Social work in Russia and the UK: What are we exchanging?
Links between British and Russian social work agencies and training courses are increasing, opening up both mutual opportunities and challenges. The article describes the experience of the author and others during recent visits as guests of a social work course in St Petersburg. It explores what was learnt about the underpinnings, aspirations and struggles of the emerging social work profession in Russia, and the effect on us as British social work professionals. It explores cross-cultural and ethical issues, and considers questions which arise for the future of exchange schemes. These include the complex relationship between the export of political ideology and economic systems to former Soviet countries, and the export of welfare ideology and methods.