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Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Sarah Banks

Banks, S. (2014). Ethics. Bristol: Policy Press.

Author(s) from Durham


The past few years have seen a renewed interest in the subject of social work ethics. In this short form book, part of the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series, Sarah Banks argues that this can be seen as reflecting two very different agendas. On the one hand, it is part of a progressive movement which offers a critique of New Public Management (NPM), or managerialist, approaches through emphasising the role of social workers as active moral agents working for social justice. On the other hand, the growth of interest in ethics can be viewed as part of NPM, with codes of ethics a means of regulating and controlling the conduct of professionals and service users. She emphasises the importance of reclaiming professional ethics for social work, and outlines a preliminary framework for a situated ethics of social justice.