• ‘It’s more than confusing our b’s and d’s’: a commentary on the lack of understanding of the needs of social work students who have dyslexia

      Gant, Valerie; Hewson, Michael; University of Chester
      Drawing on principles of auto-ethnography, this commentary offers for discussion reflections on a personal reaction to some of the struggles experienced when navigating the English social work placement landscape for a student who has a diagnosis (or label) of dyslexia/dyspraxia. Commenting on some of the challenges faced in order to try and survive the placement experience necessary to complete the programme, this account makes recommendations and suggestions for educators in university and in practice.
    • Universal credit, Lone mothers and poverty: Some context and challenges for social work with children and families

      Carey, Malcolm; University of Chester
      Universal Credit is a streamlined benefits delivery system initially introduced in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2008. Conditionality-based welfare policies are increasingly international in scale, and are now widely adopted by neoliberal governments on the basis that paid employment offers the most efficacious route out of poverty for citizen-subjects. Numerous studies suggest otherwise, and highlight their negative impact upon the social rights, lived experiences, and attempts to alleviate poverty for service users. This article analyses the reformed benefit system and wider workfare policies effect upon lone mothers, including as a consequence of engagement with an ever more stigmatizing benefit system, and associated risks posed by sanctions or precarious low-paid employment. It highlights some of the consequences for social work with children and families of Universal Credit: including ongoing tensions and challenges created for the profession by the punitive policies of the workfare-orientated centaur state.