Social work and social investment : cutting the connection between cause and consequence

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Kenkel, David
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Conference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedings
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
causes of poverty
social inequality
welfare policy
social investment
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Kenkel, D. (2017, September). Social Work and Social Investment - cutting the connection between cause and consequence. Claire Margaret Dale (Ed.), Proceedings: Summit – Beyond Social Investment ISBN: 978-0-9941132-8-3 © September 2017 (pp.31 - 37).
As a profession, social work has always been concerned with both the features of society that cause social deprivation and the consequences of that deprivation; particularly in light of what is known about the impact of poverty and iniquity on measures of well-being that include the capacity to easily do right by one’s children. The art of effective social work is relational; combining skilled intervention at an individual level with acute awareness of, and willingness to challenge, inequitable social forces that can push families to the kinds of dangerous margins that threaten children’s well-being. The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), 2016, has this to say about what social work is: Structural barriers contribute to the perpetuation of inequalities, discrimination, exploitation and oppression. The development of critical consciousness through reflecting on structural sources of oppression and/or privilege, on the basis of criteria such as race, class, language, religion, gender, disability, culture and sexual orientation, and developing action strategies towards addressing structural and personal barriers are central to emancipatory practice where the goals are the empowerment and liberation of people. In solidarity with those who are disadvantaged, the profession strives to alleviate poverty, liberate the vulnerable and oppressed, and promote social inclusion and social cohesion As can be seen – an awareness of the impacts of structural inequity and willingness to act on both the impacts and the causes of structural inequity are central to the social work identity. This Summit was proudly supported by Child Poverty Action Group, and the University of Auckland’s Centre for Applied Research in Economics and Retirement Policy and Research Centre
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)
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