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Essential Theory for Social Work Practice

Essential Theory for Social Work Practice

Second Edition

December 2015 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Focusing on what students really need to know, this book breaks down all of the key social work theory covered across a students' training, demystifying complex concepts by demonstrating their application to real-life practice. Multiple case studies highlight applied theory in different practice settings and across issues and challenges that students might face, while self-assessment exercises, practice notes, concise chapter summaries and discussion points help to consolidate their understanding.

New chapters bring the book right up to date and include Relationship-based Work, The Importance of Language, Political Perspectives and Environmental Intervention.

Written by two well-established and expert authors, this is the 'must-have' theory text for all social work students.

What This Book is About
Chapter 1: Introduction and Using This Book
Chapter 2: What Do We Mean by Social Work Theory?
Chapter 3: The Use and Abuse of Theory
Social Work Roles
Chapter 4: The Roles We Play
Chapter 5: Relationship-Based Work
Chapter 6: The Use of Authority and Power
Chapter 7: Advocacy and Empowerment
Chapter 8: Working with Others: Working in a Team
Chapter 9: Environmental Intervention
Past, Present and Future
Chapter 10: Which Way to Look?
Chapter 11: The Power of the Past
Chapter 12: Searching the Present
Chapter 13: Exploring the Future
Chapter 14: The Importance of Language
Chapter 15: Working with People towards becoming Unstuck
The Wider Context
Chapter 16: Systems and System Levels
Chapter 17: Families as Systems
Chapter 18: Groups and Communities
Chapter 19: Political Perspectives
It’s All Very Well in Theory...
Chapter 20: The Question of Evidence and the Problem of Uncertainty
Chapter 21: Talk and Substance
Chapter 22: The Limits of Theory
Chapter 23: Current Contexts and Contemporary Models of Social Work Practice

This book has many strengths and is highly recommended for those interested in social work. Firstly, it is written in a fluent and straightforward manner, making it easy for readers to understand the essential elements of social work and the relationship between theory and practice. Secondly, the authors re-examine the multiple roles of social workers, especially their control agent roles, offering a new perspective on social work’s function in advocacy and empowerment. Instead of solely performing the traditional role of caring, social work is urged to recognise its power and use it
appropriately. The authors also establish theoretical connections among the past, the present and the future, inspiring readers to reflect on the development of social work in a global context. Lastly, the book includes various exercises and practice notes that are helpful for both social work teachers and students. It is an accessible resource for understanding social work and enhancing reflective and critical thinking. The book sheds light on the challenges of professional development faced by social work and reminds us of the importance of locating its identity in modern society amidst rapid changes in a vast policy agenda.

Shanshan Hong
Jimei University, China
China Journal of Social Work

the text book provides good information for our students to integrate theories into practice

Mr simon ng
Social Work, Gratia Christian College
June 28, 2023

Excellent book to help students relate theory to practice - a key aid in social work placements,.

Mr Richard Watts
Faculty of Health and Sciences, Staffordshire University
February 24, 2017

A wide range of theory presented in an attractive and accessible manner that is appropriate for Year One social work students.

Dr Robert J Hagan
Department of Sociology & Applied Social Studies, University of Ulster
November 3, 2015

A very useful book which gives clear accounts of social work theories and promotes critical thinking.

Miss Suzanne Dawn Spooner
Dept of Applied Social Science (DASS), Swansea University
September 13, 2016

This is an excellent text which comprehensively covers this subject area.

Mr Paul Rimmer
Social Work , Edge Hill University
November 23, 2015

Easy to read and clearly set out with exercises and practice notes, Covers the topics with enough depth for the groups being taught.
For future editions, could the skills requirements be linked to the PCF or KSS?

Mr Stephen Walker
Rehabilitation & Social Work, University of Cumbria
May 13, 2016

This text covers many of the key themes and issues I would like my MA students to get to grips with in their first term, so I will definitely be suggesting relevant chapters to accompany their practice-based learning.

Mrs Emma Reith-Hall
Social Work, Health, Soc Care & Couns, Nottingham Trent University
June 8, 2016

A good overview book of core Social Work theories which students can get to grip with. Nicely presented book.

Dr Azora Josephine Hurd
Department of Social Care, Gloucestershire University
May 31, 2016

This book is student friendly, accessible and an easy read. This introduces students to theory which is essential in Social Work Practice. The presentation of the book is very well organised. It concentrates on practice issues and therefore is essential for building the foundations of social work theory for level one BSc or MSc students.

School of Human Sciences, Swansea University
January 27, 2016