A Textbook of Social Work  book cover
1st Edition

A Textbook of Social Work

ISBN 9780415347211
Published December 11, 2008 by Routledge
448 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Where did professional social work originate from? How effective are social work interpretations in the lives of vulnerable people?

A Textbook of Social Work provides a comprehensive discussion of social work practice and its evidence-base. It strikes a balance between the need for social workers to understand the social, economic, cultural, psychological and interpersonal factors which give rise to clients’ problems, and the need for them to know how best to respond with practical measures.

Divided into three parts: the text covers the history and of social work as a movement and profession in the first, and social work methods and approaches in the second. The final part looks at the major specialisms, including, among others, chapters on:

    • Children and families
    • Youth Offenders and substance misusers
    • Social work and mental health
    • Disabled people
    • Older People

Providing a comprehensive guide to conceptual and methodological issues in social work and containing plentiful case studies and examples, this book is an essential read for social work students, as well as a valuable resource for practitioners and academics.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The history and development of social work  1. A Brief History of Social Work  2. Theory and Practice in Social Work  3. General Trends from Studies of the Effectiveness of Social Work  4. Evidence-based Practice  Part 2: Social Work Methods and Approaches, including assessment procedures  5. Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation  6. Social Casework and Task-Centered Casework  7. Cognitive-Behavioural Approaches  8. Systemic Approaches, Including Family Therapy    9. Social Work and Community Work  Part 3: Client groups  10. Social Work with Children and Families  11. Social Work with Looked After Children  12. Social Work with Young Offenders  13. Social Work and Mental Health 14. Social Work with People with Disabilities  15. Social Work with Older People

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Brian Sheldon is Emeritus Professor of Applied Social Research at the University of Exeter, UK. He was previously Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Services in its medical school

Geraldine Macdonald is Professor of Social Work and Director of the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen's University Belfast, UK. Previously, she was Director of Information and Knowledge Management at the Commission for Social Care Inspection.


'This is a major work that provides a clear account of social work practice methods for all user groups, including the latest research evidence. It will be invaluable for any social worker wanting to provide more than vague 'support' to individuals and families in distress.' - Dr Eileen Munro, Social Policy Department, London School of Economics

'You'd expect these authors to be upfront and controversial and you will not be disappointed. A refreshingly committed book which presents the complexity of social work in a lively and accessible manner. A real page-turner, written with conviction, wit and style; this book surveys social work with an intellectually justified optimism.' - Professor Mark Doel, Research Professor of Social Work, Sheffield Hallam University