Social work with children and families is constantly in the headlines and social workers' decisions are subject to ever increasing scrutiny at all levels. This aspirational book supports students and newly qualified social workers and suggests practical ways in which they might thrive, rather than just survive, in practice. The book tackles the different challenges that students and practitioners can be faced with, outlining common pitfalls and how to avoid these.

Reflective questions are used throughout the book, ensuring that students critically evaluate their own practice. Case examples and case studies drawn from the authors' recent practice are included throughout the book to illuminate the realities of contemporary social work with children and families.

What Do Social Workers Do?

What do social workers do?

Key Points of Chapter

  • You can thrive rather than just survive as a social worker
  • Social work is kinetic and volatile - it will never stand still
  • Social work is a contested moral and political activity
  • Social work is not a ‘win-win’ occupation
  • Social workers need a strong knowledge base
  • Social work offers a range of opportunities and different ways of working
  • Social workers need a work-life balance

Proposed Professional Capabilities Framework areas covered in this chapter

  • Professionalism
  • Values and Ethics
  • Critical Reflection and Analysis
  • Contexts and Organisations

(Social Work Reform Board, 2010 - see Appendix 1)

Draft Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers in England covered in this chapter

  • 2 Be able to practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of their profession
  • 3 Be able to maintain fitness to practise
  • 10 ...
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