A NEW book, written by two academics at the University of Worcester, aims to encourage social workers to get back to the ‘personal’ touch.

The work argues social work has become increasingly de-personalised in an era of managerialism and performance management, with many aspects of what were once known as the ‘personal social services’ having been lost.

Psychology and Social Work, is a timely reminder for social workers and other professionals that the personal and the individual should still be at the centre of everything they do.

Uniquely, the book has been written by two academics with extensive backgrounds in psychology and social work, who say that despite historic tensions between psychologists and social workers, the two disciplines can learn a lot from each other’s practices.

Dr Gabriela Misca, a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Worcester and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, said: “The news is constantly full of social problems – abuse of older people in care homes, child deaths or abuse, prison riots – plagued by difficulties of personality and organisational behaviour around issues of power, gender and the establishment.

“Psychologists are increasingly called upon to advise and intervene on a variety of social issues but are often very focused on individual psychological aspects. Meanwhile, often for reasons of time, targets and a lack of confidence, social workers are often neglecting the psychological complexities that lie beneath those families and individuals on their caseloads.

“This book is designed to encourage social workers to explore these complexities further, using research from applied psychology, and for psychologists to learn from their colleagues in social work about the wider social issues affecting individuals.”

Co-author Dr Peter Unwin, a senior lecturer in Social Work at the University of Worcester and Member of the British Association of Social Workers, added: “The book offers insights into the individual, family and organisation factors that lie behind our daily headlines and offers helpful pointers to better solutions, building on the insights and knowledge bases of psychology and social work."

For more information about the book visits http://politybooks.com