is relevant to facilitating successful engagement.

 

Reference: 

  1. Harvey, O., Keen, S., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Literature Review into what they want and what they access. BMS Public Health 19: 1024      https://rdcu.be/bMFon

 

 

Descent or dissent? Social work education in post-Brexit UK

Congratulations to Prof. Jonathan Parker on the publication of his article ‘Descent or dissent? A future of social work education in the UK post-Brexit‘ in the European Journal of Social Work. In true European style the journal also gives the title in Italian: Discesa o dissenso? Il futuro dell’istruzione nel settore dei servizi sociali nel Regno Unito dopo la Brexit.

 

Final publication of 2018

Congratulations to Orlanda Harvey on the publication of her paper ‘Shades of Grey’: The Ethics of Social Work Practice in Relation to Un-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroid Use. Orlanda Harvey is a PhD student in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences with a research interest in image and performance enhancing drug (IPED) use.  Her paper will be published in Practice: Social Work in Action.  

This paper highlights ethical dilemmas that social workers face when assessing risk in relation to those using substances. It explores how legislation and societal factors can impact not just on people’s choices and decisions but also on their ‘vulnerability’ and access to services. Vulnerability, a contested term, is linked, in this paper, to assessment of risk. There are ethical issues that arise when assessing risk with people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) from both service user and professional perspectives. These ethical issues concern a person’s right to choose whilst making potentially harmful decisions. The paper argues that using substances such as AAS in and of itself does not suffice to make a person vulnerable but this does not mean that people using AAS are not in need of support. It suggests that there may be some groups of people who are more at risk to starting AAS use and that social workers should be aware of these. It also recommends the need for further qualitative research to understand the reasons for starting use and support to help people stop using AAS.

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Highly topical BU article on BREXIT

Congratulations to Dr. Rosie Read and Prof. Lee-Ann Fenge in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences who just published in the academic journal Health and Social Care in the Community.  Their paper is called What does Brexit mean for the UK social care workforce? Perspectives from the recruitment and retention frontline’ [1].  You can’t have a more topical academic paper and it is freely available on the web through Open Access!  

The paper is based on research on research they undertook last year on the impact of Brexit on the social care workforce.  A key finding is that, irrespective of whether they employ EU/EEA workers or not, research participants have deep concerns about Brexit’s potential impact on the social care labour market. These include apprehensions about future restrictions on hiring EU/EEA nurses, as well as fears about increased competition for care staff and their organisation’s future financial viability. This article amplifies the voices of managers as an under‐researched group, bringing their perspectives on Brexit to bear on wider debates on social care workforce sustainability.

Congratulations!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

 

Reference:

  1. Read R, Fenge L‐A. (2018) What does Brexit mean for the UK social care workforce? Perspectives from the recruitment and retention frontline.
    Health Soc Care Community [online first] :1–7.    https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12684

 

 

Social Work, Precarity & Sacrifice as Radical Action for Hope

Congratulations to Professor Jonathan Parker on the publication of his latest article in the International Journal of Social Work & Human Services Practice. [1]   In this paper Professor Parker outlines the history and development of social work, primarily in the UK, in the context of uncertainty and ambiguity.  He suggests that in an age of increased precariousness, social work itself represents a precarious activity that can be misconstrued and used for political ends as well as for positive change. As a means of countering potentially deleterious consequences arising from this, the concept of sacrifice which is used to consider social work’s societal role as scapegoat on the one hand and champion of the oppressed on the other. The paper concludes that social work’s potential for developing and encouraging resilience and hope is indicated in the ‘sacrifices’ social workers make when walking alongside marginalised and disadvantaged people.

The paper is Open Access, meaning that anybody across the globe with internet access will be able to read it  free of cost.

 

Reference:

  1. Parker, J. ‘Social Work, Precarity and Sacrifice as Radical Action for Hope’, International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice Vol.6. No.2, 2018, pp. 46-55.

FHSS student needs help with online questionnaire for her research

Our PhD student Orlanda Harvey is currently conducting her study on why people use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS).  Since steroid use is a sensitive topic and its users are a hard-to-reach population we need as much help as we can get to get her survey distributed to as many as possible potential steroid users (aged 18 and over).  We, as her PhD supervisors, would like to ask you to alert friends, family, neighbours, health care professionals working with this target group, etc. to the existence of this survey.   Her questionnaire is available in paper version (from harveyo@bournemouth.ac.uk or telephone Edwin van Teijlingen at: 01202-961564).  However, the easiest and most anonymous way would be for people to complete it online using the following online link.

 

Thank you very much in advance!

Dr. Margarete Parrish

Dr. Steven Trenoweth

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

 

 

‘all professions are conspiracies against the laity’ George Bernard Shaw, The Doctor’s Dilemma, 1906

British social services, without doubt, represent one of the best systems of social work throughout the world for protecting children, supporting families where circumstances and experience make them vulnerable and ensuring people with mental health problems are appropriately sustained. That notwithstanding, social work services in Britain, and in England in particular, have journeyed towards a more individualistic model of care and treatment promoted primarily in the US, and the roots of community action and practice that are truly ‘social’ have become less visible. This places our social work services, excellent as they are in key areas, on the margins of international understandings of social work.

Perhaps the changes articulated above are understandable given our affaire de Coeur with neoliberal philosophies and our celebration of the cult of the individual derived from Margaret Thatcher’s governments, perpetuated by Tony Blair and continued aggressively by the Coalition government of the day.

These changes have significant impact on people and their communities, reassigning blame from social structure to the individuals themselves. Also, there remains a potentially negative impact on social work globally. Many countries have followed the US and British social work models to develop services, sometimes as a direct result of colonialism, sometimes because of implicit global power relations. There is a legitimate concern that adoption of an individualistic approach reflects a neo-imperialist agenda, with problems resulting for those communities and groups made invisible within this process.

Our new book Professional Social Work (edited by Jonathan Parker BU & Mark Doel Sheffield Hallam) seeks to address some of these challenges. We suggest there is such a thing as ‘professional’ social work, that it must be distinct from ‘unprofessional’ social work. Our thesis is that it is imperative that we reclaim social work and its former radicalism and iconoclastically confront governmental established priorities, emphasising humanity’s social condition rather than its atomisation. In the book, we grapple with the fraught and complex definitions, practices and understandings of ‘professionalism’, exploring how the concept can be used to justify differing perspectives.

Including the work of some of the foremost thinkers in contemporary British social work (Stephen Cowden & Gurnam Singh, Pat Higham, Graham Ixer, Ray Jones, Malcolm Payne, Gillian Ruch, Steven Shardlow, Roger Smith, Neil Thompson, Sue Whist, and Marion Bogo from Canada) we promote professional social work practices that are relational, critical and reflexive, that challenge and help people and their communities to reconstruct themselves in their chosen ways.