Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

Death of Robert Adams, writer and social work academic

with one comment

IRobert Adams’m sad to hear of the death on New Year’s Eve of Robert Adams, my long-time co-editor and co-author, with Lena Dominelli. I have known him for forty years, since he was running a Barnardo’s youth project in Pontefract and I was an area social services officer, responsible social services in for a mining community nearby and involved in intermediate treatment for young people as it was called then.

The photo is from a joint project we were involved in between Teesside University and Uzbek universities in 2010. He worked hard with colleagues there to develop social work education, and was also involved in palliative care there, but was most strongly associated with Humberside Polytechnic/University which later became the University of Lincoln. He was also involved in generating the open learning courses and publications of the Open Polytechnic project, and his edited Foundations in Health and Social Care text many years later reflected a similar concern for well-thought-through learning materials for beginning students that were also intellectually challenging. He was a visiting professor ion a variety of places including Lund University and the University of the West of Scotland, where, in 2008, he delivered the Morag Faulds memorial lecture.
Link to information about Robert from Teesside University
Link to Teesside blog, with posts from Robert
Link to Robert’s Wikipedia entry:

Most of all Robert saw himself as a writer, and he was also an active publisher and a leading member of the Writers’ Guild. Many social workers will not know of his crime novels and stories, and there were also children’s books, poetry and other writings.
Link to the Writers’ Guild obituary

Among his successful professional writing were two important research books on protests in prisons, drawing on his early career in the Prison Service, and on protests in schools. The prison riots book received high praise from his Honour Judge Stephen Tumin, the former Inspector of Prisons: ‘This is among the handful of prison books – they include George Jackson’s Soledad Brother and Michael Ignatieff’s A Just Measure of Pain – which moves and informs. The sociology of prison riots, the causes of outbreak and the nature of the reactions, are subjects which have been largely ignored and need to be understood by those who either study criminal justice or work in the system.’
Link to Protests by Pupils: Empowerment, Schooling and the State (Falmer, 1991)
Link to Prison Riots in Britain and the USA (Palgrave Macmillan, 1994)

Among his best-known social work texts were the long-running book on empowerment, used over the generations by students, and the three large, frequently-updated books (known by those involved as ‘Big Macs’ because they were published by Palgrave Macmillan) edited by Adams, Lena Dominelli and myself. These aimed to provide a politically and socially critical perspective on learning materials for people entering social work. We were working on a further revision and his last email, sent on from his computer after his death, demonstrated a continuing lively and creative interest in social work and its future.
You can search for these and many of his other social work books on the Palgrave Macmillan website.

Our editorial meetings across the years were argumentative, funny, acerbic and creative. We all benefited from his quiet strength, his thoughtful radical perspective on the world, and his creativity, imagination and sense of fun. I am sad that Lena and I will never experience another.


Written by Malcolm Payne

9 January 2015 at 12:44 pm

Posted in death and living

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. So sorry about your friend Malcolm. David

    Sent from my iPhone


    David Oliviere

    9 January 2015 at 11:25 pm

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