Social Work and Disability: Old and New Directions
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Prior to 1970 help for handicapped people and their families was really only available through the health service (medical social workers) or voluntary organisations such as the Invalid Children’s Aid Association and the Spastics Society. A few local authority health departments set up professional social work services in the 1950s, staffed mainly by medical social workers and in some cases occupational therapists as well. Welfare departments in the pre-Seebohm days also offered services to the physically handicapped, but as most did not employ trained social workers little was done beyond material help, information-giving, while some provision was made for residential care. However, the Seebohm Report, local government reorganisation and the Chronically Sick and Disable Persons Act 197 was supposed to change all that and usher in a new era. Just what this has meant as far as social work with disable people is concerned will thus be a major theme of this book.
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