Human relationships lie at the very heart of social work practice, and an understanding of their importance is a crucial aspect of training. This book considers the place of relationships in current practice and explores the ways in which social workers can use relationship skills to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients.

The book also offers a unique discussion of the social worker's relationship with him or herself, arguing that self-awareness is as essential to good practice as an emotional understanding of the other. In doing so, the book promotes a new model for relationship-based social work, which emphasizes the importance of both the inter- and intrapersonal.

Opening with an introduction to the theoretical bases of the relationship-based model, the book then focuses on their direct application to social work practice. Key topics include:

Self-awareness and using oneself; Knowing the other person; Sustaining oneself; The ethics of relationship-based social work; Internalizing knowledge, skills and values

Using reflective exercises and case studies, the book encourages students to relate the tools they have learnt to practice scenarios from the real world, and is essential reading for all qualifying social work students.

Introduction to Relationships in Social Work

Introduction to relationships in social work

Social work is carried out within a network of human relationships. Indeed, it is human relationships and the many types of problems associated with them that are usually at the root of social workers’ professional tasks. And it is this relational dimension in social work practice which often draws students into making it their career – fulfilling their wish to ‘work with people’.

This book is an attempt to consider in depth the place of relationships in social work practice and to explore ways in which workers can use relationships to promote creative outcomes in their encounters with clients. As you work through the book you will see why using relationships requires social workers to ...

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