Robert Adams was one of the most successful and highly respected authors of his generation. His death on New Year’s Eve at the age of 70 therefore means that the world of human services is now much the poorer.
He was a prolific author and editor, with his work being extremely well received in social work and social care and the human services more broadly. He shared with me and many others a commitment to trying to make sure that social work was not seen as something separate from the wider field of intervening in human problems. In all this his compassion and integrity came shining through.
Jo Campling, the renowned publishing adviser, was keen that Robert and I should work together, as she described us as kindred spirits. Two planned projects on which Robert and I could collaborate both collapsed through no fault of our own, so we never did get chance to work together directly, although I did have chapters published in several of his edited collection books. But, more importantly, we did become friends.
Robert had a long and varied career, but in whatever field he worked he was well aware of the importance of values and of the need to act in accordance with them. His complete consistency in this was a key part of what made him such a special person and such an asset to our profession.
In addition to his very impressive human services publishing track record, Robert was also a crime writer, producing several crime novels that were well received. This is further evidence of what a talented and resourceful man he was.
Sadly not everyone in the caring professions is a caring person, but Robert certainly was. If ever there was a role model for being a member of the caring professions Robert was it. I personally will miss Robert a great deal, but more significantly, the field of human services education will miss him immensely. Thankfully, Robert leaves an extensive legacy of a range of excellent publications that will offer important insights to current and future generations of students, practitioners and managers.
Dr Neil Thompson