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.




Fostering is a means of providing family care for children who cannot remain with their birth parent(s). It takes many forms and children can stay with approved foster carers for varying periods of time. It is most commonly used to provide temporary care for children ‘looked after’ whilst their permanence plans are developed. Some will return to their birth parents or relatives, others will stay in foster care long term and move onto independent living. A small proportion will be adopted.

The key difference between adoption and fostering is that adoptive parents become the child's legal lifelong parents upon the making of the Adoption Order and they acquire sole Parental Responsibility (PR). Foster carers never have PR for children in their care, no matter how ...

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