Keynote Speaker

October 13, 2021 | 09:00 – 10:00 (CET Time)
Language: English

Topic: ”Why social work is important”

Contributor: Malcolm Payne

Social work has a long history and is available in most countries across the world, and yet many social workers see it as devalued and deprofessionalised in current economic and political policy, and its credibility doubted in social science analysis and higher education.

The 20th century project to attain professional status and influence in the care, development, education or helping services sectors of the economy continues has not dispersed reservations about its role and status, which derive from neoliberal economic and political social thought. I argue that, while social work is part of a shared service territory of professions and services, it makes a unique contribution based on its two-fold purpose to achieve positive social change through helping interventions in social relations.

Its importance derives from it focus on the social, its humanistic commitment to personal and social anti-oppression, equality and justice, its holism and it balance of individualistic responsiveness, interpersonal interactive skills and social science knowledge and understanding.

Malcolm Payne

Malcolm Payne has professorial roles at Manchester Metropolitan University and Kingston University London, and was formerly Director of Psychosocial and Spiritual Care, St Christopher’s Hospice, London. He is the author of many books and articles, including Modern Social Work Theory (5th Ed, 2021), How to Use Social Work Theory in Practice (Policy Press, 2020) and most recently the A-Z of Social Work Theory (Sage, September 2021). Other recent publications focus on citizenship approaches to end-of-life care and social work with older people.




Modern Social Work Theory 5th Edition, 2021

Malcolm Payne: Our professional imagination and our client’s needs set an agenda for us in every piece of practice that we undertake. I want to show how theories can guide and enthuse us, enhancing that practice achieves the outcomes that policy and law in our country set for us. 


How to Use Social Work Theory in Practice: An Essential Guide First Edition, 2020

Malcolm Payne: The concepts or theories vary in what they offer the social work practitioners. Some are presented as a sequence of steps, while others offer more of an approach or set of values about how to practice according to their premises.