Reflections on Identity: the Prerequisites for Professional Strength and Creativity


Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference Writing in 1942, as America faced the crisis of joining World War II, Bertha Reynolds argued "The best preparation for adapting to the social work of the future, or to its absence if the good life of that time has no need for it, is to see it now, without illusions, as a part of our own time, and to face what we have with an active determination to be flexible enough ourselves so that we do not hold back its growth into something else". Sixty years later, these words resonate, at a time of what might be describes as ‘perpetual crisis’, within the profession and in the broader society within which social work is defined and practiced. This presentation offers social work practitioners and educators the opportunity to reflect on the context, social, economic, political and spiritual, local and global, that shapes social work practice. It asks: 1. What measures, personal, professional and organisational, must be implemented for practitioners to ‘hold the faith’ as brokers of hope for the poor and marginalised in this fluid, contested and arguably risk saturated practice environment; 2. What new (and perhaps old but neglected) capacities and/or philosophies can assist and nourish them; and 3. What educational strategies, pre- and post-qualifying, are necessary to develop the intellectual rigour, emotional strength and integrity necessary for empowered and creative practice. Bertha Capon Reynolds (1942) Learning and Teaching in the Practice of Social Work National Association of Social Workers, Silver Spring; Russell & Russell, New York

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CreatorsBrenda Clare
Added02 Mar 2011 14:16
KeywordsUKOER, SWAPBox, Identity, Social Work, Best Practice, Educational Strategies, Professional Strength and Creativity
LicenseCreative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0


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