4th Edition

Practice Skills in Social Work and Welfare More Than Just Common Sense

    318 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    318 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Practice Skills in Social Work and Welfare has established itself as the essential text to prepare students for the wide-ranging challenges they will face in today's human service sector.

    This new fourth edition continues the text's core strength of connecting theory with practical examples to build the reader's confidence and expertise in key areas of practice.

    Part 1 outlines the critical social work and strengths-based practices that underpin the book's approach and provides the context for learning practice skills in a group setting, during community development projects and with individuals and families. Part 2 focuses on developing effective relationships with service users, illustrating through realistic scenarios how social work and human service practitioners can apply their practice skills in a range of settings. In Part 3, the essential elements of client assessment are explored, including risk assessment and cross-cultural perspectives. Issues surrounding intervention are examined in Part 4 from working with families and groups to challenging constructively and safely, while research, evaluation and facilitating closure are covered in the final part.

    This fourth edition is fully revised and updated and features new material on working with technology, Pasifika communities, LGBTQI+ service users and culturally responsive practice.

    Part 1: The theory and context for learning practice skills

    Chapter One - The integrated framework
    Jane Maidment and Ronnie Egan

    Chapter Two - Critical social work practice
    Ronnie Egan and Angelika Papadopoulos

    Chapter Three - Learning and teaching practice skills in social work and welfare
    Haidee Hicks and Susie Costello

    Chapter Four - Decolonisation for social work practice: preparing to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) peoples
    Lorraine Muller

    Chapter Five - Technology and social work practice
    Sharlene Nipperess and Nic Cornthwaite

    Part 2: Engagement

    Chapter Six - Developing the helping relationship
    Ronnie Egan and Wendy Rollins

    Chapter Seven - Engagement with families involved in the statutory system
    Robyn Miller

    Chapter Eight - Community-engaged social work practice
    Uschi Bay and Raewyn Tudor

    Chapter Nine - Communication in health care
    Nicole Hill

    Part 3: Assessment

    Chapter Ten - Assessment: Frameworks and components
    Jane Maidment

    Chapter Eleven - Risk assessments and critical social work
    Jo Clarke and Christine Morley

    Chapter Twelve - Intersectional approaches to culturally responsive assessment practices
    Christina David, Sonali Owen and Sharlene Nipperess

    Chapter Thirteen - Working with families
    Yvonne Crichton-Hill

    Chapter Fourteen - Assessment with Māori
    Sharyn Roberts

    Part 4: Intervention

    Chapter Fifteen - Taking action: change and intervention
    Ronnie Egan and Christine Craik

    Chapter Sixteen - 'Direct, with respect': challenging constructively
    Shelley Turner

    Chapter Seventeen - Social change through group work
    Ken McMaster

    Chapter Eighteen - Social work with older LGBTQ+ adults
    David Betts

    Part 5: Evaluation and closure

    Chapter Nineteen - Research and evaluation in social work practice
    Raewyn Tudor

    Chapter Twenty - Facilitating closure
    Hannah Mooney and Michael Dale


    Jane Maidment is Professor of Social Work at the University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand, and has had over 25 years of teaching practice skills with social work students. She has also had many years leading the field education component of the curriculum. Jane has published mainly in the fields of social work education, graduate readiness to practice and work-integrated learning. She is also interested in and has researched the role of craft in generating social connectedness.

    Ronnie Egan is Associate Professor of Field Education at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. She has specialised in research about social work supervision and practice for graduates and students. She has co-authored a number of books and published widely in the areas of social work practice skills, supervision, field education and partnerships.

    Raewyn Tudor is a senior lecturer and director of field education in the Social Work Department, University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. Raewyn’s teaching and research focus on community development, disaster recovery and social policy analysis in social work practice. Raewyn is a book review editor and member of the Australasian Board of the international journal Social Work Education. She is also a member of UC’s Critical Health and Wellbeing Research Group.

    Sharlene Nipperess is a senior lecturer at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Sharlene’s teaching and research focus on social work ethics; critical multicultural and human rights-based approaches to practice; the role and impact of technology in social work; and policy and practice relating to displacement, disability family/carer lived experiences and homelessness. Sharlene has co-edited two books, Critical Multicultural Practice in Social Work: New Perspectives and Practices (Routledge, 2019) and Doing Critical Social Work: Transformative Practice towards Social Justice (Routledge, 2016).