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Understanding Social Work

The everyday role of the social worker is to help improve the lives of people who are, in some form, struggling. It is a challenging role, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Now in its fourth edition Understanding Social Work continues to be the essential introduction to this complex field of practice. Getting to the heart of what social work is all about, it answers those questions that are fundamental to the role: What is social work? How is it carried out? What skills does it require? And what are the challenges? Whether you're considering a career in social work, already in training, or looking for a refresher guide, this book provides a picture of social work for what it truly is: its difficulties, its demands and its rewards. Written to engage and stimulate the reader, each chapter features: * Voice of experience boxes offering professional guidance and handy tips from experienced practitioners. * Practice focus features that illustrate the challenges of training and practising in social work, as well as ways of overcoming them. * Exercises that engage the reader with the content and test your knowledge. * A Guide to further learning that highlights key texts in the subject area.
Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Making Sense of Social Work.- 2. The Legal and Policy Context.- 3. The Knowledge Base.- 4. The Skills Base.- 5. The Value Base.- 6. Achieving Good Practice.- 7. Facing the Challenge.- 8. Conclusion.- Guide to Further Learning.- Appendix: Internet Resources.


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The beauty of this book is that it focuses on the core, cornerstone aspects of social work which tend to remain constant and consistent. The 'tweaks' of the content and updating of references are beneficial and helpful, as is the expansion of the Guides to further learning, and the inclusion of more online resources and exercises.' Adrian Black, Associate Tutor, University of East Anglia, UK 'Neil Thompson has an extremely accessible style. This text will not intimidate students, even those who may struggle to grasp more complex ideas. It is very easy to read and the chapters are constructed in a manner that students can dip in and out.' Lisa Revell, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Hull, UK 'What I would say about the book as a strength is its straightforward and accessible style which allows Social Work student readers to quickly identify the main themes of early years learning and ease themselves in to what Thompson emphasises is a complex and highly professional activity.' Mike Shepherd, Lecturer, Robert Gordon University, UK

About the Author

Neil Thompson is a highly respected writer, teacher and adviser, with over 35 years' experience in the people professions. He has held full or honorary professorships at four UK universities, and is now a sought-after trainer, consultant and conference speaker.

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