Refusing to Listen

Refusing to Listen: Are We Failing the Needs of People with Alcohol and Drug Problems?

This paper argues that social work education has persistently failed to equip its social workers with the knowledge to work effectively with people with alcohol and drug problems.

In spite of continuing criticism of the profession’s unwillingness or inability to engage with substance use issues, social work education has failed to respond to the calls for better training on this subject, even when specific guidance has been issued about course content.

This results in a failure to meet the needs of our service users as well as social work staff who remain frustrated at their inability to intervene.

The paper explores the historical and current debate about social work training in relation to alcohol and drugs and identifies the barriers to its inclusion in qualifying and post-qualifying (PQ) curricula.

Finally it offers a strategy for improving social work training as well as an overview of programme content requirements.

Sarah Galvani. Social Work Education, Volume 26, Issue 7 October 2007 , pages 697 – 707



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