The editorial of the first edition of 'Case Con' (June 1970), which had the sub-title 'for revolutionary social work', stated that it had been produced "by an ad hoc group of radicals - social workers and social work teachers - whose dissatisfaction with the way social work is practised and taught has finally reached creative proportions." Its title derived from the belief that the problems social workers had to deal with could only be solved by replacing capitalism with socialism, as opposed to the casework approach of treating them as deviations from the norm. One of its prominent features was the extensive use of cartoons. It was produced by an editorial collective elected every six months at a national conference and had a number of local branches. It was also linked to the NALGO Action Group (NAG) of radical members of that union. In the 25th and final issue of late 1977, 'Public Con', a magazine for all welfare state workers, was proposed as a successor, but in 1978 it was decided to merge with the 'Fightback' bulletin against cuts in the National Health Service produced by the Hounslow Hospital Occupation Committee (see 1163/8).
Joseph Edward 'Ted' Brown was born on 29 April 1949. He worked as a local authority social worker, trainer, teacher and manager from 1976 to 2012. He was an active supporter of 'Case Con' during most of the magazine's existence. In the early and mid 1980s he registered for degrees researching 'Case Con', firstly at North East London Polytechnic and then at the University of Nottingham, but discontinued the research before registering again in the 1990s, firstly at the University of Bradford and then (with greater progress) at the University of Leeds.
Reference: Ted Brown and Chris Hanvey, 'A spirit of the times', article on the history of 'Case Con', 'Community Care', 9 Jul 1987; contextual note by Ted Brown in deposit file.