About the author: Caroline Skehill presently works as a lecturer in the Department of Social Work, Queens University, Belfast, N. Ireland. This book was written while she was employed in the Department of Social Services, Trinity College, as a research officer. Her main research and teaching interests include the history of social work, child protection practices, community development and various theoretical perspectives relating to the nature of social work. Prior to working in Trinity College, Ms. Skehill worked as a professional social worker in the field of psychiatry and child protection.2004 0-7734-6405-0
This book is the first detailed history of child protection and welfare social work practice in the Republic of Ireland, providing a comprehensive and in-depth account of the development of social work within the child protection and welfare system in the Republic of Ireland. Drawing on a broad range of archival sources, the book illuminates the complex and often contradictory nature of child welfare practices over the period 1862-1991. The archival data provided in the book should provide an excellent starting point for persons interested in furthering the study of the nature of child welfare and/or social work in the Republic of Ireland.
The book applies a methodology of a history of the present in a rigorous manner, drawing from Foucault’s conceptualizations of archaeology, genealogy, and discourse. The book attempts to deconstruct and reconstruct the theorization of social work in ‘the social’ (Foucault, 1977; Donzelot, 1980, Parton, 1991) within the context of Irish social work. It is likely that both the methodological and theoretical aspects of this book, applied in such a grounded way, will be of great interest to a broad audience of social scientists and historians.1999 0-7734-8177-X
This volume provides the first comprehensive account of professional social work in Ireland, to contribute to a better understanding of its present form and nature. It considers the development of social work from the late 19th century to the present. In addition to analyzing the main shifts and continuities over this period, it also considers its surrounding conditions: the relationship between social work and philanthropy in its earlier phases, the impact of the Catholic Church on the development of Irish social work and the influence of the State over the shape and form of social work. In addition, it contributes to a debate about its present form and nature at a time when many uncertainties surround its future direction. For a reader outside of Ireland, in particular, the book provides insight into the cultural, political and social context within which Irish social work emerged over the past century.
“. . . this book is a must for all social workers and students of social work in Ireland. As the first of its kind it will also be of importance to those researching the origins of social work in Europe and throughout the English-speaking world. . . . there are many gems throughout the text. . . .” – British Journal of Social Work
“. . . as a groundbreaking survey, this book will in the meantime remain the authoritative source for students of Irish social work and for researchers who take up Skehill’s challenges to dig further into the puzzles of informing the present b reference to the past.” – International Social Work
“This book provides a detailed, well-documented account of ‘social work’ from the nineteenth century until the present day and is therefore an invaluable source for students, lecturers, researcher and professionals who are trying to understand social work practices and the profession within Ireland. . . . Skehill skillfully draws on available source material to document how the State, Catholic Church and civic institutions have influenced the development of social work in Ireland.” – European Journal of Social Work