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.


Steven M.Shardlow


Drawing on the work of Williams (1968), Reamer has offered this usable, albeit pragmatic, definition of ‘values’:

Values have several important attributes and perform several important functions: they are generalised, emotionally charged conceptions of what is desirable; historically created and derived from experience; shared by a population or group within it; and provide a means for organising and structuring patterns of behaviour. (Reamer, 1999: 10)

Taking this definition uncritically, social work values may be regarded as a series of statements or beliefs, which the profession collectively regards as being desirable. Social workers have claimed that there is a universal set of professional values although it has proved notoriously difficult to enumerate these values in unanimously agreed form. At the global level, a statement of professional ...

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