Social Work:An introduction to contemporary practice

This is a ‘tomb’ of a social work textbook aimed at social work students studying at undergraduate and post-graduate level. The book is filled with case examples, questions for reflection, study activities, selected reading, useful websites, glossary of terms and additional sources across a wide range of concepts in social work practice and linked to the National Occupational Standards. The book is organised in such a way that it reflects the current curriculum for social work education and training. However, the issues raised will be of interest to students across ‘social care’ courses.The layout of ‘visual bites’ including different font styles, boxes and signposting is accessible and is clearly aimed at different learning styles. Readers will be engaged in topical issues in social work – paperwork, accountability, research, approaches and interventions with opportunities to explore the issues further via suggested reading and web sites.

This is a very practical textbook that links to the day-to-day practice and as the authors state is intended as an introduction to social work for all students studying on social work qualifying training programmes in the UK and it’s appeal as a ‘companion’ will be embraced. If this was my companion I would have liked to have seen a chapter on understanding gender and how it is intertwined with self-awareness, identity, politics, the body and values. Throughout the book there are ‘littered’ references to gender and being gender-sensitive but without any substantive attempt to introduce the reader to the some of the key concepts. However, the book offers the student excellent opportunities to access further reading via up-to-date reading and web pages.

Sue Kennedy

Wilson, K., Ruch, G., Lymbery, M., and Cooper, A. (2008) Social Work: An introduction to contemporary practice. Harlow, Pearson Education Limited

ISBN: 978-104058-5846-5

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