'I may not know who I am, but I know where I am from': The meaning of place in social work with children and families

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Jack, Gordon (2015)

Although social work around the world is understood to be a ‘person-in-environment’ activity, policy in UK places more emphasis on individual characteristics than on environmental influences on development and behaviour. This results in social work practice which rightly places a strong emphasis on children's attachments to their parents and other significant people, but which largely fails to recognize their attachments to important places in their lives. Evidence from a range of disciplines is used to demonstrate the fundamental links that exist between place, identity and well-being. The implications of this evidence for social work with children and families are explored, using practice examples to highlight some of the consequences of a lack of ‘place awareness’, as well as ways in which greater place awareness can be used to promote the well-being of children and families.
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