Social work is currently undergoing major change in its policies, organization and day-to-day practice and much has been written about the feminist presence in social work. In particular, feminist social work has focused on the role of women social workers in developing distinctive forms of practice, rooted in a commitment to egalitarian relationships with women service users. The State of Feminist Social Work challenges the limitations of this perspective.

Tracing key ideas in feminist social work from the 1970s through to the present day, and using data from interviews with female social workers, this book draws out tensions between the literature and the actual experience of female social workers. In doing so, it:

  • highlights the significance for feminists of social work's location in the state
  • enables the experiences of women social workers to be explored and placed within their structural context
  • opens up the possibility of diverse identities, identifications and stances amongst women social workers
  • critically examines the current state of feminist social work.

The State of Feminist Social Work provides an important appraisal of the subject and is essential reading for all those with an interest in feminism and social work theory, practice and education.

chapter |4 pages


chapter 1|11 pages

Feminist social work identity

chapter 3|10 pages

State social work

chapter 4|15 pages

Social work regimes

chapter 5|22 pages

Social work education

chapter 6|13 pages

Identities, identifications and stances

chapter 8|16 pages

Managerialism and practice

chapter 10|7 pages

The state of feminist social work