Current practice in the field was driven by the government White Paper 'Valuing People' (2001) which declared some radical aims for services with people with learning difficulties. Now somewhat compromised by the local authority austerity measures, the goals set by 'Valuing People' are nevertheless still important. This third edition seeks to confirm and strenghten social work values and priciples so that the progress and successes achieved by 'Valuing People' can continue. Case studies and activities draw out the key points and reinforce learning. Summaries of contemporary research are included, as are suggestions for further reading and coverage of current government guidance and policy documents.
By examining the varied roles that a social worker might undertake in this field, the authors portray a positive picture of working with people with learning difficulties: the achievements and satisfaction, and the learning and understanding that can be gained. They also highlight the need for recognition of vulnerability, the risk of isolation, oppression and abuse, and the continuing political struggle to establish and protect the rights of the individual.
Paul Williams has over 40 years' experience of working with people with learning difficulties. He was a founder member of the organisation 'Values into Action' which campaigned for rights, inclusion and community-based services for people with learning difficulties. He is co-author of books on self-advocacy and anti-oppressive practice. A former lecturer in social work at the University of Reading, he is now retired.
Michelle Evans has 14 years of practice in all areas of sensory need, including Deaf/deafness, visual impairment and Deafblindness. She has a first class honours degree in social work and has worked as a care manager in adult services and a social worker in children's services. She has a particular interest in methods of social research which contribute to raising sensory awareness in social work/ care management. She lectures social work students at London South Bank University and develops and delivers sensory awareness training to practitioners and managers.