The slideshow below is of my address to the PSA Social Work Action Network conference on 1st and 2nd of September 2016 at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand. I talked about the way in which social services are applying an increasingly punitive approach to the most disadvantaged people in our society.
This is apparent in both social security and child welfare reform. The target is the people rather than the economic system which produces inequality in neoliberal societies like ours. This approach is narrow and cynical and it has its roots in the English Poor Law or 1834 and the Charitable Aid rhetoric of the Nineteenth Century. Social workers know better than this and we need to tell the counter story. Individually and collectively we need to ask ourselves the question, what is to be done? We are not powerless. We have a voice and we are morally obliged to organise, educate and advocate for social services that are progressive and humane.
Image Credit |Erik Campo