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The Business Case for Social Work with Adults: A Discussion Paper

The care and support White Paper, Caring for our Future, says: "Social workers have a crucial role to play in the reformed care and support system." The College of Social Work agrees, but in a climate of austerity social work must be able to show not just that it makes a unique contribution to the lives of service users but that it makes financial sense too.

The "business case" for social work with adults must demonstrate to employers that it is a false economy to scrap social work posts without first taking care to ensure that the short-term savings are not outweighed by the long-term costs. The point of this discussion paper is to indicate where social workers fit into modern models of care and sketch the outlines of an argument that the cost-benefit analysis comes out in their favour.