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Social workers’ experiences of being cared for by their clients Alexander, Carla Elizabeth

Abstract

The focus of this study is the experience of participating social workers of being cared for by their clients. The findings suggest several theoretical propositions that may be applied to enhance the way in which social work articulates the professional social worker-client relationship. Participants describe the nature of this enhancement as an increased awareness and appreciation of the potential benefits to both clients and themselves when they are open to receiving the care that a client may choose to offer. Further, the context of the professionalization of the social worker-client relationship plays a significant role in making this openness to giving and receiving care or engaging in reciprocal relationships a subversive activity for social workers. The summary propositions are grounded in both the analysis of the experiences described by practicing social workers and contemporary cultural human development theory.

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