Dilemmas and conflicting pressures in social work practice.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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On the basis of 102 texts in which social workers describe their experiences from and reflections on their own practice, we identify and analyse a number of conflicting pressures and dilemmas social workers often encounter in their practice. The social workers describe how they have to balance between providing care and implementing policy, while also helping people, exercising control, and being loyal to both clients, colleagues and authorities. The article sheds light on how ideological, organisational and economic factors affect social work practice, and how social workers’ relations and collaboration with different actors often lead to conflicting loyalties. By exploring the contradictions and dilemmas that arise in and influence social work, this article can provide insight into the factors that cause conflicting pressures.