A personal reflection : in for the long haul

Ainsworth, Frank (2021) A personal reflection : in for the long haul. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 20 (2). ISSN 2976-9353

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In the early 1970s Frank Ainsworth was appointed to a lectureship in social work at the University of Dundee. Shortly after, he met Leon Fulcher, an American, at a conference in Aberdeen. Fulcher was at that time a lecturer in social work at the University of Stirling. Their mutual interest was residential care for children and youth, and this is what they were hired to teach. This article documents their scholarship that commenced in Scotland. In some measure it also documents the relationship and careers of Ainsworth and Fulcher that have both coincided and diverged across the years. They met at a time when the education of residential workers was moving away from specialist courses and was being merged with mainstream social work education, the responsibility of the former Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work. For some this was seen as less than successful as far as the professionalisation of residential services for children and youth was concerned, at least in England. Ainsworth and Fulcher made important moves in career and country of residence in the mid-1980s: Fulcher to New Zealand as Professor of Social Work at the Victoria University of Wellington; Ainsworth to Australia as Head of School of Social Work at the Philip Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Both have retained an active scholarly role, together or with others, in relation to residential services for children and youth. Even after 40 years this continues. This article is a personal reflection on Ainsworth's and Fulcher's personal and professional journeys.

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