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.


Steven M.Shardlow


The term ‘ethics’ derives from the Ancient Greek ‘ethos’, which combined two notions, ‘custom’ and ‘character’. This etymology is helpful for modern interpretations of ‘ethics’, which may be understood as ‘the science of good behaviour’. Within this domain of knowledge, core questions to be addressed are, for example: ‘How should a person act in particular situations?’ or ‘How should good people best live their lives?’ Aristotle, perhaps the first philosopher to fully address such questions (sixth century BC), framed answers in terms of the moral virtue of the individual, which included motives. Since Aristotle, many philosophers have suggested answers based upon different fundamental principles. For example, Kant (18th century German philosopher) argued that we should treat others as we wish to be treated ...

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