This book is a quick and accessible reference guide to the key concepts that social work students and professionals need to understand to be effective. The authors place practice at the center of the text, and include a host of case examples to bring the concepts to life.

Examining the essential topics of the social work curriculum, the concepts covered relate to practice, theory, policy and personal challenges. Further reading is included in each entry, so that the reader can explore what they have learned in more detail.

This book will be an invaluable resource for social work students during their studies and on their practice placement. It will also be useful for qualified social workers, who want to continue their professional education.




Empowerment, in this context, is the means by which social workers can enable or assist service users to exert an influence over the arrangements made for their social care provision. It is a process by which individuals, families and communities may have the opportunity to exercise a sense of control by being a key part of the process that will define their needs and ultimately shape their care provision. Adams deems ‘empowerment’ to be the capacity of the aforementioned groups to be afforded the opportunity to ‘take control of their circumstances, exercise power and achieve their own goals’ (2008: 17). Thompson considers empowerment to be ‘a process of helping people gain greater control over their lives and the socio-political and existential challenges they face’ ...

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