Promoting systemic thinking, and therapeutic and relationship based approaches in social work


Promoting systemic thinking, and therapeutic and relationship-based approaches in Social Work

The First Editorial from the Journal of Social Work Practice

Resource: Editorial

Author: Journal Editors

Published: Journal of Social Work Practice, Volume 1, Issue 1 (1983)

Below is a reproduction of the first ever editorial of the Journal of Social Work Practice. Written in 1983, it asks some questions of the coming decades. Are these questions still relevant today? 



The creation of a new social work journal at a time of retrenchment may seem like behaving like the proverbial ostrich, but to many social workers the need for a practice-based journal has been urgent ever since the demise of the excellent British Journal of Psychiatric Social Work in 1970. Our new journal aims to provide a forum for social work practitioners, supervisors, students, teachers and managers to present detailed analyses of their case material.  It is our belief that social work theory can only emerge out of a precise description of social work practice.

The social work profession is going through trying times facing the uncertainties of the future as this century draws to a close. What will be the shape of social work in the 1980’s and 1990’s? Can we hold on to the well-tried essentials of good social work practice and simultaneously adjust to and control our challenging environment?  Need the arguments always be practice vs. management? theory vs. practice? casework vs. community?

GAPS has shown great courage in taking the initiative (and the risks) in launching a journal intended for the whole profession. In giving complete editorial independence to the Editor and his Board, GAPS ensures that the journal will be an area of expression and debate for the profession as a whole.  The Editorial Board, the Panel of Assessors and the Corresponding Editors abroad have been selected to reflect the broadest range of social work interest.  The journal will not be an academic journal, nor primarily a research journal, although articles from these felids will be welcome.  The journal is concerned with practice and therefore articles will receive favourable attention, which include good descriptions of case material.

Vol. 1, No. 1  November 1983


Submit a Comment

Writing for the GAPS Website

Do you have an idea for a short article you could write for GAPS?

We offer an authors' fee of £400 per article.

Practice Development Bursaries

GAPS Members may apply for bursaries to fund, for example, conference attendance, setting up a work discussion group, running a workshop, or other practice development opportunities.

Journal of Social Work Practice

More about the journal...

Centre for Social Work Practice Legacy Fund

The legacy fund was launched on 9th November 2021... find out more...