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.

Service User Involvement

Service user involvement
ClareStone, LisaMalihi-Shoja, MickMcKeown and the Comensus Writing Collective


This chapter focuses on the involvement of service users – a particularly contested concept in social work practice. Authors such as Beresford (2005) have argued that the term ‘service user’ has currency and meaning and may be useful for advancing the aims of citizens who use services. There is also some controversy over a tendency in some quarters to conflate the interests of service users and informal carers. In this chapter we are concerned with both service users and carers (see also Chapter 8 on carers), but do not wish to suggest that there is a single user/carer perspective, rather that social work practitioners, planners and learners need to appreciate points of view ...

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