From Church Work to Social Work and Beyond: A Study of the Involvement of the Churches in the Social Work Profession in Britain

Whiting, Russell Lewis. 2003. From Church Work to Social Work and Beyond: A Study of the Involvement of the Churches in the Social Work Profession in Britain. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The study is an examination of the professional social work carried out under the auspices of the churches in Britain. Research is based on a literature review, a small number of unpublished documents and for the most part on material obtained from 28 interviews with church social workers and church social work managers, some of whom are now retired, many of whom are still active in their places of work. The time frame is within the living memory of the interviewees, the last 40 years or so, although the study is very much concerned with how the earlier history shaped different aspects of the work.

Part One begins, through the literature review, by tracing the origins of church social work in late 19th and early 20th Century church philanthropy. It moves on to survey what is suggested was the core manifestation of church social work in Britain in the mid 20th Century, moral welfare work. The review concludes with an examination of what has happened to church social work since the demise of moral welfare work. Published material on church social work dries up after the early 1970s. A central aim of the study is therefore to provide updated information on the current situation and the second chapter, a collection of extended interview extracts, allows space for church social workers to do this themselves.

Part Two of the study consists of analysis of four different aspects of church social work: its reputation, its organisation, its theology and its place within modern society. Material drawn from the interviews is used to supplement and update analysis of published works.

Part Three is a review of the study. It contains an outline of the methodological framework and a self-critique of choices made. A final chapter draws together the conclusions of the study.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00028698

Keywords:

social work, churches, Britain

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Social Work

Date:

2003

Item ID:

28698

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2020 14:29

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2020 14:30

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/28698

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