Dr. Katherine Bird is an independent sociologist based in Berlin. She has worked in both academia and an NGO for families, focusing in recent years on parenting support for disadvantaged families. She is interested in the transfer of knowledge between academics and practitioners and is currently cooperating with both to develop a parenting support programme for refugees.
Given the substantial differences between the UK and Germany in terms of both their welfare state regimes and in the portrayal of disadvantaged families in public discourse, it would be logical to also expect different approaches to social work with families in these two countries. However, in presenting the Troubled Families Programme in the UK and Sozialpädagogische Familienhilfe in Germany the article aims to highlight the extensive similarities in social work practice. In the same way as theories and practice of social work are increasingly crossing borders, changes in the composition of families are also a growing challenge to social work in many countries. The article illustrates some of the questions confronting practitioners working with multi-household families with a real-life example.
social work with families, welfare state regimes, Sozialpädagogsische Familienhilfe, Troubled Families Programme, social pedagogy, triple mandate of social work, Germany, the United Kingdom