Centre for Social Work Practice

Relationship-based practice: emergent themes in social work literature

Relationship-based practice: emergent themes in social work literature

Published April 16, 2018


Dr. Richard Ingram and Dr. Mark Smith from the University of Dundee have written about emergent themes in relationship based practice. Although not all the literature is specific to Scotland in this instance, IRISS is an organisation that is committed to promoting positive outcomes for people who use Scotland’s social services and encourages access and dissemination for service innovation and improvement. By including a piece on relationship based practice there is recognition of the pivotal role relationship based practice plays in promoting positive outcomes.

  • There are compelling philosophical, policy and practice reasons to put relationships at the heart of social work

  • The importance of relationships is increasingly recognised in ‘people work’ but especially in social work and social care, across all domains of practice

  • Effective relationships are central to successful outcomes

  • Current policy directions in Scotland are rooted in the need for effective personal/professional relationships

  • Relationships are complex, requiring an awareness of ‘self’ and the negotiation of inter-personal boundaries

  • Current practice cultures can make it difficult to practise in properly relational ways and would require a radical shift for issues of power, agency and status to be addressed

To read more, please visit https://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/insights/relationship-based-practice-emergent-themes-social-work-literature

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