Social Work and Social Control in the Third Sector: Re-Educating Parents in the Voluntary Sector

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This paper considers the continued social policy emphasis on parenting and the measures in place to remedy ‘poor’ parenting. Drawing on primary research with parenting workers, the paper looks at the re-education of those subject to parenting interventions by examining philanthropic and state social control over families. This paper concentrates on how parenting workers negotiate delivering ‘social work’ via the concepts of welfare and empowerment, but which in reality are built on punitive and coercive means which focus on individual failings, not structural inequalities. The increasingly managerialised and punitive manner in which social interventions are delivered is considered and how this may be problematic particularly for voluntary organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-263
JournalPractice: Social Work in Action
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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