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.

Theory and Social Work

Theory and social work


While numerous definitions of theory, including social work theory, are extant (for example, Payne, 2005), this chapter's author acknowledges that theories are coherent, explanatory frameworks; bodies of knowledge which constantly are expanding. In social work practice, theories (wherever they originate) are means of analysing and understanding a person (or family, group or community), a subject or an issue. Some theories applied or developed in social work are also paradigms, providing both a framework for analysis (or critique) and implicit guidance for action (Howe, 1987). Theories are context-bound; they are not independent of the nations and cultures where they are developed (Rojek et al., 1989). They are transferable between situations, but, as in any field of knowledge (including social ...

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