The fourfold neoliberal impact on social work and why this matters in times of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Ornellas, Abigail ; Engelbrecht, Lambert ; Atamturk, Elvan (2020)

CITATION: Ornellas, A., Engelbrecht, L. & Atamturk, E. 2020. The fourfold neoliberal impact on social work and why this matters in times of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Social Work, 56(3):235-249, doi:10.15270/56-4-854.

The original publication is available at https://socialwork.journals.ac.za

Article

While social welfare policy forms a cornerstone of the social work profession, economic policy and its interactions often remain distant and of academic interest only. In this paper the authors argue that understanding how economic policy is impacting upon the profession is important for its day-to-day practice. This has become ever more apparent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affirmed social work as an essential service. In particular, the authors argue that the global impact of neoliberal economics on the day-to-day practices of social workers is fourfold in terms of the marketisation, consumerisation, managerialisation and deprofessionalisation of social work.

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