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Through the course of studying social work and beyond it can be difficult to take a step back and reflect upon what it is to be a social worker, such are the demands of the process of qualification and the role itself. Using this as a starting point, How to be a Social Worker critically examines the knowledge base of social work - from human growth and development to social work research - and explores how your own values, principles and experience combine to shape your social work identity and practice alongside this. Stimulating your thinking in new ways, both about yourself and your life as a social worker, this book: * Uses a number of innovative exercises and case studies to help you to actively apply theory to practice. * Encourages reflexive thinking to support you in developing your own social work identity. * Considers the ways in which your social work identity can be maintained when working alongside other professional groups. Linked to a range of core modules on pre-qualifying social work programmes but written also for those practitioners committed to nurturing their own social work identities, How to be a Social Worker is a must have text from one of social work's most up-and-coming authors. Priscilla Dunk-West is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of South Australia, Australia. A sociologist and social worker, Priscilla has held university appointments in both Australia and England, teaching across a wide range of modules on the Social Work curriculum.
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Table of Contents

Introduction.- 1. The Social Work Self.- 2. Human Development.- 3. Communication Skills.- 4. Social Work Theory.- 5. Everyday Ethics.- 6. Practice Learning in Organisational Settings.- 7. Research in Social Work.- 8. 'Doing' Social Work: Constituting the Professional Self.

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There are many introductory textbooks available in social work, but How to be a Social Worker is unique because of how it manages to combine scholarship and deep intelligence with practical relevance. It skilfully draws on a wide range of theories from sociology, psychology, and social work itself and applies them in a highly accessible but never simplistic way to practice and the challenges of acquiring a professional identity in social work. It deserves to be an instant bestseller.' - Harry Ferguson, Professor of Social Work, University of Nottingham, UK 'This is a highly readable and practical first-steps introduction to doing the job of social work. The content is eminently usable and digestible in a way that will equip students with essential ideas and knowledge and an appreciation of the importance of thought and reflection in doing social work.' - Martin Sheedy, Programme Leader for Social Work, Liverpool John Moores University, UK 'This text provides students and practitioners with a critical account of the importance of self and professional identity within social work and offers valuable opportunities to challenge assumptions, reflect and review what it means to be an effective professional in the 21st century.' - Steve Hothersall, Head of Social Work Education, Edge Hill University, UK 'A useful exploration of the development of the professional self in social work, particularly for students.' - Sharlene Nippercress, Lecturer in Social Work, Deakin University, Australia 'This book will be a useful reference for those contemplating a career in social work through to those newly employed. In particular, the case studies used throughout are interesting and illustrate the complexity of social work and the dilemmas faced on a daily basis.' - Louise Houston, Practice Educator in Social Work, University of Plymouth, UK 'This is an extremely well laid out, easy to read book which came in particularly useful when I was writing an assignment on communication skills in social work. It was a valuable tool in helping me to understand the theories I was drawing on during my first placement setting, too.' - Matthew Caunce, Year 2 BA Social Work student, Lancaster University, UK 'This book provides students with a clear framework and foundation for developing critical and reflective practice through their study, future training and professional careers. I wish I had a copy when I was qualifying!' - Ronika Begum, Newly Qualified Social Worker, UK 'Overall, an ambitious book that provides a useful framework for beginning students and ties together the many threads required in a social work text. - Emily Keddell, University of Otago, New Zealand

About the Author

Priscilla Dunk-West is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of South Australia, Australia. A sociologist and social worker, Priscilla has held university appointments in both Australia and England, teaching across a wide range of modules on the Social Work curriculum; her research interests include everyday sexuality and sociology and social theory in social work.

Reviews

'There are many introductory textbooks available in social work, but How to be a Social Worker is unique because of how it manages to combine scholarship and deep intelligence with practical relevance. It skilfully draws on a wide range of theories from sociology, psychology, and social work itself and applies them in a highly accessible but never simplistic way to practice and the challenges of acquiring a professional identity in social work. It deserves to be an instant bestseller.' - Harry Ferguson, Professor of Social Work, University of Nottingham, UK 'This is a highly readable and practical first-steps introduction to doing the job of social work. The content is eminently usable and digestible in a way that will equip students with essential ideas and knowledge and an appreciation of the importance of thought and reflection in doing social work.' - Martin Sheedy, Programme Leader for Social Work, Liverpool John Moores University, UK 'This text provides students and practitioners with a critical account of the importance of self and professional identity within social work and offers valuable opportunities to challenge assumptions, reflect and review what it means to be an effective professional in the 21st century.' - Steve Hothersall, Head of Social Work Education, Edge Hill University, UK 'A useful exploration of the development of the professional self in social work, particularly for students.' - Sharlene Nippercress, Lecturer in Social Work, Deakin University, Australia 'This book will be a useful reference for those contemplating a career in social work through to those newly employed. In particular, the case studies used throughout are interesting and illustrate the complexity of social work and the dilemmas faced on a daily basis.' - Louise Houston, Practice Educator in Social Work, University of Plymouth, UK 'This is an extremely well laid out, easy to read book which came in particularly useful when I was writing an assignment on communication skills in social work. It was a valuable tool in helping me to understand the theories I was drawing on during my first placement setting, too.' - Matthew Caunce, Year 2 BA Social Work student, Lancaster University, UK 'This book provides students with a clear framework and foundation for developing critical and reflective practice through their study, future training and professional careers. I wish I had a copy when I was qualifying!' - Ronika Begum, Newly Qualified Social Worker, UK 'Overall, an ambitious book that provides a useful framework for beginning students and ties together the many threads required in a social work text. - Emily Keddell, University of Otago, New Zealand

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