Trying to See Round Corners offers honest and largely unedited glimpses into the world of social work in the late 20th century. Illustrated by the professional practice of Colin Millwood, an enthusiastic but otherwise green social worker, it coincides with the early beginnings of his arrival at his local Social Services Department. That had brought together three hitherto separate aspects of social care – to elderly and disabled people, to children and families and to mental health networks respectively.
Slotting together three very different elements of social care, to less than homogeneous groups of people, had appeared to many to have been the product of hope and expectation rather than one of applied science. It also heralded the arrival of ‘generic’ social workers, like Colin, in providing help and support across that wide range of social need. Colin, however, soldiers on earnestly, under the guidance of an experienced supervisor, making generally satisfactory progress, sometimes punctuated by lighter moments among less successful episodes.