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.

Physical Disability

Physical disability


… a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. (Equality Act 2010: C15, Part 1, p. 5)

Key Points

  • long term – effect is likely to last for at least 12 months;
  • must affect one of the ‘capacities’ – mobility, manual dexterity, speech, hearing, seeing and memory;
  • people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are covered from the point of diagnosis;
  • legal rights are provided in employment, education, access to goods services and facilities, buying and renting land or property, functions of public bodies.


Models of Disability

The ‘medical model’ of disability stereotypes people with physical disability, promoting notions of pity, fear and patronising attitudes. The ‘medical model’ creates a cycle of dependency and exclusion, which ...

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