1st Edition

The Positive Social Worker

ISBN 9781138300255
Published September 25, 2019 by Routledge
234 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

Developed from the author’s own experiences in social work and social work education, this book considers alternative approaches for social workers in dealing with the extensive demands, persistent pressures, and stress that they may face in their daily working lives.

The Positive Social Worker is firmly located in an individual, group, organisational, cultural, and socio-political context. It considers and celebrates concepts linked to the importance, and sources, of work-related well-being. Individual chapters describe and critically analyse the social work context, the role of hope, optimism, commitment, resilience, support, appraisals, positive emotions, and coping, self-efficacy, control, and agency. Throughout, clear links are made with social work practice. While the book concentrates on a UK context, it draws on literature from social work, social, organisational, work, and positive psychology and sociology, from the UK, the USA, Europe, Australasia, and other countries.

This book should be considered essential reading for social workers, graduate and postgraduate social work students, practice teachers, and lecturers. It will also be of relevance to professionals and professionals-in-training in the criminal justice and health and social care fields.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Chapter 1 The Social Work Context- Pressure, Stress and Some Alternatives; Chapter 2 Hope; Chapter 3 Optimism; Chapter 4 Commitment; Chapter 5 Resilience; Chapter 6 Support; Chapter 7 Appraisals, Positive Emotions and Coping; Chapter 8 Efficacy and Confidence; Chapter 9 Control and Agency

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Stewart Collins was employed for ten years in probation in Leeds, specialising in the later years as a practice teacher. He has worked as a volunteer with homeless people, older people, prisoners, children and families and, in particular, for many years, and currently, with people who experience alcohol problems. He has worked as a social work educator in Leeds, Glasgow, Bangor, and now with the OU in Scotland.


'Theoretically sophisticated but very practice focused, The Positive Social Worker will prove an excellent text for those working in or training for social work and in the human services more generally. Exploring a range of key and interrelated themes and concepts it not only provides evidence of why a "positive" approach is vital to the work but also demonstrates how this can be developed and maintained at the individual, team and organisational levels. It provides an important but realistic antidote to much of the negative, risk aversive, blame culture which can so easily come to characterise the work, particularly at times of severe financial restraint.' - Nigel Parton, Professor of Childhood Studies, University of Huddersfield.

'Stewart Collins brings a breath of fresh air and energising optimism into social work. He reminds us that hope and well being go hand in hand with the idea of effective practice. For those looking to maintain their courage, compassion and commitment to the profession, this is the book for you.' - David Howe, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of East Anglia.