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Article

Olive Stevenson – a champion for social work. Book review of her memoir Reflections on a Life in Social Work

Author

Nigel Elliott

Originally published

August 15, 2017

Number of pages

7

Abstract

NOTE: This article is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of Social Work Practice, Vol. 29, No. 4, December 2015, pp. 487-490.

About Nigel Elliott

I qualified as a social worker and probation officer in 1978 and most of my practice experience has been in probation. I have moved between practice, management, in-service training and education, concluding with a lectureship in social work at Kingston University, from which I retired in 2010.

I am committed to relationship-based practice as the heart of social work. Within probation, I experienced with dismay shifts to an instrumentalist and managerialist practice environment. Through practitioner research and writing, I set out to defend relationship-based practice and chart the shifts in policy, practice and ethics that I witnessed.

With retirement, I wished to remain engaged with social work, which offers so much yet is undermined by de-personalised proceduralism. David Howe says: ‘on the front-line at least, there remains an appetite, hunger even, for more emotionally intelligent, relationship-based practices’. GAPS supports such practices, helps assuage this hunger: long may it flourish.

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Olive Stevenson – a champion for social work. Book review of her memoir Reflections on a Life in Social Work

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