Restoring Connections: Social Workers' Practice Wisdom towards Achieving Social Justice

Carol Irizarry, Jay Marlowe, Lorna Hallahan, Michael Bull

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    'Restoring Connections' was an action-research study that examined social work practice by focusing upon resilience and reconciliation with people who have experienced traumatic loss arising from social injustice or institutional abuse. The project examines the ways in which social workers can foster links and restore connections between the experiences of people's private experience of loss with public and structural issues. This research served as a means of understanding personal trauma arising from unjust social policy and practice, and how such affected people seek and obtain social justice. A focus group of social work practitioners met to discuss questions aimed at eliciting their practice wisdom about moving personal testimony associated with interpersonal practice towards the public sphere. The social justice insights and questions resulting from this focus group are examined using Finn and Jacobson's 'Just Practice Framework' and Margalit's writings about a decent society. The findings from this group support previous studies that achieving social justice in social work practice remains a difficult but integral concept in our work. This paper concludes with suggestions for strengthening socially just processes and practices in social work education and professional development through a stronger focus on the concepts of history and possibility.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1855-1871
    Number of pages17
    JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


    • Reconciliation
    • Resilience
    • Social justice
    • Social work
    • Trauma


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