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.

History of Social Work

History of social work


Emerging in the second half of the 19th century, the practice of social work, as currently understood, established a place in social policy and led to the formation of occupational groups. Payne (2005) and Pierson (2011) have provided the most complete accounts of the history of social work in the United Kingdom. Payne (2005) found the roots of social work in the Poor Law charity organisation and the settlement movement. Pierson (2011) identified the wide range of groups of social workers which became established from the end of the 19th century in voluntary organisations and the municipal authorities. Cree argues that ‘[t]he history of social work reflects an number of interweaving and at times contradictory themes’ (1995: 10). ...

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