Practising Social Work: Meeting the Professional Challenge

Author(s): Neil Thompson

Social Work

Social work is a complex and demanding area of professional practice, requiring practitioners to be flexible and reflective, as well as confident and clear. Based on his extensive experience of training, education and consultancy, Neil Thompson provides a fresh and contemporary introduction that is sharply focused on the essential aspects of modern-day social work. The book addresses a wide range of issues and strategies for practice in an inviting and accessible style. Highly structured and easy to navigate, its four parts address in turn the role of the social worker as problem solver, thinker, manager and professional. The material successfully blends theory and practice and is particularly enriched by: a- clear and digestible explanations a- regular real-life examples to illustrate key points a- cameos of social workers' own experiences a- a range of reflective questions and activities to aid learning and application a- detailed suggestions for further reading. Social workers at all levels of training and development will find this book a strong foundation for rising to the professional challenges of their chosen career. It will stand new students in good stead for facing the many complexities involved in practice. It will also prove an important refresher and source of reference for qualified professionals.


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NEIL THOMPSON is a highly respected writer, teacher and adviser, with over 32 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. He is the editor-in-chief of two online communities (Well-being Zone: and Social Work Focus: His personal website is at

Preface Introduction PART I: THE SOCIAL WORKER AS PROBLEM SOLVER Introduction Needs, Unmet Needs and Problems The Social Context of Personal Problems Promoting and Preventing Change: Developing vs. Sustaining Perspectives on Problems: Working in Partnership Conclusion PART II: THE SOCIAL WORKER AS THINKER Introduction Reflective Practice: Developing Critical Analysis Skills Social Work as Education Thinking and Feeling: Emotional Intelligence Narratives and Meaning Making Conclusion PART III: THE SOCIAL WORKER AS MANAGER Introduction Managing Self Managing Processes, Tasks and Outcomes Managing Risk and Resources Managing Expectations Conclusion PART IV: THE SOCIAL WORKER AS PROFESSIONAL Introduction Traditional Professionalism The Legacy of Anti-professionalism Developing Empowering Professionalism Professionalism in Practice Conclusion Guide to Further Learning References Index

General Fields

  • : 9780230201927
  • : Palgrave Macmillan
  • : Palgrave Macmillan
  • : November 2008
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Neil Thompson
  • : Paperback
  • : 361.3
  • : 240