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Modernising social workCritical considerations$
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John Harris and Vicky White

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420060

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420060.001.0001

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date: 20 August 2017

This is the modern world! Working in a social services contact centre

This is the modern world! Working in a social services contact centre

Chapter:
(p.31) Two This is the modern world! Working in a social services contact centre
Source:
Modernising social work
Author(s):

Nigel Coleman

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847420060.003.0003

This chapter analyses the relationship between New Labour's modernisation agenda, managerialism, and information and communications technology (ICT), and then looks at the relationship between ICT and social work in a contact centre in the United Kingdom. It focuses on the experience of working in a contact centre as a social worker, and the role and identity of social workers in this context. The chapter also provides insights into how the contact-centre environment positions social workers in relation to service users and how the use of ICT affects work processes. Moreover, it considers what motivates social workers to work in this environment, their perceptions of occupational stress in this setting, and the effect of this model on their social-work skills. Finally, the chapter examines research in the public and private sectors to see what it has to offer in relation to the social-services context, before reflecting on the implications for social work in the future.

Keywords:   United Kingdom, New Labour, modernisation, managerialism, ICT, social work, contact centre, social workers, occupational stress, social services

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