Managing at a distance in social work and social care

Ray Jones


Managers are dependent on those with whom they work to behave and act in ways which promote organisational performance, and the experience of those who use the organisation’s services is primarily shaped by the front-line workers with whom they are in contact. But managers are often not present alongside front-line workers, and this is especially so within social work and social care services. For senior managers in particular, they may be located away from front-line teams and have only limited contact with front-line workers. The issue then arises of how to have an impact and influence even when geographically remote and unseen. Drawing on the author’s experience of front-line to senior management, this paper reflects on what works in managing and leading at a distance, focussing on enabling, empowering and facilitating front-line workers and re-balancing from an overwhelming focus on direction and control.


<i>social work</i>;<i>social care</i>;<i>management</i>;<i>leadership</i>;<i>self-actualisation</i>;<i>performance</i>

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