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Social welfare trends in western societies: Privatisation and the challenge to social work

Abstract

© 2015 CSIC. The paper analyses several key features of the changing landscape of modern welfare states, the major the social forces driving this change, and how change is pertinent to the future of social work practice. The social forces driving change include structural factors such as the demographic transition and globalisation of the economy, as well as sociopolitical variables that involve an understanding of the unanticipated effects of social policies and the increased value attributed to the private sector. The central characteristics of change include a shift in policies away from the protection of labor and toward the promotion of work and the increasing use of the private sector for the production and delivery of social services. The privatisation of social welfare and its implications for social work practice are examined in the light of the challenges in negotiating service contracts.

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