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.

The Ethics of Relationship Based Social Work

The ethics of relationship based social work

Introduction

When students are asked about their motivations to become social workers they frequently say that they want a job in which they are ‘helping people’. Sometimes they have had experience of a helping role and it is this that has started them thinking about making social work their career. But, as well as this practical experience and thought, their motivations are often based on impulsive elements – expressions of unchosen inner drives to work in a helping capacity.

Social work education has the task of honing and directing these drives so that they become informed and transformed by the disciplines of theory, practical experience and professional ethics. But with regard to relationship based ...

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