There is an excellent article from September 2012 in the British Journal of Social Workers by Dr Ray Jones of Kingston University – ‘The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Social Work and its Moment’
You can read the full article here.
The summary says:
Social work in the UK has had a torrid time, castigated for not protecting children from risk and cornered as the rationer of scarce resources for adults. Over the past sixty years, it has struggled to create a strong and appropriate professional space and its identity and role have remained contested. This paper recounts the debates and dilemmas which have encompassed and engrossed social work, but also recognises that there is now a stronger platform in the UK for social work as a profession. The paper notes what is special about social work and how it might be promoted.