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.

Stress in Social Work

Stress in social work
AshleyWeinberg and MichaelMurphy


Stress is, ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work’ (HSE, 2009). Some would argue that to get the best out of ourselves we benefit from experiencing an optimal level of pressure. Yet where we have little control over that pressure, there are risks and symptoms. This chapter seeks to outline these in relation to social work practitioners.

Key Points

Six aspects of work contribute to employee well-being if they are at optimal levels (HSE, 2004):

  • demands – reasonable workloads and patterns of work and safety;
  • control – having a say over decisions affecting one's own work;
  • support – appropriate management practices and positive feedback;
  • relationships – promoting positive relationships;
  • role – job ...
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