Social workers have always been directly concerned with the impact of poverty on the lives of service users. Yet practical ways of making a difference to these circumstances have diminished, rather than strengthened over the past twenty years. This paper considers recent developments in credit union services, drawing on research carried out in Wales. It argues that, both in terms of convenient saving and affordable credit, such unions now provide new ways in which help can be offered to least well off communities. A critically engaged social work, the paper suggests, needs to re-engage with such everyday tools for making a difference in the lives of those who most need such assistance.
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